Best Foods to Combat Burnout & Stress

Chances are stress is making you eat quick meals low in nutrition and high in sugar and calories. In other words, we eat what makes us feel good at the moment, not what makes us feel good in the long run.

Luckily, it takes just a few modifications to your eating habits to see significant changes in how you feel physically and mentally.


Yes, we hear this all the time and somehow we still can’t drink enough. The No. 1 reason for most headaches is simply dehydration. For women that goal is 92 ounces per day, a little less than six 16-oz. glasses per day. For men, it’s just about eight glasses.


Such foods as whole grains, sweet potatoes, oats, black beans, quinoa and brown rice are all complex carbs. These prompt the brain to let loose serotonin, the chemical in our body that literally makes us feel good.

These also take longer to break down, keeping your blood sugar levels steady and your stomach feeling full.


Eating plenty of fiber-rich fruits, vegetables and grains is an important tool in your fight against burnout. Research suggests that a high-fiber diet can relieve stress and anxiety.

The best fiber-rich foods include fruits such as pears, strawberries, bananas, avocados and apples. Vegetables include artichokes, carrots, beets, broccoli, Swiss chard and kale.


The darker the vegetable, the higher the folic acid. This helps your body produce serotonin. Remember, serotonin is that feel-good chemical we want. So add kale and spinach to your smoothies and salads for an added benefit.


Aren’t you glad this one is listed? Dark chocolate can reduce stress by its chemical and emotional impact. Experts say just eating chocolate can reduce stress and dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants, which also reduces stress.

Just choose at least 70% cacao and you can up your magnesium, an essential mineral for your muscles and nervous system.


Making sure we eat enough healthy fats is important for our overall health, including our mental health. Omega-3s have been shown to reduce stress hormones as well as protect against depression and heart disease.

Find this important stress-reliever in pistachios, almonds, flax, seeds and fatty fish like tuna and salmon. This also is available in supplement form.


This is essential to your blood sugar, mood and energy levels and healthy nervous system. Include protein in every meal, either plant or animal i.e.; tofu, yogurt, nuts and seeds or eggs, fish, chicken, cheese and lean meat.

Also, try snacking on walnuts. They are packed with protein and loaded with tryptophan, an essential amino acid linked to serotonin. That means eating a handful of walnuts daily can make us happy, literally.

Make a smoothie for breakfast, a salad for lunch or grab a cup of overnight oats and take care of yourself in the best way. Incorporating these simple changes in your diet may mean the difference between burning out completely and finding your way back.

Be good to yourself and remember: exercise, fresh air and talking to a friend can make a world of difference, but including these foods will help to combat that burnout once and for all.