How to Reduce Your Stress with the Right Diet

by Gaute H. March 16, 2023 4 min read

Woman holding oranges

Over the last few weeks, my team and I have done some research into how food may affect our stress levels, and I thought I would share what I learned with you. If you're trying to channel more peacefulness in your life, this article is for you.

Of course, stress levels are affected my multiple factors. Nonetheless, we hope these foods and drinks may contribute to reduced stress and give you a little more Zen in your life.

By the way, did you know that the ocean helps reduce stress? Recent studies show that the beach is one of the best places to alleviate stress, and the ocean sound can create a sense of calm. Even more reasons to love the ocean!

The 10 foods and drinks that help reduce stress


1. Vitamin C rich foods

Vitamin C helps us fight diseases and prevent infections, and provides a natural boost to overall wellness. Get your daily vitamin C intake with foods like oranges, broccoli, sweet potatoes, papaya, kale and strawberries.

Dark chocolate

2. Dark chocolate

According to research, dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa can have a positive impact on brain health, including helping reduce stress. Satisfy both your sweet tooth and brain health with some dark chocolate - in moderation of course!


3. Matcha

Matcha includes high levels of theanine, which has been shown to have a positive effect on stress and anxiety. Matcha is also loaded with minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants, which are all contributes positively to your overall well-being. Inner peace incoming!


4. Berries

All the antioxidants in berries can give your body a little extra boost to fight stress. Blueberries are also classified as a superfood, and are full of vitamins and minerals as well. Oh, and they're yummy!

Avocado toast

5. Avocados

Like blueberries, avocados are a great source of antioxidants, which can help reduce stress by neutralizing free radicals. Moreover, avocados are full of vitamins, potassium and healthy fatty acids. Avocado toast anyone?


6. Leafy greens

Leafy greens contain folate, which produces dopamine, a pleasure-inducing hormone. So stock up on spinach, kale, and other leafy greens for a happy brain!


7. Ginger

Ginger contains an antioxidant called gingerol, which defends your body from chemicals that can cause mental and physical stress. There are several ways to add ginger in your diet. You could drink ginger tea, or you could add ginger to your smoothies, soups or other dishes.

Peppermint tea

8. Peppermint tea

The menthol present in the herb is known to be a muscle relaxant, which can help give us feel-good vibes amid stressful situations. No wonder we feel such at ease enjoying our peppermint tea.

Chamomile tea

9. Chamomile

Chamomile contains calming properties that are known to ease us into sleep. Drinking chamomile tea is a great way to give our minds a trigger to wind down and relax.

Lavender tea

10. Lavender

Lavender is not only pretty to look at, it has also been shown to potentially help treat anxiety. So whether you go for lavender tea or soap, make sure to get plenty of lavender in your life.

The 6 stress-linked foods and drinks to avoid


1. Processed foods

Research shows that eating processed foods, particularly foods high in refined sugar, can lead to feelings of depression. On the other hand, quality nutrition can boost a person's overall well-being!

Blowing gum

2. Artificial sweeteners

Sugar-free sweeteners are almost everywhere today. It can be found in diet soda, coffee creamers, and gum. Studies show that they're linked to higher rates of depression. The research is still not conclusive on this, but we'd still try to limit our intake of this laboratory-made stuff.


3. Excess refined sugar

Sweet treats usually come with a quick high followed by a low shortly thereafter. This had to do with how sugar impacts our blood sugar levels. We’re definitely not saying to skip on sweets altogether, but try to keep it in moderation.


4. High sodium foods

Salt is essential to our diets, but keep it moderate. Too much sodium can lead to bloating, and has been shown to elevate blood pressure and potentially increase risk of cardiovascular disease.

Coffee and coffee beans

5. Too much caffeine (especially late)

We are all familiar with the jittery feeling from drinking too much caffeine. One late cup of coffee and suddenly you're in your bed with eyes wide open and your brain racing. Sleep is fundamental to a peaceful and stress-free life, so make sure to limit your caffeine intake, especially late in the evening.

Alcoholic beverages

6. Excessive alcohol

Experts state that excessive alcohol consumption can make stressful situations even more stressful. Alcohol also requires a lot of energy to metabolize, which can lead to more stress on our bodies.

Lastly, remember that we are not going for perfection! Reducing the intake of some of the stress-linked foods and drinks can go a long way. Everything in moderation.

Keep these tips in mind the next time you're planning your meals, and get some Zen in your life!

Gaute H.
Gaute H.

Founder of Oceanness. Enjoys the ocean, hanging out with friends, and exploring the world. Favorite ocean animal: Dolphins.

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