What Are the Best Foods For Relieving Stress?

It is becoming more apparent that we are what we eat: we eat well, we are healthy and stress free; we eat poorly, we have poor health and get stressed easily. So what stress relief foods are available to relieve stress?

In order to manage your stress relief food plays a very important role. If you feed yourself high energy and nutritious foods potentially stressful situations won’t bother you because you have the energy and stamina to cope.

On the other hand if you eat poorly or irregularly your energy levels will be depleted and potentially stressful situations will become stressful. While in the monastery I worked as the kitchen manager and cook for several years. I spent a lot of time learning about different food groups and which ones were good for health. I share below a few of the things that I learned.

Stress Relief Foods

Below is a list of the top ten stress relief foods that we can eat on a day to day basis:


Bananas really are a magical food supply. They not only give you a boost of energy when you most need it but they are also so quick and easy to eat. You don’t need to cook anything; just peel and enjoy!

If you find yourself lagging in energy and need a boost especially in the afternoon then bananas are the food stuff to do it.


A favourite of mine. When I worked for an American multinational I used to keep a tub of nuts and raisins on my desk. When I felt stressed or was falling asleep I would munch on the nuts to get me through it. By having something healthy on my desk it meant that I didn’t indulge in the unhealthy foods.

Quinoa (Pronounced Keen Wah)

This is a super-food from South America. Looks like couscous and can be used as a substitute for rice. Is high in amino acids which humans need to build protein. Cooks in about 20 minutes and is full of nutrition. It will keep you going when more unhealthy foodstuffs will have failed you.

Brown Rice and Pasta

Brown rice and pasta are well known as wonderful health foods. The macrobiotic diet, which is a well-known health diet, is mainly made up of eating brown rice. These are complex carbohydrates which mean that they will give you a sustained amount of energy throughout the day. Great for maintaining high energy levels in stressful situations.


Fruit in general is great for snacking in the office or at home. It is a stress free way of getting some healthy food inside you quickly. If you have lots on at work, fruit is great for keeping you healthy and full of vitamins and minerals.

If you feel peckish grab some fruit rather than chocolate or crisps. The latter might taste good but will leave you feeling tired after the chemical and sugar rush. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have unhealthy foodstuffs but just be aware of they make you feel.

Ginger Tea

Although not a food itself, ginger tea is a wonderful remedy for settling a stressed stomach or controlling a cold. It is a Chinese medicine remedy and I learned it from a Western doctor trained in Chinese medicine.

How to make ginger tea:
Boil an inch of ginger root in 2/3 cups worth of boiling water for 5-10 minutes. Add brown sugar to taste.


Again high in protein this is a wonderful way to start the day. Not only will it warm you up on an early morn but it will also give you a settled stomach with a sustained energy release. Great for kick starting the body in the morning and putting it in top form for relieving stress.

Hot water

Now this might seem like a strange stress relieving tool but it works. I have been drinking hot water since my time in the monastery and have since found out that the Dalai Lama drinks this regularly.

You prepare hot water by boiling water and then topping up your cup with some cold water. It is excellent for settling a stressed or queasy stomach, and for relaxing and cleansing the body.

A simple magical remedy which works despite its simplicity.


An important stress relief food group, vegetables are full of vitamins and minerals – vital for keeping a healthy and stress free body.

Vegetables stir-fried with garlic, ginger, sesame oil and soy sauce is not only delicious but a really healthy way of eating vegetables.


Salad can be a great way of giving the stomach a rest from rich food. Stomachs can really feel our stress so salads made up of lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and grated carrots can help settle a bloated stomach and give you much needed nutrients.

But remember to use this advice with kindness. Don’t overdo it. May you be well and stress free.

You May Also Like