Here’s a quick, specific list of ten foods that are not only good for you but also can help lower your stress level. Try snacking on these regularly and watch your stress levels go down:
Nuts: Especially almonds, which have lots of magnesium, B2 (riboflavin), zinc, and vitamin E. Almonds can help regulate cortisol levels. But don’t overdo it. Nuts can be caloric, but they’re great as a snack.
Broccoli: Your mother was right. Eat your broccoli. It contains lots of B vitamins and folic acid, and it’s great as a side dish with fish or chicken. Spinach is good, too — lots of magnesium.
Fish: Most varieties of fish contain the important B vitamins, B6 and B12. These can play a role in synthesizing serotonin, which can affect your moods. Tuna and salmon are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids that can play a role in regulating adrenaline.
Milk: Again your mother was right. Milk contains vitamins B2 and B12, along with antioxidants that are often associated with reducing stress. It also contains tryptophan, which can increase the production of serotonin. Milk also has calcium, magnesium, and potassium, which are important stress-regulating elements. You don’t have to drink your milk straight; pour it on some cereal instead. Go for the skim variety.
Bananas: They’re full of potassium. They’re also a great snack when you need some fuel in your system, and they’re a great addition to fortified cereal.
Blueberries: These are filled with antioxidants and vitamin C, which help fight stress. Grab a handful when you need a healthy treat or sprinkle some on your morning (or evening) cereal.
Oranges: Stress can reduce your levels of vitamin C, but oranges can replenish that vitamin, which boosts your immune system. Oranges also make a great snack.
Sweet potatoes: Actually, they’re not really potatoes — they’re roots. They’re also a great source of vitamin B6, vitamin A, and antioxidants such as beta-carotene.
Brown rice: This is much better for you than the white variety. Brown rice has much more manganese and phosphorus than does white rice. It contains more iron and greater amounts of vitamins B3, B1, and B6, all known to have stress-reducing properties. Brown rice is richer in fiber, selenium, and antioxidants. It also has a great “nutty” flavor.
Avocados: These are loaded with potassium and vitamin A. The taste and texture can be highly satisfying.