food to decrease stress

I’m about to tell you about two horrible experiences and how they’ve made me realize how important stress reducing food is to get through your day-to-day. Always remember that FOOD CAN HELP DECREASE YOUR STRESS….so listen up!

I first starting researching the health benefits of different foods about 4 years ago during my lunch breaks. My first post-college job was at a small investment banking firm in NJ. Despite the nature of the industry, it honestly was a relatively easy gig that didn’t challenge me that much. Everyday was an uneventful workday surrounded by nice people…except for one. My desk was next to a rabid wildebeest of a woman. She was the controller (aka accounting lady) for the company and was the most miserable excuse for a human that I had ever met. Seriously, she was disgustingly rude to everyone around her, and became delighted when she made someone upset. Needless to say, my pleasant disposition annoyed her, as she hated anyone who smiled.

After a while, I decided it was time to leave…and switch careers. So last year I took a job in NYC at a social media company called _____ (name has been removed. My parents were worried I’d get sued for liable by this evil company). I’ll spare you the details, but it’s a horribly managed company that treats it’s employees like expendable slaves. However, before I quit, I realized there’s more than just one miserable person in the world! I was forced to work with wildebeest #2 who had absolutely no idea what she was doing and had only risen to a leadership position by binge drinking and sleeping with her superiors. She was very very rude and about 4 or 5 people quit due to her lack of intelligence and inability to be a nice human being.

Since then I’ve started a new career and everything is going great. No more wildebeest to report! But those negative experiences have made me realize how important it is to eat the right foods to help battle the stresses of everyday life. You can be the nicest person in the world, but there is always going to be someone out there trying to bring you down. Don’t let them! Crunch on some almonds instead of sinking to their level! But in case they break their way in, eat some of the following foods to reduce your blood pressure, stress hormones, and tension! ….and let me know, cause I’ll backhand anyone who is mean to you guys :)


Almonds: Almonds contain vitamin B2 and magnesium, which produce serotonin. Serotonin regulates your mood and relieves stress. Then the zinc in these nuts helps prevent some harmful physical consequences of stress. They also contain vitamin E, which is an antioxidant that battles free radicals associated with heart disease and stress. Last but not least, the crunch you get from chowing down on almonds acts as a psychological stress relief.

Avocado: The monounsaturated fats and potassium in avocados lower blood pressure. Random trivia question – did you know that avocados have more potassium than bananas? Surprise…they do!

Black Tea: Usually green tea gets all the glory, but black tea helps give you a more relaxed state of mind. This is because it contains theanine, which reduces the stress hormone called cortisol. Several cups a day will help lower your blood pressure.

Blueberries: These little berries are filled with antioxidants and vitamin C, both of which help prevent stress. Blueberries are also high in fiber, which prevents the tension/cramping associated with stress as well as helping to regulated your blood sugar levels.

Broccoli: Broccoli is a vitamin B mothership. Seriously. It also contains folic acid, which has been shown to relieve stress, anxiety, panic, and depression.

Dried Apricots: High in magnesium, which helps reduce stress. Magnesium is also a natural muscle relaxer, which makes you feel less tense. Dried apricots are also high in fiber and vitamin C.

Milk: A cool glass of milk contains B2 and B12 vitamins. These vitamins help destroy free radicals associated with stress. Not only that, but milk is rich in protein and calcium, which helps regulate your blood sugar. Oh yeah, and it will leave you feeling satisfied (aka happy).

Oranges: These babies are filled with vitamin C, which helps reduce stress. Vitamin C also helps your body’s blood pressure and cortisol levels return to normal more quickly after a stressful situation. Oranges act as a barrier against the cumulative effects of stress on the body.

Salmon: Oh salmon, you wonderfood, you. The omega-3 fatty acids contained in salmon keep cortisol (our stress hormone) and adrenaline from peaking…thus keeping us as calm and cool as a fish. Salmon also contains magnesium, which aides in relaxation.

Whole Grains: Whole grains are complex carbs that break down slowly, thus keeping you satisfied longer. Since carbs boost serotonin levels (stuff that makes you calmer), the slow breakdown means you will be happier longer. They also contain lots of healthy fiber.