Want to reduce stress naturally? Try eating more of the healthier, antioxidant-rich foods that help boost relaxation and calmness. We rounded up 11 vegan recipes to help you do just that. These delicious, filling, plant-based meals call for superfood ingredients with compounds and properties that help reduce stressors.

In these recipes, you'll find ingredients that include matcha powder for its well-balanced combination of caffeine and L-theanine –– a natural amino acid that's been shown to improve relaxation, tension, and calmness. You'll also find three recipes for artichokes which contain an important prebiotic that's been shown to help reduce the stress that builds in your gut and promotes clarity and healthier decision-making.

More recipes include broccoli, another powerhouse in the sense that the cruciferous vegetable contains glutathione, an antioxidant that protects against many forms of stress. These recipes also feature the sesame paste tahini, which contains an amino acid  L-tryptophan that helps to lower your serotonin system and cognition function. You won't want to miss our vegan tahini fudge recipe – it's so delicious.

Matcha Powder for Stress Relief

Matcha powder is a superfood ingredient with supernatural stress-reducing properties: In a study, researchers analyzed the relationship between the intake of matcha components and the suppression of stress. Researchers from the study noted, a "significant stress-reducing effect was observed." In addition, matcha has a balanced combination of caffeine and L-theanine, a natural amino acid found in plants that helps with relaxation without drowsiness. In a different study, researchers note, "L-theanine alone improved self-reported relaxation, tension, and calmness starting at 200 mg."

How Artichokes Help Reduce Stress From Your Gut

Artichokes are rich in a prebiotic called fructooligosaccharides, often known as FOSs. Researchers who tested "whether chronic prebiotic treatment modifies behavior across domains relevant to anxiety, depression, cognition, stress response, and social behavior," concluded that the prebiotic FOSs is beneficial for stress-related behaviors and may reduce the stress that builds up in your gut.

Eat Broccoli to Boost Mental Health

It's been proven that diets rich in cruciferous vegetables may reduce your risk of cancer, heart disease, and mental health disorders, which helps the body respond to fighting stress more easily. In one study, researchers investigated different foods that promoted recovery from depressive disorders. The results found that the highest-scoring foods were all plant-based and included cruciferous vegetables. Broccoli also contains glutathione, an antioxidant that protects against many forms of stress, according to a study.

Tahini May Reduce Stress and Anxiety

Tahini is an incredible source of the amino acid L-tryptophan, a serotonin precursor that helps reduce stress and anxiety. In a review study, researchers say that L-tryptophan is "a nutritional approach to the treatment of anxiety." A deficiency in tryptophan may lower your serotonin system and cognition function. according to a different study.

11 Vegan Recipes to Help Reduce Stress and Anxiety

Here's how to make homemade coconut whipped cream and vegan matcha waffles.

1. Vegan Matcha Waffles with Homemade Coconut Whipped Cream

Dairy-free buttermilk waffles are surprisingly easy to make but taste and look special thanks to the addition of matcha powder. They are also light and fluffy, with a perfectly crisp outer edge.

Recipe: Vegan Matcha Waffles with Dairy-Free Coconut Whipped Cream 

chocolate matcha energy balls

2. Chocolate Matcha Energy Balls

These Chocolate Matcha Energy Balls are easy to make, healthy, gluten-free, and a quick energy booster. You can make these in less than 30 minutes if you’re ever craving a quick snack you don’t want to feel guilty about.

Recipe: Chocolate Matcha Energy Balls

matcha acai bowl

3. Matcha Acai Bowl with Kiwi and Coconut

This recipe is a matcha-based açai bowl topped with fruits, nuts, and grains –– a refreshing and healthy breakfast or snack. Açai bowls are a puree of the açai berry mixed with ice in a blender and are typically topped with fruit and granola.

Recipe: Matcha Acai Bowl with Kiwi and Coconut

artichoke pizza

4. Pizza with Artichokes, Olives, Tomatoes, and Dairy-Free Cheese

In this recipe, you’ll be able to taste the care that goes into making vegan pizza taste just as good, if not better than the real thing.

Recipe: Pizza with Artichokes, Olives, Tomatoes, and Dairy-Free Cheese

how to make vegan artichoke spinach dip

5. Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip

In 30 minutes or less, you can dip into the rich, creamy, cheesy flavors of a plant-based spinach artichoke dip. This simple recipe is an instant crowd-pleaser, making it the perfect appetizer for any party or family gathering.

Recipe: Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip Recipe 

Photographs by James Stefiuk
Photographs by James Stefiuk

6. Lemon, Basil, and Artichoke Pasta

This signature pasta dish is loaded with citrus, acid, sweetness, and nuttiness, leaving you with the most refreshing umami aftertaste you will dive right back in for another bite. The key to making this pasta taste so delicious is to use quality ingredients, the freshness boldens the flavors and makes this dish brighter.

Recipe: The Best Lemon, Basil, & Artichoke Pasta: Easy Vegan Recipe


7. Beet Carpaccio with Broccoli and Pistachio Crumbles

Want to really impress your dinner guests? Serve them something they've likely never had before, like this carpaccio made with sliced beets topped with broccoli and pistachios.

The earthy flavor of the baked beets works so well with the fresh, crunchy broccoli toppings. The tart balsamic drizzle and silky olive oil create the perfect balance of tastes.

Recipe: Beet Carpaccio with Broccoli and Pistachio Crumbles

broccoli cheddar soup

8. Vegan Broccoli Potato ‘Cheddar’ Soup

Vegan Broccoli ‘Cheddar’ Soup. Broccoli and cheese are one of those combos that are perfect together, which is why broccoli cheese soup is such a satisfying dish.

Recipe: Vegan Broccoli Potato ‘Cheddar’ Soup


9. Bang Bang Broccoli

Trying to find a way to add more veggies to your diet? This might be the best way! This Vegan Bang Bang Broccoli is so tasty and that sauce is just magical. The best part of this recipe, besides that it tastes amazing, is how easy it is to make.

Recipe: Bang Bang Broccoli

vegan chocolate fudge

10. Tahini Chocolate Fudge

Tahini works great in desserts, especially in this fudge recipe. The tahini makes this fudge creamy and melt-in-your-mouth just like real fudge.

Recipe: Tahini Chocolate Fudge


11. Crispy Buffalo Chickpea Salad with Tahini Ranch Dressing

They’re crispy, spicy, and so delicious. Whether you’re making Buffalo Chickpeas or just regular roasted chickpeas, they’re both a healthier and gluten-free alternative to croutons. And they’re just fun to snack on.
Recipe: Crispy Buffalo Chickpea Salad with Tahini Ranch Dressing

For more great plant-based dishes, check out The Beet's recipe library

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