10 Stress-Reducing Superfoods to Add to Your Diet – The Girl Guide

10 Stress-Reducing Superfoods to Add to Your Diet

Stress is an inevitable part of our lives. It can be triggered by various factors such as work, school, relationships, or finances. Although stress may seem manageable, it’s important not to underestimate the harm it can cause. Chronic stress can lead to a range of issues, including anxiety, insomnia, heart palpitations, irritability, fatigue, and even a weakened immune system. That’s why it’s crucial to find ways to reduce stress and build resilience. While practices like meditation, exercise, and adequate sleep are proven to be effective, food can also play a significant role. So, if you want to improve your overall health and well-being, don’t forget to add stress-busting foods to your diet.

If you’re looking for ways to support your body during stressful times, start with your diet. After all, we all have to eat, so why not make intentional (science-backed) choices? Choosing nutritious and delicious stress-reducing ingredients will not only make you happier but also healthier. Check out the best stress-reducing ingredients to add to your diet and take the first step towards a healthier lifestyle.

#1 Cacao

Did you know that chocolate can actually help bust stress? Yes… chocolate! Studies show that consuming chocolate with a cacao content of 70% or higher can have numerous benefits for your mood, memory, mental health, inflammation, and even immunity!

Just make sure to be mindful of other ingredients, like milk, sugar, and additives. When possible, opt for unsweetened or naturally-sweetened varieties made with non-dairy milk and real ingredients.

#3 Oats

Oats are not only a tasty breakfast option, but they are also a powerful stress-reducing food. As a complex carb, oats are known to help the brain produce serotonin, an essential “feel-good” neurotransmitter that plays a crucial role in regulating and boosting our mood. Additionally, oats are loaded with fiber to help balance blood sugar levels, and they are packed with B vitamins that benefit energy levels – two critical factors that play a significant role in reducing stress.

#4 Kiwi

Kiwis are a fantastic source of vitamin C, which is known to be one of the best nutrients to combat stress. Besides supporting healthy aging and strengthening the immune system, vitamin C has also been found to play a role in regulating stress hormones. Recently, a 2022 study showed that vitamin C supplementation can improve blood pressure, cortisol, and subjective stress responses. Additionally, since kiwis are packed with vitamin C, they are a great way to fight free radicals in the body and protect against future damage. So go ahead and add some kiwis to your diet for a healthy and stress-free lifestyle!

#5 Chamomile

Feeling stressed? Pour yourself a calming cup of chamomile tea. Though light and dainty, this medicinal flower packs a powerful stress-reducing punch. Based on numerous research studies, chamomile may help If you’re feeling overwhelmed and stressed, you might want to consider brewing yourself a cup of chamomile tea. Despite its delicate appearance, chamomile is a potent medicinal flower that has been shown in numerous research studies to reduce anxiety, improve sleep, and induce a feeling of calm. 

To enjoy its benefits, simply brew a cup and add a drizzle of honey or a splash of lemon to enhance the flavor. If you’re feeling fancy, you can even make a warming chamomile latte by blending chamomile tea with your favorite steamed non-dairy milk, such as almond or oat milk!

#6 Avocado

This fruit has become incredibly popular in recent years, and it’s easy to see why. Not only is it visually appealing, but it also offers a wide range of health benefits.

Avocados are rich in vitamin B6, which is essential for the body’s production of neurotransmitters. One of these neurotransmitters is serotonin, which plays a crucial role in regulating our mood. Studies have shown that a deficiency of B vitamins can lead to increased anxiety in some people.

Additionally, avocados are a great source of vitamin E, which is essential for healthy skin, reproduction, the formation of red blood cells, and good vision. So not only do they taste great, but they’re also incredibly good for you!

#7 Turmeric

Turmeric is a true superfood with numerous benefits for your health and well-being. Its active compound, curcumin, is known for its stress-reducing and anti-inflammatory properties, making it an ideal choice for anyone looking to support their mental health and reduce stress levels. By incorporating turmeric into your diet, you can enjoy all these benefits and more. One delicious way to do so is by trying out a Golden Milk latte, which contains not only turmeric but also other superfoods like cinnamon and ginger. So why not give it a try today and see how it can improve your overall mood and wellbeing?

#8 Matcha

Matcha is a great alternative to coffee as it has been found to have the opposite effect. It helps to keep us cool, calm, and collected! This is because matcha is rich in brain-boosting properties like L-theanine and EGCG. Studies have shown that matcha benefits mental health by activating serotonin and dopamine receptors in the brain, which results in a positive impact on mood and overall mental health. By incorporating matcha into our diet, we can enjoy benefits such as stress and anxiety relief, and improved concentration, focus, and memory. So why not give matcha a try and see how it can benefit your mental well-being?

#9 Salmon 

Salmon is a great food that offers many benefits for your health. It is rich in vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for maintaining a healthy body. These nutrients are also linked to increased serotonin, which is known as the ‘happy hormone’. Vitamin D helps convert tryptophan into serotonin, while omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon help the body utilize it. Additionally, salmon is an excellent source of selenium and vitamin B12, as well as vitamin E, which are essential brain-healthy nutrients that reduce oxidative stress and support mental well-being. Overall, salmon is a tasty and effective way to combat feelings of stress and improve your overall health.

#10 Pumpkin Seeds 

Pumpkin seeds are a fantastic source of magnesium, zinc, and tryptophan, making them a great addition to anyone’s diet. The high magnesium content in these small seeds can help stimulate GABA receptors in the brain, which can inhibit the stress response and soothe the nervous system as a whole. That’s why pumpkin seeds are often recommended as a natural remedy for stress relief. So, if you’re looking for a tasty and healthy way to manage your stress levels, be sure to keep these mighty seeds on hand. Add them to your favorite snack mix, blend them into a smoothie, or sprinkle them on top of your favorite salad or sandwich.

#11 Blueberries

The benefits of blueberries are truly amazing. Not only are they delicious, but they also contain a high amount of vitamin C which is essential for repairing and protecting our cells. Did you know that when we are feeling anxious or stressed our bodies crave vitamin C? It’s true. Research has even shown that increasing our vitamin C intake can help prevent and reduce anxiety. So why not incorporate this tasty fruit into your diet and reap the many benefits it has to offer?

#12 Almonds

Almonds have become quite popular lately, and for good reason. They are packed with magnesium, with just one ounce of almonds providing 19% of your daily recommended intake. Magnesium deficiency can lead to lower levels of serotonin in the brain, which in turn can cause anxiety-related symptoms. Research has shown that magnesium can be an effective treatment for these symptoms. So, it seems like almonds are not just a tasty snack, but also a great way to boost your magnesium levels and potentially alleviate anxiety.

#13 Yoghurt

Blueberries and almonds are both delicious and nutritious foods that can be paired with yogurt for a tasty treat. But did you know that incorporating yogurt into your diet can have a positive impact on your mental health? Yogurt contains probiotics, which are often referred to as “healthy bacteria,” and have been shown to improve the immune system, and oral health, and act as anti-anxiety and anti-depressive agents. Research has even demonstrated that daily consumption of probiotic yogurt can help individuals better cope with stress. Side note: It’s important to know that not all yogurts contain probiotics, so be sure to check the ingredients list when purchasing.

#14 Sweet Potatoes

Eating whole, nutrient-rich carb sources like sweet potatoes is not only delicious but also beneficial for our health. Research has shown that consuming such foods may help lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which can have a negative impact on our overall well-being. Although cortisol levels are tightly regulated, chronic stress can lead to cortisol dysfunction, which may cause inflammation, pain, and other adverse effects.

In fact, an 8-week study conducted on women with excess weight or obesity found that those who ate a diet rich in whole, nutrient-dense carbs had significantly lower levels of salivary cortisol than those who followed a standard American diet high in refined carbs. This is a clear indication that consuming the right kind of carbohydrates can have a positive effect on our stress levels.

Sweet potatoes are a great example of a whole food that makes an excellent carb choice. Not only are they delicious, but they’re also packed with nutrients that are important for stress response, such as vitamin C and potassium. So, next time you’re looking for a healthy carb option, consider sweet potatoes – your body and mind will thank you for it!

#15 Broccoli

Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli are definitely worth including in your diet because they are known for their many health benefits. Studies have shown that eating a diet rich in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli may lower your risk of certain cancers, heart disease, and mental health disorders like depression. In fact, broccoli is one of the most nutrient-dense vegetables out there, containing high levels of magnesium, vitamin C, and folate, which have been proven to combat depressive symptoms.

Moreover, broccoli is rich in a sulfur compound called sulforaphane, which has neuroprotective properties and may offer calming and antidepressant effects. So, adding more broccoli to your diet could potentially have a positive impact on your mental health.

When it comes to vitamin B6, broccoli is also a great source. Just one cup of cooked broccoli contains over 20% of the daily recommended value for vitamin B6. Research has shown that a higher intake of vitamin B6 is associated with a lower risk of anxiety and depression in women, making broccoli an excellent addition to any diet.


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