Foods That Can Actually Make You Calmer

In today’s fast-paced world, stress and anxiety have become commonplace. Fortunately, certain foods possess calming properties that can make you calmer, help alleviate these feelings, and promote overall well-being. In this article, we’ll explore a variety of foods known for their calming effects, backed by scientific research and expert insights.

The Power of Nutrition in Promoting Calmness

The Mind and Body Connection

Nutrition plays a pivotal role in maintaining mental health. The foods we consume can directly impact neurotransmitter activity in the brain, influencing our mood & emotions and making us calmer.

The Role of Serotonin

Serotonin, often referred to as the “feel-good” neurotransmitter, is closely linked to feelings of calmness and happiness. Certain foods can stimulate serotonin production, promoting a sense of tranquility and relaxation.

Foods to Make You Calmer

Foods to Make You Calmer

Magnesium-Rich Foods

Magnesium deficiency has been associated with increased stress and anxiety levels. Incorporating magnesium-rich foods into your diet can help regulate neurotransmitter function and promote relaxation.

Swiss chard for stress relief

  • High in magnesium, Swiss chard is beneficial for calming nerves and reducing anxiety.
  • Packed with essential nutrients like vitamins A, C, and K, iron, fiber, and potassium.

Dark Leafy Greens

Dark leafy greens such as spinach and kale are abundant in magnesium, making them excellent choices for promoting calmness. Additionally, they contain folate, a nutrient that has been linked to improved mood reduced symptoms of depression, and make you calmer.

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds, particularly almonds, cashews, and pumpkin seeds, are rich sources of magnesium and zinc. These minerals play key roles in neurotransmitter synthesis, contributing to feelings of calm and well-being.

Almonds for Various Health Benefits

  • Almonds have multiple health benefits including reducing the risk of heart disease and inflammation, regulating blood sugar and blood pressure levels, soothing skin issues, and relieving constipation.
  • They also contain zinc which is beneficial for reducing anxiety and aiding in weight loss.

Fatty Fish

Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce anxiety and promote brain health. Incorporating fish into your diet can have a calming effect on both the mind and body.

Chamomile Tea

Chamomile tea is renowned for its calming properties, thanks to its high concentration of antioxidants and flavonoids. Enjoying a warm cup of chamomile tea before bed can promote relaxation & improved sleep quality and make you calmer.

Complex Carbohydrates

Complex carbohydrates, found in foods like whole grains, sweet potatoes, and legumes, can increase serotonin levels in the brain. These foods provide a steady source of energy and help stabilize mood, keeping stress at bay.

Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is rich in probiotics, which play a crucial role in gut health. Emerging research suggests that gut health is closely linked to mental well-being, with probiotics exhibiting potential anti-anxiety effects and making you calmer.


Bananas are a natural source of tryptophan, an amino acid precursor to serotonin. They also contain potassium and magnesium, which support muscle relaxation and nerve function and make you calmer.


Oats are high in soluble fiber, which helps regulate blood sugar levels and promote steady energy throughout the day. They also contain beta-glucan, a type of fiber that has been linked to reduced stress and improved mood.


Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fats and potassium, which support heart health and regulate blood pressure. Furthermore, they contain B vitamins and folate, nutrients that play key roles in neurotransmitter synthesis and mood regulation.


Broccoli is packed with vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps combat oxidative stress and reduce inflammation in the body. Including broccoli in your diet can support overall well-being and make you calmer.


Turkey is another excellent source of tryptophan, making it a natural mood-booster. Tryptophan is converted into serotonin in the brain, helping to regulate mood and promote feelings of relaxation.

Benefits of Turkey’s Consumption

  • Turkey is a rich source of B vitamins, selenium, zinc, choline, and phosphorus, which collectively lower cancer risk, protect the heart, and prevent cognitive decline.
  • Enjoying turkey, with its high tryptophan content, can promote relaxation and good rest.

Mozzarella and mood balance

  • Rich in probiotics and tryptophan, mozzarella can enhance mood and relax the body.
  • Source of protein and calcium, contributing to stress reduction.

Health Benefits of Tart Cherry Juice

  • Tart cherry juice contains fiber, protein, vitamins A and C, manganese, potassium, and copper, which aids in relieving muscle soreness and strengthening immunity.
  • The high melatonin content in tart cherry juice improves sleep quality and reduces bodily inflammation.

Nutritional Value of Red Bell Peppers

  • Red bell peppers, with their high amounts of beta-carotene and vitamin C, can combat fatigue, and depression, and may help lower anxiety levels and improve mood.
  • Lightly cooking red peppers is recommended to retain their high vitamin C content.

Brown rice for mood stabilization

  • Whole-grain brown rice facilitates serotonin production for relaxation and mood stabilization.
  • Provides fiber, magnesium, selenium, iron, folate, calcium, and protein.

Green tea for tension relief

  • Contains antioxidants and L-theanine that help release tension and improve mood.
  • Helps in brain function, combating diabetes, and heart diseases, and aiding in weight loss.

Sleep better with warm milk

  • Warm milk, a classic bedtime drink, contains amino acids that promote good sleep.
  • Good source of calcium, vitamins B and D, potassium, and protein.

Dark Chocolate for Stress Reduction

  • Dark chocolate is rich in iron, magnesium, zinc, copper, and phosphorus, and contains plant compound flavanols that contribute to improved heart health and lowered blood pressure levels.
  • Consuming dark chocolate can reduce cortisol levels, alleviate anxiety, and soothe depression-related symptoms.


Incorporating calming foods into your diet can have a profound impact on your overall well-being, helping to reduce stress and promote relaxation. By prioritizing nutrient-rich options like dark leafy greens, fatty fish, and whole grains, you can support optimal brain function and enjoy a greater sense of calmness in your daily life.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

How quickly can I expect to feel the effects of calming foods?

The timeframe for experiencing the effects of calming foods can vary depending on factors such as individual metabolism and overall diet. However, incorporating these foods into your regular meals can contribute to long-term stress reduction.

Are there any foods I should avoid if I’m trying to stay calm?

While certain foods can promote calmness, others such as caffeine, sugary snacks, and processed foods may exacerbate feelings of stress and anxiety. It’s best to limit consumption of these foods and focus on whole, nutrient-rich options.

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