These are the Best Foods to Fight Stress and Fatigue

Carbon Health Editorial Team
August 7, 2022
3 min

If maintaining physical health and mental equilibrium seems harder lately, it’s a good idea to take a look at your diet. It is a scientific reality that what you eat affects not only your body but your mind. 

It has also been proven that some foods contain high levels of beneficial nutrients that will help to alleviate anxiety and depression, build energy, and fight fatigue. At the very least, they can calm you temporarily, perhaps allow you to sleep, and give you time to concentrate on long-term solutions.

Rather than turning to alcohol, caffeine, or pills when you’re anxious, grab a bowl of blueberries or a small piece of dark chocolate. They’re not only calming, but they’re satisfying on a deeper level, with the “right stuff" to help you calm down.  

Instead of high-sugar-content snacks and caffeine drinks and drinks when you need an energy boost, opt for granola and green tea to counteract your worries. (Read “5 Superfoods You Should Incorporate into Your Diet”)

Best Foods to Eat for Stress 

Research shows that most people have more energy, feel happier and calmer, and sleep better when they eat more fruits and vegetables, so that seems a great place to start. 

  • Fatty Fish: The “magic” is its high omega-3 fatty acid content. Choose your favorites from among salmon, tuna, halibut, and sardines. Walnuts and flaxseed are also high in omega-3s. 
  • Leafy Greens and Other Vegetables: Kale, spinach, and romaine lettuce contain folate that will help keep you calm, and vegetables high in Vitamin C are great stress-reducers. They include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, bell peppers, and chili peppers. 
  • Oranges and Berries: Other fruits, including strawberries, kiwi, pineapple, and avocados are great for snacking, and they’re also effective stress-busters. 
  • Oatmeal and Other Complex Carbs: Reach for complex carbs rather than sugary snacks, and you’ll not only be happier, but you’ll be healthier and perhaps slimmer! 
  • A Turkey Sandwich: Have it on whole wheat bread with a slice of lettuce, and you’ll score in terms of calming benefits. The same tryptophan that might cause you to want to take a nap after Thanksgiving dinner has calming benefits year-round. 

What Foods to Eat for Fatigue 

Chronic fatigue has many causes, and not all are diet-related. However, a proper diet is one of the best ways to promote sleep, and adequate sleep habits combined with proper nutrition should give your body the energy it needs to function well throughout the day. If you have trouble sleeping, stay away from caffeine. Try having a cup of chamomile tea or a glass of milk before bedtime. 

Your primary food choices should include: 

  • Lean Proteins: Chicken, turkey, and fish should be your primary choices. Opt for lean beef rather than well-marbled cuts with high fat content, and steer clear of processed meats. 
  • Fruits and Vegetables: Preferably, they will be fresh and seasonal, consumed raw, steamed or sauteed, and seasoned with fresh herbs and spices. 
  • Whole Grains and Complex Carbs: Make wise choices, but don’t forego occasional treats. A blueberry muffin is better for you than a chocolate-covered donut. 

Eating this type of well-balanced diet, along with proper sleep and regular exercise, are the building blocks of a healthy body and mind. 

If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of declining mental health, reach out for help. Your family doctor can refer you to a mental health professional, or you can contact Carbon Health. Our team of experts offers virtual mental health support so you can get the care you need.

Carbon Health Editorial Team

The Carbon Health Editorial Team is a group of writers, content creators, and thought leaders who are here to empower you to take charge of your health.