Feeling Stressed? Eat These 4 Foods to Calm Down

Did you know there are foods out there to eat when you are stressed?

No matter our age, we can all feel pretty stressed from time to time.

While people use one word to describe how they feel when this type of feeling overcomes them, what happens to the body and our health is much more complex, and it can even end up impacting our eating habits.

When you are stressed, the body ends up releasing extra insulin, ghrelin, and the cortisol hormone, which can end up ramping up cravings (especially for unhealthy foods) and even making you feel hungry even when you have eaten enough.

If you keep being stressed, then your body will end up releasing another hormone, which is called leptin, which is generally released when you are feeling full and need to stop eating.

In the long run, you can end up developing leptin resistance, making it harder for you to recognize when you are full, and studies have shown it can lead to obesity!

The good news is that you can easily end up eating certain types of foods that are going to help you regulate your body when you are feeling stressed, and if you focus on these, you can end up getting your stress levels under control!

It is easy to remember which ones to avoid, but the ones who help you are less brought up in conversation!

Keep on reading to discover which foods are great to eat when you are stressed, with the added benefit that they are backed by science!

How do you manage cravings caused by stress? Is there anything you do in particular? Do you deal with stress in other ways, too? Let us know your answers in the comments below!

Image By Fortyforks From Shutterstock

Dark chocolate

Yes, you read that right! Chocolate is an amazing food to have when you are stressed, but this may go against the idea that you should avoid desserts when you are feeling like this.

The idea is that you should not overindulge, and a lot of people end up resorting to eating too much dessert when stressed, yet this one here is doctor-approved!

Dark chocolate (as not all chocolate is good when you are stressed) is a treat that tackles stress in two ingenious ways.

One is on the chemical level, which is the one that shows us how it impacts our bodies.

One study has shown that the antioxidant-rich dark chocolate has ended up lowering stress hormones in the body. The participants have been given 1.5 oz (ounces) of this treat once a week for two weeks, and the chemical analysis spoke for itself!

The other one is emotional. Chocolate is good, and you will feel better after you eat a square or two!

The only thing you need to be mindful of is not eating too much of it, as it can wreak havoc on your diet. Stick to having about 1 oz (or even less) of 60% cacao dark chocolate a day, and you will feel relief when it comes to stress management!

Not only that, but it is also delicious!


On the other side of the spectrum, we have one of the foods that is not sweet at all, but it is another type of powerhouse.

Avocados, which are actually fruits, not veggies, make for the perfect stress-fighting food! They are filled with nutrients and minerals (vitamin B6, vitamin C, fiber, and potassium), along with healthy monosaturated fats!

The vitamins that are found in this fruit in particular are known to aid in reducing the amount of stress you feel, while the potassium is there to help lower your blood pressure levels, which can also bring about a more pronounced sense of calm!

Studies done back in 2018 and published in the FASEB Journal have shown that adding healthy fats to your diet (along with fiber) can help you feel full for longer, which in turn will discourage any sort of peckish snacking that may be brought about by stress.

This means you can eat guac to your health’s content next time you are feeling too stressed, and it will help you out!

And while avocado makes for the perfect food for this, there are other healthy fats you can add to your diet, including the likes of fatty fish (salmon, tuna, and halibut) and nuts, just to name a few.

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Soothing, warm foods

These can also be classified as comfort foods, but not all of those are actually going to help you feel less stressed. The nutritional profile of the food is important, and while yes, certain types of soups do count, we want to turn our heads towards other soothing liquids, like tea!

Tea is not per se a food, but it is an easy-to-grab item when you are feeling stressed, and the feeling of a warm cup of tea is like no other.

Sipping on the hot beverage will help soothe your nerves and calm your mind, regardless of the flavor it has, so it is a good first start when you are just starting out with it.

Yet, what is inside the tea is what counts the most, and studies made by researchers show that certain herbs are better than others at reducing anxiety and calming down the stress felt by your body.

The best one for that is chamomile, which you may know as an aid for a better night’s sleep.

However, it is also a great stress reliever, as it definitely reduces the amount of anxiety you feel when you are stressed, and it also ups the production of the feel-good hormones dopamine and serotonin.

Give tea a chance; it may be the miracle cure for you!

If you do not know what type of chamomile tea is the best and do not want to lose money trying a ton of different brands, we recommend you start small. This one is easy to get on Amazon, and it is our personal favorite in the office!

Image By fizkes From Shutterstock


Since we have already brought beverages into the discussion, this one here is one of the most easily ignored when it comes to times of high stress: water.

Sure, we are all done with hearing just how beneficial water is for us, but it turns out that even when we are super stressed, water is still the way to go. And the way you can use it is to just pick up your glass when you feel too stressed for words and sip away!

It may seem like a meaningless suggestion, but in reality, water plays an important role in how much stress you actually feel, and you need to be hydrated when you know you are navigating a period of heightened stress.

Mild dehydration has been shown through studies to increase cortisol levels, which in turn will just increase the amount of stress you are feeling.

Making sure you stay hydrated will not magically wipe stress away but rather prepare your body for when it has to deal with stress.

It’s not that water will make stress vanish, but rather that being adequately hydrated will help you lessen the amount of stress your body experiences and help you navigate the hard times easier!

Nutrition and diet play a much bigger role in our lives than we would ever imagine. Managing stress is just a little bit of the iceberg, as food is one of our best allies when it comes to dealing with a lot of health issues, or it can be an enemy. If you are interested in how nutrition affects us, check out other of our articles here!


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