The greatest wealth is health.  ~Virgil

Healthy food is sometimes last on your list of priorities when you are under stress. The main focus is crossing everything off the to-do list and the food you place in your body is an afterthought. You write your list of things to do yet planning for meals filled with nutrients seems to fall by the wayside. Food comes to mind when we are hungry. What might be handy are several fast food joints for a quick bite to eat.

Skipping meals or eating unhealthy leads to poor nutrition. As a result, you begin to lack in many nutrients that keep you healthy and less stress signs. You might begin to notice different symptoms like difficulty focusing or lack of energy that may simply be the need for a good healthy eating lifestyle. The fact of the matter is we focus on the outside but not what’s happening on the inside of your body.

Maybe some of the stress symptoms you feel have to do with what you put in your body.

Here are five anti-stress foods you need to know about:


Quinoa is generally considered a whole grain but is actually grown for its nutrition filled seeds.  Quinoa is rich in vitamin B, which has a calming effect you’re your nervous system. It can be easily cooked and used for all meals. It’s also high in protein and it a great food for energy. Quinoa also has the added bonus of being gluten-free. It is so quick to make with a bowl, boiling water and cover for 10-15 minutes. You can also cook it in the rice cooker as you are getting ready for work.

Red Bell Peppers

Red peppers might be a little pricier than other peppers but the taste and nutrition value more than make up for the cost. Seriously, red bell peppers are just fully ripened green peppers. The sweetest of all bell peppers, the red bell pepper has vitamins A and C and folate, which fuels your body and helps fix damaged cells that happen from stress.


Blueberries are packed with vitamin C as well as other antioxidants which help support a healthy immune system. They are usually available year round. I like to stock up on them during the summer months, freeze then package them for off season months. Just spread your blueberries on a cookie sheet and freeze. Make sure that they are not touching as much as possible. Once in bags or containers, you will easily be able to grab the blueberries you need for smoothies and other treats without being a frozen clump of fruit.

Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds, the fruit of the sunflower, filled with all sorts of helpful nutrients.

They contain tryptophan, which helps in the production of serotonin, the “feel good” chemical. Sunflower seeds are also rich in vitamin B complex to help calm your nerves. These seeds are tasty used as a salad topping or as a quick snack.


Yes, I saved the best for last (I saw some of those funny faces!) All kidding aside, spinach and other leafy green vegetables are rich in magnesium, which helps you keep in a calm state. Spinach is also rich in antioxidants to help build your immune system. Add spinach to smoothies especially if you want to add more greens to your diet. That’s a wonderful way to cover up the taste of spinach and still get it’s nutrient-packed punch.

Although a sample of foods cannot alone combat stress, making healthy food choices can contribute to a happier, healthier lifestyle. Looking to change your diet? Seek counsel from your physician or dietician to help you add the foods you need to fuel your body properly. Always follow your recommended diet and ask your health care providers if these foods are right for you.

41 thoughts on “Five Anti-Stress Foods You Need to Know About”

  1. Great article Lisa!  I'd never heard of Quinoa, will have to check it out.  Already love sunflower seeds and blueberries. Spinach is definitely part of my home-made salad foundation.  : )

  2. This is such an informative post! I love these kinds of tidbits — the science behind why something is good or works. Not only is good nutrition important for physical health, but it improves brain health as well – something very important to the people with whom I work. I will definitely be sharing this — thanks so much, Lisa.

  3. I love all the ingredients that you showed here in your blog…and I usually eat them quite regularly. I know there can be a huge effect when we are not eating right and neglecting the proper things our body needs!

  4. Spinach is one of my favorite foods! How cool is it that it is an anti-stress food? You know, Lisa, I am really glad that you wrote this post because quite often I don't think of food in terms of being anti-stress. Love this view point!

  5. Wow! I suspected these foods were good for me, but really had no idea HOW good! Thanks for the great breakdown! I am a regular eater of some, but have to admit sunflower seeds aren’t my favorite. Might try them again!

  6. Great information, Lisa! I feel good that I eat 3 out of the 5 foods listed! I will definitely share this on my social networks. Thanks for sharing your Amazing  knowledge!

    1. That’s awesome, Norma! It’s great to know that food choices make a difference in your stress level!

  7. I love this!  It is so much better to focus on the foods that bring us energy, rather than the foods we are supposed to avoid.  And all of these are both delicious and nutritious.  Thanks for sharing!

  8. I definitely need to be eating these foods in the months ahead ;0 Stressful times right now.

    Do you have any articles on maintaining a stress free environment during times of unemployment (or minimize it?)

    1. Hey Jamie, Hang in there… I did recent articles on what to do after job loss but can write something more in depth to help. I will send you an email as well.

    1. That’s what is so great- it wonderful to know you are already eating foods that help with the effects of stress. Thanks!

  9. Lisa, thank you for this list of anti-stress foods. I love quinoa, red bell peppers, blueberries, sunflower seeds, and spinach. They are all such delicious and healthy foods. I appreciate you bringing them to my attention along with the benefits of eating them all regularly.

  10. Thanks for these Lisa. I usually do eat most of these, but have got off my healthy habits over the summer, and am paying for it now.

    1. You’re welcome, Lena. I support you in how hard you are working to make a difference in your health. Thank you!

  11. All 5 are awesome suggestions.  Thanks for the info.
    -I put sunflower seeds in everything – stir fry, salad, sauces, lots.  I often throw in some raisins, too.
    -I always have some frozen blueberries on hand, especially when they are out of season and so expensive.  I eat the fresh ones as much as possible, but have frozen ones in oatmeal.  Yummy
    -Spinach is another great thing to add to everything.  Fresh, frozen, canned.  All great!

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