Eating for Stress Relief


A recent survey has reported that a staggering 74% of Brits have, at some point, been so stressed that they have felt completely overwhelmed and unable to cope, with 51% suffering from depression and 61% suffering from anxiety as a result. The survey, carried out by the Mental Health Foundation, also found that 46% of adults have eaten too much or eaten unhealthily due to stress.

As the statistics show, it’s clear that stress is one of the biggest challenges we face. Not only is stress a significant factor in mental health problems like anxiety and depression, but it is also linked to serious physical health issues like heart disease, a weakened immune system, and digestive problems.

Eating a balanced and nutritious diet is key to helping our bodies manage the physiological changes brought on by stress. As the food we eat affects our hormones, eating to balance these out will help you keep your cool.

Ahead of Stress Awareness Month in April, Gosh! Food’s leading nutritionist Fiona Lawson has curated her expert opinion on how to eat for stress relief…


  1. Maintain a steady blood sugar level

This step is so important and essentially means avoiding sugary or starchy foods and opting for more satisfying complex carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats. An ideal blood sugar-balancing meal might include sweet potato and broccoli (complex carbs) with salmon (protein and healthy fat). Gosh!’s Sweet Potato Pakoras are also a great option to chuck into a main meal to benefit from the stress-busting nutrients.

  1. It’s all about the B Vitamins

B Vitamins help your adrenal glands deal with stress. Luckily, these handy little vitamins are everywhere; in whole grains, eggs, meat, nuts, and seeds. Focus on eating wholesome, nourishing foods and you can’t go wrong.

  1. Ensure you’re getting enough vitamins and minerals

Vitamins and minerals like magnesium really help your body deal with stress, so much so that a magnesium deficiency has even been linked to anxiety. To boost your magnesium intake, load your plate with Swiss chard, spinach and pumpkin seeds. Gosh! Spinach & Pine Nut Bites are also a great option to help increase levels.

  1. Cut back on the stimulants

It’s so easy to forget how much stimulants can exacerbate the stress response. For many of us, this means the many coffees that power us through the day. Try to have no more than two cups a day. If you find yourself needing that caffeine hit, go for green tea instead – it contains a compound called l-theanine which helps you feel calm.

Managing your diet and nutrition is key to help relieve stress responses. But if you are feeling overwhelmed by stress, it’s important to speak to someone or seek professional support.

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