In today’s society it’s incredibly easy to get sucked into the downward spiral of stress, anxiety and overdoing.  Especially when we’re under-exercised, overworked, unmanaged and about to explode from too much too fast.

From someone that tries to manage my stress daily, I’ve found some foods that have really helped me during these moments.  Of course there is meditation, deep breathing, Tai Chi, Yoga, teas and relaxation techniques which are all incredibly beneficial, but this post is specifically geared towards foods that help relax our bodies and minds.

Dark Chocolate: A randomized, placebo-controlled trial published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology revealed that people who drank a dark chocolate drink, equal to about 1.5 ounces of dark chocolate per day, felt calmer than those who did not.  That doesn’t mean we can raid our pantries of chocolate laden desserts in hopes of getting the same benefits, but some healthy options would be those from dark chocolate pieces above 70% cacao.

Herbs:  There are some fantastic herbs out there to assist in reducing anxiety and tension and some of my favorites include Ashwagandha, Holy Basil, and Rhodiola.  This supplement is available at most grocery stores and has all of these 3 ingredients that really help me when I’m feeling overwhelmed and unsettled.

Calming Herbs

High-fat meats:  Meats like Wild Alaskan Salmon and Grass-Fed Beef are wonderful sources of Omega-3 fatty acids which are proven to help with inflammation, cortisol reduction and decrease anxiety.  Always choose the Wild and Grass-Fed, those are key!!!

Oysters:  I actually had these last night because I have been craving them!  Maybe I was low in Zinc since I have been stressed lately!  Oysters are a terrific source of Zinc which helps with anxiety, immune support and neurotransmitter function.


Dark, leafy greens:  No wonder why our moms told us to eat our greens!  They are packed with magnesium (which is the natural “calming” element in our bodies).  We desperately need magnesium in our bodies to regulate our moods, reduce anxiety type symptoms, coat our cells and for our brains to function correctly.  Magnesium has proven to work well for those with restless leg syndrome so if we find ourselves moving our legs around constantly, let’s eat more greens!  I also take this supplement during times of high stress or elevated exercise routines.  It really helps with cramping, calming my nervous system and prevents the onset of delayed muscles soreness.


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