A nutrient-dense diet may help tamp down stress. And these foods may help boost our moods: (Clockwise from left) pumpkin seeds, anchovies, eggs, salmon, flax seeds, Swiss chard and dark chocolate. Meredith Rizzo/NPR hide caption itoggle caption Meredith Rizzo/NPR The Salt Food-Mood Connection: How You Eat Can Amp Up Or Tamp Down Stress We tend to soothe ourselves with sugar-laden foods when we're feeling strained. But they may make us feel even worse. Protein and omega-3s, on the other hand, can help reduce stress, researchers say.