Chronic levels of stress are linked with a wide array of health problems, including a weakened immune system and a higher risk of health concerns like diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. Let food be thy medicine. The following collection of recipes gives you a full day’s worth of anti-stress food. Not only do each of the meals below taste amazing, but they’re also full of healthy ingredients rich in potent vitamins, minerals and nutrients that reduce your stress and anxiety. 

BREAKFAST: Coconut Lime Brazil Nut Smoothie

This tangy, energizing breakfast shake reinvents the morning smoothie with a tantalizingly fresh, vibrant flavor profile that will awaken all of your senses. 

Brazil nuts are the perfect anti-stress food to start your busy day. These nuts are high in selenium, a trace mineral that’s been shown to reduce stress, reduce depression, and improve your overall mood. You’ll also get lots of fiber, protein, healthy fats, and immune-boosting potassium.

1 scoop of your favorite plant-based vanilla protein powder

Juice of one lime (approximately 2 tbsp)

½ cup full-fat canned coconut milk

½ cup oat milk

1 whole banana, peeled and frozen

3-5 brazil nuts

½ cup ice

Add all ingredients to your blender and blend until creamy. Enjoy!

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LUNCH: Pumpkin Seed Spinach Salad

Add some zest to your midday routine with this fusion of textures and flavors. The magic is in the pumpkin seeds. As an anti-stress food, pumpkin seeds are high in numerous minerals like potassium (which helps with high blood pressure and other side effects of stress) and potassium (which boosts mood and promotes relaxation).

You’ll start with plain pumpkin seeds, then you’ll transform them into tiny powerhouses of flavor with a generous sprinkling of toasted seasonings. The crunch of the seeds pairs perfectly with the creamy dressing and crisp greens. It’s sweet, salty and healthy!

SEEDS

1/2 cup raw unsalted pumpkin seeds

1 tsp organic brown sugar

Pinch of salt and pepper

1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp ground cumin

1/8 tsp ground ginger

DRESSING

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tbsp rice vinegar

2 tbsp maple syrup

2 tbsp plant-based mayonnaise

SALAD

2-3 cups baby spinach, washed and patted dry

1/2 cup dried unsweetened cranberries

1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese or plant-based Parmesan substitute

In a hot, non-greased frying pan, toast the pumpkin seeds for a couple of minutes. Stir often to avoid burning. Once golden brown, add in the seasonings and toast for another five minutes. Set aside to cool.

Whisk together the salad dressing ingredients.

Assemble the salad by filling a bowl with the greens. Top with the toasted pumpkin seeds, cranberries and Parmesan. Drizzle with dressing and enjoy!

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DINNER: Mediterranean Sardine Pasta with Lemon and Capers

Sardines are a much under-appreciated ingredient, and not just because they’re a potent anti-stress food thanks to the omega-3 fats (low levels of omega-3s are linked with increased stress, anxiety and other mood disorders).

Sardines are often far more sustainable and ethically sourced than other forms of fish. They’re convenient to buy and store, since they come canned. And they’re easy to prepare and taste oh-so-good. 

Even though you’re starting with a convenient, canned ingredient, you’ll elevate it into a gourmet masterpiece with this Mediterranean-inspired pasta, rich in delicate flavors from a squeeze of citrus. 

8 oz angel hair (capellini) pasta

6 tbsp olive oil

1/2 c shallots, minced

Zest from one lemon

1/2 tsp crushed red chili flakes

1 tsp sea salt

1 4-5 oz. can of sardines, packed in oil, drained

4 tbsp capers, drained

Juice from two lemons (approximately 4-5 tbsp)

3 tbsp of fresh, minced basil leaves

Cook the pasta according to its packaged instructions.

While the pasta is cooking, sauté the shallots, lemon zest, salt and chili flakes until the shallots are soft and fragrant. Toss in the sardines whole, and cook for 3-4 minutes. 

Once the fish is browned, pour in the lemon juice and reduce the stovetop heat to its lowest levels to simply keep the fish warm.

Stir in the cooked pasta, plus the capers and basil. Toss, serve and enjoy!

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Enjoy The Above Anti-Stress Foods! Hungry For More? Keep Reading:

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