When your to-do list makes you want to go screaming for the hills and life threatens to completely overwhelm you, you know it’s time to try some natural stress-busters. Since many of us are prone to emotional eating, use that to your advantage and try one of these five foods that help relieve stress!

Food and stress. What's the connection? Eating the right food can help reduce your stress.

I don’t have to tell you how stress can impact your body. Left unchecked, it can lead to a myriad of health issues ranging from high blood pressure and heart disease to obesity and diabetes. That’s not even taking its emotional toll into account.

When life gets hectic and we’re feeling stressed, we tend to put healthy eating on the back burner. But heading to the vending machine or grabbing a fast food won’t really make you feel any better. In fact, it can just make things so much worse.

When it comes to combating stress levels, what you eat may actually help relieve your tension. Certain foods can help stabilize your blood sugar levels and your emotional response to stress. Here are 5 foods you can eat to reduce stress.

5 Foods to Reduce Stress

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1. Oatmeal

When we’re stressed our blood pressure can become elevated. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that a diet which includes whole grains such as oats can lower blood pressure.

Feeling overwhelmed and run down? Try eating these 5 foods to help reduce stress.

Need some inspiration? Try this delicious Super Yummy 5-Minute Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal Recipe! Oatmeal in a jar is also a great way to keep a healthy meal or snack available at any time!


2. Blueberries

Researchers have found eating blueberries can increase the count of a specific white blood cell that boosts immunity. Having a healthy immune system can help counter stress. Try adding blueberries to your oatmeal or yogurt in the morning. You can make a delicious blueberry & strawberry parfait, or try one of these 31 outstanding blueberry recipes.

These 5 Foods Actually Help Beat Stress!

3. Flax Seeds

Did you know that flaxseedsThese 5 Foods Actually Help Beat Stress! have been used in healthy recipes for over 6,000 years? This superfood is an excellent source of magnesium which may help regulate emotions, alleviate depression, combat fatigue and minimize irritability. Magnesium can also help fight PMS!

Flaxseeds also have a myriad of other benefits. It’s one of the best sources of alpha-linolenic acid, a type of Omega-3 fatty acid. Since the seed is high in fiber, adding it to your diet can help you feel full longer, which in turn can help you lose weight. Since our weight is often a source of stress as well as something that’s greatly affected by our emotions (talk about a catch-22), you can see how beneficial it is! Try adding a teaspoon of flax seeds to your next smoothie.

4. Dark Chocolate

While all of us chocoholics have known for ages that chocolate just plain makes us feel better, science has actually proven it. Countless studies have shown that eating chocolate regularly and in moderation can reduce your stress hormones like cortisol.

Food and stress. What's the connection? Eating the right food can help reduce your stress.

Just make sure you stick with the dark chocolate. Look for labels that say it contains at least 70% cocoaThese 5 Foods Actually Help Beat Stress!, and stick to a bite, not a whole bar. Fortunately, dark chocolate has such a rich taste that you don’t need much to feel satisfied.

5. Cashews

These kidney-shaped nuts are a good source of zinc which is a critical mineral that can help reduce anxiety symptoms such as irritability and lack of focus. Their portable nature makes them an ideal snack to keep in your purse for when you’re on the go. For a double dose of stress-relieving goodness, try dark chocolate covered cashewsThese 5 Foods Actually Help Beat Stress!!

Adding these 5 foods into your diet can help you relieve stress and help with your health and well being. Which one will you try?

What food do you turn to in times of stress?