The 7 Best Healing Foods to Eat to Reduce the Effects of Stress

The 7 Best Healing Foods to Eat to Reduce the Effects of Stress

In today’s fast paced, hectic world, stress is common and considered a normal part of life. However long term, chronic stress can lead to a host of health problems if left unchecked. Constant mental and environmental stress can take a big toll on your health.


What you eat and drink on a daily basis plays an important role in how your body handles stress. If you eat poor quality foods that are heavily processed, genetically modified, high in refined sugar, refined white flour, refined vegetable oils, preservatives, food additives, hormones, and chemicals you will not give your body the crucial nutrients it needs to fight the effects of stress and maintain vibrant health.


Whole foods offer the best protection against stress. These amazing foods provide the important nutritional foundation you need to maintain a healthy immune system and protect your body from the effects of long term stress.


Whole foods are packed with key nutrients that help your body to stay nourished, repair itself, and rejuvenate so it can remain strong and healthy. Whole foods taste wonderful and are completely satisfying. Once you start eating these nutrient-rich, organic foods daily, you will no longer crave unhealthy foods with empty calories and little or no health benefits.


The 7 best healing foods to eat to reduce the effects of stress include:

Rainbow Chard


1. Organic Leafy Greens and Herbs

Organic leafy green vegetables and herbs are filled with important phytochemicals, antioxidants, vitamins C, K, and E, B vitamins, chlorophyll, iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, amino acids, water, enzymes, and fiber which are crucial for fighting the effects of stress and strengthening your immune system.

Top choices to eat on a daily basis include: kale, spinach, collard greens, cabbage, Swiss chard, arugula, mustard greens, turnip greens, dandelion greens, watercress, romaine lettuce, green and red oak leaf lettuce, chicory, bok choy, escarole, basil, parsley, cilantro, thyme, tarragon, oregano, mint, sage, rosemary.


Root vegetables at farmers market


2. Organic Root Vegetables

Organic root vegetables grown in organic, mineral-rich soil provide important stress fighting nutrients like beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, vitamin C, B vitamins, vitamin E, iron, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and fiber.  Root vegetables are also an excellent source of complex carbohydrates that help boost serotonin levels.

Top choices to eat on a daily basis include: beets, radishes, sweet potatoes or yams, turmeric, carrots, parsnips, turnips, celeriac root, parsley root, ginger, and purple potatoes.




3. Organic Allium Vegetables

Organic Allium vegetables are important health promoting vegetables that offer fantastic protection against the effects of stress. These vegetables have a high level of antioxidants and phytochemicals that strengthen your immune system and protect against free radical damage caused by stress. Allium vegetables are also rich in vitamins A and C, iron, potassium, sulfur, calcium, and quercetin which help protect against free radicals, cleanse the blood, fights inflammation, and protects against damage caused by stress and toxins.

Top choices to eat on a daily basis include: garlic, onions, shallots, leeks, and scallions.


Fresh berries


4. Organic Berries

Organic berries are a wonderful source of important antioxidants, vitamin C, carotenoids, phytochemicals, water, enzymes, and fiber that work together to provide protection against chronic stress. The antioxidants in berries also protect the body from producing too much cortisol.

Top choices to eat on a daily basis include: blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, acai berries, goji berries, blackberries, mulberries, golden berries, camu berry, and maqui berries.


wild Sockeyed salmon 485


5. Wild Fish

Wild fish is an excellent protein-rich food to eat for protecting your body from the effects of stress. Wild fish contains Vitamins D and B-12, selenium, and omega-3 essential fatty acids that are so important for maintaining vibrant health and fighting stress. Omega-3 essential fatty acids help lower cortisol which is a stress hormone that can cause health problems if it remains elevated for extended periods of time.  A study published in “Molecular Nutrition and Food Research” in 2013 found that supplementing with fish oil for three weeks resulted in a measurable decrease in cortisol levels.

Top choices to eat several times per week include: Wild salmon, wild sablefish, wild Alaskan cod, wild Alaskan halibut, wild sardines.


organic raw nuts and seeds


6. Organic Raw or Sprouted Nuts and Seeds

Organic raw nuts and seeds contain protein, antioxidants, essential fatty acids, fiber, zinc, B vitamins, magnesium, calcium, and enzymes which all work together to fight the effects of stress. Soaking and sprouting raw nuts and seeds before you eat them removes the anti-nutrients, increases the vitamins and minerals, activates the enzymes, and makes the nuts and seeds easier to digest.

Top choices to eat on a regular basis include: almonds, walnuts, pecans, Brazil nuts, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds and chia seeds.


Young Thai Coconut 36205479

7. Coconut

Coconut in all its forms is one of my favorite foods. The coconut oil, coconut meat, water, and milk are rich in potassium, magnesium, manganese, copper, selenium, B vitamins, amino acids, and fiber which all work together to help lower stress levels and protect your body from the effects of stress. Coconut contains lauric acid which is an important medium chain fatty acid that the liver uses for energy production instead of storing as fat. Coconut meat, coconut oil, and coconut milk also has antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. Coconut reduces cortisol levels and also has potent anti-inflammatory properties.

Top choices to eat on a daily basis include: extra virgin, raw coconut oil, young coconut meat, organic coconut milk, unsweetened coconut water, and unsweetened coconut flakes.


Once you start adding these fantastic health-promoting foods into your daily diet, they will help you successfully protect your body from the effects of long term stress so that you can enjoy radiant health and wellness.


For some fantastic holistic lifestyle suggestions on how to reduce stress and enjoy vibrant health, check out my post 10 ways to enjoy a happy and healthy 2013


What do you do to fight the effects of stress? Please contribute to the conversation by leaving a comment below.


Share this article with family and friends and let’s all get healthy and radiant together!


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  1. Helpful and informative post, Shelley!
    – I’d love to have a bit more info./instruction on how to soak and sprout raw nuts and seeds.
    – I find these foods do really help fight stress. In my experience, light exercise also has great stress-reducing benefits. (I now stay away from intense ones when stressed; it triggers more stress hormones!) I also love massages, relaxing and stretching, including hot baths, epsom salt soaks, hatha yoga, meditation, etc. – they’re easy to do, have wonderful euphoric effects and help ease the body’s stress reaction.
    stephanie recently posted..Fav Quote Friday: The Many Paths To Enlightenment, The Varied Life Roads We TravelMy Profile

    • Thanks Stephanie! Soaking nuts and seeds is really simple to do. Just soak nuts and seeds in enough purified water to cover with a few teaspoons of sea salt added. Depending on the nut or seed this soaking time can take anywhere from 2-4 hours up to 10-12 hours. Once done soaking you can rinse them well and use in recipes immediately or dry them at a low temperature to keep for a longer period of time. Sprouting takes more work and a longer period of time. You can email me for info on how to do that or Google it. I agree with you on ways to reduce stress with holistic lifestyle choices. I just wanted to cover the food portion in this post but the lifestyle choices are also very important to do too! Thanks for sharing!
      Shelley Alexander recently posted..The 7 Best Healing Foods to Eat to Reduce the Effects of StressMy Profile

  2. It`s True.
    In combination with good sleep I think.
    Very informative, will bookmark.
    Bobi Avramoski recently posted..Broccoli – Cancer Fighting Super FoodMy Profile

  3. Appreciate the seed-soaking lesson! and I will add that I agree with you that the holistic lifestyle changes make for max relief. In my own experience, I found that those changes help the foods to be even more effective. Thanks so much, Shelley!
    stephanie recently posted..Fav Quote Friday: The Many Paths To Enlightenment, The Varied Life Roads We TravelMy Profile

  4. I use breathing, EFT and yoga to help relieve my stress… I like the idea of foods helping, so I think I will be using more of what you have suggested here!! Although exercise is a huge stress reliever for me, having really low iron right now, I have no energy left for the rest of the day if I exercise too hard or too long!!
    Holly recently posted..Who Is Steering Your Life? Are You Looking In The Rear View Mirror?My Profile

  5. I eat vegetable salad whenever I feel so low and stressed. It works its magic all the time.
    James Robinson recently posted..Welcome to my new siteMy Profile

  6. Shelley,

    I have been visiting the Hippocrates Institute in West Palm Beach Florida once a week lately to receive a nutrient packed lunch of 15+ root veges and many full grown organic veges and nuts and seeds. But I must admit, when I am feeling stressed and looking for comfort, there is nothing like mashed potatoes or chocolate pudding to soothe my nerves. Something about the soft, smooth taste and texture….
    Dr. Erica Goodstone recently posted..Other People Make Relationships Difficult – 3 Questions To Ask YourselfMy Profile

  7. I am big on each food Shelley and eat more than a few each week, sometimes each day. What you chew on physically and mentally affects your stress levels. Decide to stop worrying and take control of your mental health.

    Take a trip to the farmer’s market. Buy up. Eat healthy, nutritious foods. You will note an immediate change in your attitude.

    One blessing of traveling all over the world is that I get to buy amazingly fresh produce on the cheap in so many spots. Here in India I can buy potatoes, tomatoes and mushrooms for dinner for like a buck. Really. I build an awesome dish of fresh veggies for almost nothing.

    Awesome share here, thanks so much.

    Ryan Biddulph recently posted..3 Blogging Communities You Might Be MissingMy Profile

  8. Lovely! It was great seeing my favorite foods/ingredients up there (kale and coconut oil) and learning about others (leeks!).

    Thanks for sharing, and hope you have a great weekend!

  9. marquita herald

    Inspiring as always Shelley – I must admit coconut is just never top of mind for me. It’s not that I dislike it at all, I just never think about it. I’ll definitely add it to my next shopping list.
    marquita herald recently posted..Why Writers Need to Avoid the Competition TrapMy Profile

  10. Hi Shelley,
    it is so good to know that these foods are helping with being less stressed.

    Your pictures are stunning and your information is awesome!

    Do you know if we get the same benefit or even more if we would eat the sprouts/greens of garlic and onions?

    Thank you so much for this very helpful post!
    To Well Being
    Yorinda recently posted..Chia the Super SeedMy Profile

  11. I’ve heard lots of good things about berries and coconut oil. In light of that I feel like I should give the other stuff a try as well. Thanks for this list and your extensive explanations.

  12. I eat all of these things. I’m sometimes vegetarian and sometimes vegan, so I don’t always eat fish, but when I do, it’s wild salmon. I definitely eat a ton of all the other things. In addition to nutrition, something I do to deal with stress is “explosive” exercise . . . like plyo jumps or things like that with forceful bursts of energy. Works for me. Also exercise in general, energy work, quiet time with candles, time in nature and journaling.
    Leanne Chesser recently posted..Stories of GratitudeMy Profile

  13. Awesome post! These are certainly some excellent foods to include in your regular everyday diet. Having proper nutrients is definitely key in helping relieve stress and anxiety. Another great stress reliever would be medicinal or recreational marijuana, if you live in an area where it has been legalized. Thanks for sharing!

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