Foods to Eat When Stressed

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Tim is a licensed life insurance agent with 23 years of experience helping people protect their families and businesses with term life insurance. He writes and creates stuff for QuickQuote and other insurance and financial websites...

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UPDATED: Jun 23, 2020

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Taking steps to reduce or manage your stress is an important part of staying healthy. Finding natural ways to relax will not only help your mood but it will also improve your overall health and save you money on your term life insurance premium. In addition to getting more exercise and sleep, eating the right can help. Below are several food cures for stress.


Oatmeal is more than just a warm and soothing breakfast item. Eating oatmeal can actually increase the serotonin levels in your brain, making you feel calmer and more centered. To ensure you don’t counter the benefits, pass on the sugar and instead use dried fruit, nuts or honey instead.

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People who take 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C before stressful events have lower levels of cortisol and lower blood pressure than those who don’t take it. Oranges are a top source of vitamin C, a nutrient that may help people better cope with bad nerves. Soothe away worries naturally by eating more vitamin C-rich produce.


Salmon is one of the best sources of omega-3, which is known to boost psychological health. Studies have found that supplementing the diet with omega-3 from fish oil decreases levels of adrenaline and other hormones associated with anxiety during stressful situations. To get more of these healthy fats from food, try to eat fatty fish like salmon at least twice a week.


Walnuts can give you a dose of omega-3, which is helpful if you are not a fish eater. Brazil nuts give you a good dose of selenium and zinc, which are drained by high anxiety. Almonds boost your vitamin E, which helps fight cellular damage linked to chronic stress and pistachios lower your blood pressure by helping your arteries relax. This snack is high in calories, so a small handful should be enough to get you through the day.

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Spinach and other dark, leafy greens contain folate, a B vitamin that appears to be essential for mood and proper nerve function in the brain. They also contain magnesium, which helps to relieve anxiety. Having enough magnesium in your diet also regulates cortisol levels, which increase when you are stressed out. Two cups of cooked spinach gives you the 400 micrograms of folate recommended to pick up your mood.

Dark Chocolate

Studies show that consuming a small daily dose of dark chocolate reduces stress hormones in individuals with high anxiety levels. To take full advantage of chocolate’s health perks, choose dark varieties that are at least 70 percent cocoa. And of course, try to keep portions in check as chocolate is high in calories. One ounce is the right amount to get the stress-relieving benefits without going overboard.

When stressed, our bodies react physically and we become more vulnerable to illness, high blood pressure and even heart disease. Eating the above foods can help you reduce your stress naturally. Decreasing the stress in your life can help you improve your health and may even save you some money on term life insurance.

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