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Feeling Stressed, Depressed or Anxious? Try These Healthy Snacks

By HERWriter
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healthy snacks for stress and depression Photo: Getty Images

“[Chia seeds] are rich in omega 3 fatty acids and omega-3s, [and they] have an anti-depressant effect, especially when used in conjunction with prescription anti-depressants,” Farmer said. “Amaranth has both high amount[s] of magnesium (when amaranth is properly prepared and soaked before cooking) and folate. Magnesium has an anti-depressant effect and folate is essential for the biochemical production of serotonin (the happiness chemical).”

Here is the recipe for chia seed bars:

Ingredients: “1/2 cup chia seeds, 1/2 cooked amaranth, 1/2 package of broken up brown rice cakes, 1-2 pinches of salt and cinnamon, 1/4-1/2 cup of water.”

Preparation: “Mix all ingredients in a bowl. The chia seeds form a gelatinous texture with the amaranth grain and rice cakes. Pat mixture into a pyrex or parchment paper lined pan. Cook for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Let it cool, then cut into bar-sized servings.”

Dr. Kim Foster, a family doctor who is also a mom and blogs at www.savvyhealthguide.com, said in an email that she recommends these eight snacks for women who are depressed, anxious or stressed:

1. “Have a spinach salad (the magnesium in spinach helps regulate cortisol).”

2. “Drink a glass of orange juice (vitamin C has also been shown to decrease cortisol levels).”

3. “Eat oatmeal (complex carbs help lower stress).”

4. “Eat walnuts regularly (shown to decrease blood pressure during stressful events).”

5. “Chew gum (one study showed this decreases stress, anxiety, and improves mental performance).”

6. “Drink tea, green or black (shown to decrease cortisol levels).”

7. “Eat some avocado (potassium helps to lower your blood pressure).”

8. “Eat salmon (omega-3 helps with stress hormone surges).”


Scott, Trudy. Email interview. August 31, 2011.
Farmer, Nicole. Email interview. August 22, 2011.
Foster, Kim. Email interview. August 22, 2011.

Reviewed September 1, 2011
by Michele Blacksberg R.N.
Edited by Malu Banuelos

Add a Comment1 Comments

Depression and anxiety are different conditions, but they commonly occur together. A handful of almonds can give you that energy boost that you need to get through the day. Peaches has a natural sedative that can help to reduce stress and anxiety.

May 2, 2013 - 3:03am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.