Are you one of those who reach out for a piece of cake, or chocolate when stressed? Stop comfort eating as it will not help change the situation. Instead, try to include the below-mentioned nutrient-rich foods.

Why do we crave to eat sweet foods when experiencing stress?

Our body releases glucocorticoids, and they promote sugar cravings in-order to replenish the energy supply lost during the stressful encounter. As a result, you get hungry quickly and end up eating refined carbs, fatty and sweet foods or beverages.

Reduce stress with these nutrients

  • B- Vitamins 

It helps reduce stress and boost mood. B- complex vitamin supplements may help improve symptoms of depression or anxiety.

  •  Potassium 

It is important for your nervous system and relays messages between your brain and body. Also, helps regulate fluid balance, muscle contractions and nerve signals.

  • Calcium 

It is the key player to fight depression, relieve stress and maintain fluid homeostasis.

  • Magnesium 

Helps contract and relax your muscles well.

  • MUFAs and PUFAs 

These are referred to as healthy fats as they protect your heart.

  • Antioxidants -Vitamin A,C, E 

They work to combat neuroinflammation caused by free radical damage, which is a precursor to neurodegenerative diseases.

  • Tryptophan, tyrosine and phenylalanine 

These are the biosynthetic precursors for the important neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine respectively.

Foods for mood 

- Whole grains, yoghurt for B vitamins

  • Bananas, coconut water for potassium
  • Swiss chard, almonds for magnesium
  • Fatty fish, walnuts for a good fat
  • Green leafy vegetables, red and yellow coloured vegetables for carotene.
  • Amla, citrus fruits for vitamin C
  • Wheat germ, almonds, peanut butter for vitamin E.
  • Tea - soothing cup of your favourite tea blend or enjoy having any drink with natural cocoa.
  • Include combinations like protein with complex carbohydrates Eg. eggs with a toast, dal-rice. It helps tryptophan to cross the blood-brain barrier.

It is important to handle stress in a positive way, or else chronic stress levels might lead to depression.


  • Firk, C., & Markus, C. R. (2007). Review: Serotonin by stress interaction: a susceptibility factor for the development of depression?. Journal of psychopharmacology (Oxford, England)21(5), 538–544.
  • Singh, K. (2016). Nutrient and Stress Management. Journal of Nutrition and Food Sciences, 6, 1-6.
  • Thakur M, Pandey A and Jain SC. 2012. Good mood foods: A panacea of life. Indian Food Industry 31: 45-52.

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