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Foods that help reduce stress

 Foods that help reduce stress (Photo: iStock)

Right now, people are feeling more stressed than ever. Everyday life has become painfully expensive and it is frightening to think that we are now doomed to a stressful existence for the rest of our lives.

With all that's going on around us, we try to use different stress-relieving methods to help us feel better. Some find solace in taking a daily walk or even calling a loved one to talk and de-stress.

One of the things we can do to improve our mood is to eat the right foods. What we eat can directly affect how we cope with stress, so it's important to make sure we choose the right foods.

Studies show that some foods are more effective than others in reducing the symptoms of stress, and you can find some of them here:

Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are delicious, inexpensive, and easy to find thus making them a great option. They have been shown to encourage the body to release one of the ‘happy hormones’, serotonin.

This is essential because serotonin helps to create a sense of calmness, which also improves your response to stress.


Garlic is one of the most flavorful herbs out there. And not just that, it has some secret stress-fighting properties that you need to know.

This herb has a combination of properties like Sulphur, chromium and other essential vitamins that reduce stress levels. In fact, it has properties that give a similar effect to antidepressants which is groundbreaking for people managing anxiety and depression.

Also, if you’re having sleep troubles, garlic can help with that too because of its calming and insomnia-fighting qualities. Add it to your meals for dinner and you could start to experience improved sleep.

Sunflower seeds

Sunflower seeds aren’t just a healthy snack to have when you’re on your journey to clean eating. They come with some added anti-stress and anti-anxiety properties especially because they are rich in zinc.

To enjoy the full benefits, you could munch them as they are or even sprinkle some in your yoghurt, which is also another probiotic-rich stress reducer.

Herbal teas

Herbal teas have always been a natural remedy for stress. A popular one that is very effective is green tea because it increases serotonin levels and helps to fight some of the effects of stress like neuroinflammation.

You could have your go-to calming daytime herbal teas and some nighttime teas when you need to enhance the quality of your sleep.

Fatty fish

It is no secret that fish are packed with a huge list of health benefits especially when it comes to heart health. And when we talk about foods that help reduce stress, they are certainly on the list too.

Fatty fish like salmon, tuna and sardines directly interact with brain molecules that affect your mood. This is very helpful for your body physically and also important for your mood when you’re looking to manage mental stress. 

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