Eat to Beat Workplace Stress With These Mood-Boosting Office Meals

Posted by on Monday, February 10th, 2014 with Comments Off on Eat to Beat Workplace Stress With These Mood-Boosting Office Meals Comments

Stress eating at the office has earned quite a bad reputation. Mindlessly chowing down on bags of Fritos from the vending machine, or obsessively gobbling from the office candy bowl are just a few of the images that pop into our minds… and they’re closely linked with the reason why we tend to indulge in ice cream straight from the carton after a long day at work or even during a bad breakup. We associate certain foods with comfort, and we reach for those first when we’re overloaded and overwhelmed. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

worker with coffee mug and pile of papers

Coffee alone can’t beat stress – choose mood-boosting office meals!
Image source: flickr user Alan Cleaver

Research has shown that eating can combat stress in a healthy, positive way — one that has less to do with comfort foods and more to do with the way vitamins, proteins, and hormones influence our mood and state of mind. Healthy food may not solve all your problems, but it may give the boost of energy, brainpower, or serotonin you need to take them on with confidence. So next time a deadline is looming, your boss is demanding superhuman feats, or you can barely bring yourself to look at your inbox, treat yourself to one of these stress-relieving office meals.

Ordering lunch from a nicer restaurant or visiting a catering table? Make a beeline for salmon with a side of asparagus. Asparagus is rich in folic acid, a nutrient linked to alleviating depression. Paired with grilled salmon, a reliable source of the omega-3 fatty acids that can reduce anxiety, and this plate of food is not only a smart choice for your waistline: it’s good for your state of mind.

Indian takeout container with chickpeas

An unlikely stress-buster: Indian takeout with plenty of lentils or chickpeas.
Image source: flickr user neil lall

Studies have shown that the amount of B-vitamins we consume can have a direct impact on stress in the workplace. Rather than popping a pill, get your vitamin B fix on your lunch break: order Indian takeout with plenty of chickpeas or lentils or have a dark leafy-green salad topped with chicken. All are high in B-vitamins!

On days with packed schedules, have a bowl of oatmeal for the most important meal of the day. The complex carbohydrates in oatmeal will boost serotonin production, which can lead to calmer nerves and better ability to focus. Be aware, however, that eating protein can block the serotonin production in the brain, so add berries or a banana to your oatmeal instead of nuts in order to get the full benefit.

During periods of high stress, don’t forget to snack – but do forget about the chips and candy bars you might normally reach for. Instead, choose a snack high in vitamin C. Not only are vitamin C-rich foods famous for boosting immunity: they can quickly reduce feelings of anxiety by decreasing the secretion of cortisol, the hormone released when stressful situations arise. Tasty treats that pack a vitamin C punch include red bell peppers, citrus fruits like oranges, papaya, and strawberries.

bowl of oranges

Skip the candy bar and go for a vitamin-C rich snack to reduce your stress levels.
Image source: flickr user Brimley

When it comes to maintaining office energy, nothing does the trick quite like a wholesome, healthy, stress-busting office meal… and the experts at have the perfect solution for your company catering needs. Best of all, coordinating lunch for a big group causes no stress at all when you use our easy online ordering or Virtual Cafeteria Service for regular deliveries.

When it comes to feeding employees and coworkers, make your company's food program really count! If your workplace dining plan needs to take it up a notch — or if you don't have one at all — is here to help. From Virtual Cafeteria Service to diverse menus to local takeout & offers customizable dining solutions for every business and budget. Contact us today to get started!

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