Feeling stressed? Back away from the cupcake!

Turns out, the foods we eat can affect our moods. Read on to find out what foods will fill you up while calming you down.

5 Stress Busting Ingredients
5 Stress Busting Ingredients

Several recent studies suggest that certain foods can beat back stress and anxiety. (Via NPR.)

Unfortunately, when we're feeling bummed, we often reach for the wrong stuff: Sugary treats and highly refined carbs that offer immediate comfort, yes, but can come back to harsh our mellow when the sugar crash occurs.

Other foods, meanwhile, seem to actually benefit our moods and mental well-being. Six that top the list are fish with omega-3 fatty acids, dark chocolate, pumpkin seeds, eggs, flaxseeds, and dark leafy greens like Swiss chard and kale.

And now for some top-rated recipes featuring these six super foods.

1.) Salmon, Tuna, Sardines

These fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which might offer protection against stress by calming the body's response to inflammation.

Super Simple Salmon

2.) Kale and Swiss Chard

Eating nutrient-rich foods are key. And dark, leafy greens like chard and kale also offer vitamins A and K plus potassium.

Mediterranean Kale
Photo by KGora

3.) Eggs

Enjoyed in the morning, eggs are a satiating combination of protein and B vitamins.

Chef John's Baked Eggs
Photo by jrbaker

4.) Dark Chocolate

According to the NPR story, cocoa flavanols "can help boost mood and sustain clear thinking among adults who are engaged in intense mental efforts" and may help reduce inflammation and improve vascular health.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Brownies
Photo by Holiday Baker

5.) Pumpkin Seeds

According to the NPR story, pumpkin seeds are "a good source of magnesium, which is thought to play a role in fending off anxiety, and zinc, which may help boost the immune system."

Toasted pumpkin seeds in a glass dish
Photo by lutzflcat
| Credit: lutzflcat

6.) Flaxseed

Like salmon, sardines, and tuna, flaxseeds are a natural source of omega-3s.

Whole Grain Pancakes
Photo by Scotdog