Food is powerful medicine. These plant-based foods can lend a helping hand when you’re feeling stressed out. 

This listicle is Vegan-friendly! 

    1. Avocados: Vitamin B6 helps improve mood by boosting your body’s ability to make serotonin, an impressive chemical that helps combat depression. Research done in Australia’s Swinburne University showed that “stress depletes levels of vitamin B6 in the body.” Avocados contain around 20% of your daily DV making it a good choice to refuel. 
    2. Bananas: When our bodies are stressed, our muscles reflexively tense up(Similar to how we were all clenching our jaws at the beginning of this year) Bananas are great for stress because they contain Potassium and Magnesium, both of which are natural muscle relaxants
    3. Oats: Oatmeal is touted as a mood booster. Because of its complex carbohydrates and fiber content, oatmeal encourages your body to release the feel-good chemical serotoninOatmeal is a great option for those who are healthy. Insulin-resistant or diabetic individuals should consult their doctor on how much oatmeal you can add to your regular diet. 
    4. Tofu: I bet you didn’t know Tofu helps prevent liver damage. I didn’t and I eat Tofu about four days a week. It’s Antioxidant and Hepatoprotective properties help keep your liver healthy. The liver helps regulate our hormone levels by cleaning our system of chemical messengers that are no longer relevant to our bodies’ needs. This helps regulate our blood pressure and in-turn our moods.
    5. Spinach: Spinach is full of magnesium. One cup of spinach contains 39% of the daily recommended value. It’s recommended you get around 400mg of magnesium a day, so one cup of spinach is a good start. How does the after-mentioned help your mood? Magnesium helps your body relax by maintaining healthy levels of the neurotransmitter GABA. GABA helps you improve sleep quality and improves insomnia. If you haven’t been resting up enough, your body will respond with irritability and a lower sense of well-begin. 
    6. Black Beans: This legume is great for a lot of things, from increasing fertility to helping regulate blood pressure. Black beans are also a great source of Magnesium, which helps you relax just like Spinach.  Black beans contain 40% of your daily recommended intake for magnesium. 
    7. Seaweed: Brown seaweeds can accumulate high levels of copper. Adults 19 or older should aim for 900mcg of copper daily. Pregnant women should get 1,000mcg a day. The Meno Clinic says people with a copper deficiency can experience panic attacks and migraines. But also keep in mind too-much Copper can have the opposite effect Copper toxicity may contribute to anxiety, panic disorders, sleep issues, paranoia.” So please follow the recommended daily values and talk to your doctor for more information.
    8. Cocoa: Called the food of the godsCocoa (chocolate) helps the production of the feel-good chemicals serotine and dopamine. Cocoa can also help energy levels because of the alkaloid Theobromine. Theobromine helps dilate blood vessels and reduces blood pressure. If coffee makes you crash, try this recipe that was featured in Vogue, by Hemsley & Hemsley.

Hemsley & Hemsley’s Mexican Hot Chocolate Featured in Vogue

  • 100g of creamed coconut bar, grated or crumbled (we use Biona)
  • 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder (we like Choc Chick and The Raw Chocolate Company)
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract (we use Nielsen-Massey)
  • 1.5 tablespoons of maple syrup (or adjust to taste)
  • 25g raw whole almonds (soak overnight or for at least 4 hours in the water, then drain and rinse)
  • 1.5 cups of filtered water
  • 1 pinch of sea salt
  • Optional: ¼ tsp cinnamon and a pinch of cayenne


  1. Blend everything until smooth
  2. Warm gently in a saucepan, stirring regularly
  3. Serve