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11 Foods To Help You Relax So You Can Eat Your Way To Serenity

Sometimes trying to relax can be stressful. You don’t have the chance to break out a yoga mat at the office and you can't take a quick nap when you’re driving. But there is an easy way to unwind that is allowed almost everywhere. Next time you need to de-stress, you might consider reaching for the refrigerator door. There are lots of foods that can help you relax and chill. Who knew stress eating could actually be productive?

Of all the relaxation techniques available, this is by far the most tasty. Fresh fruits, crunchy veggies, and even some seafood contains nutrients that can help improve your mood and unwind. Avocados also rate pretty high on the chill-out scale, which is all the more reason to order a side of guacamole. (Not that I needed any reasons to eat more avocados).

Sure, a three-martini lunch might help you forget all of the office woes, but it would probably have a negative effect on your afternoon productivity. So when you’re overworked and debating what to eat for lunch, incorporating a few of these foods may help you regain some chill. At the very least, they’re tasty enough to put you in a better mood for a little while.  

1. Avocados

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According to Women's Health, avocados are a super source of folate, which can help with mood stabilization. Looks like paying extra for guac is totally worth it.

2. Dark Chocolate

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The Huffington Post reports that dark chocolate may help lower the presence of cortisol (a stress hormone) in the blood. It also contains flavonoids, which help promote relaxation. All the more reason to wind down with a bit of chocolate.

3. Eggs

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A more relaxing day may start with a big omelet for breakfast. Health reports that eggs are a great stress-busting food because they contain choline, and low levels of this nutrient have been linked to increased anxiety.

4. English Muffin

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The mere idea of a warm English muffin puts me in a better mood, and there's a reason for that. According to Reader's Digest , complex carbohydrates, like a whole grain English muffin may help increase serotonin levels and make relaxing a little easier.  

5. Ginger

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Shape recommends ginger as a solution to stress, as the spicy flavor can help serve as a nice pick-me-up.

6. Grapefruit

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Today reports that vitamin C might help calm nerves. And one medium-sized grapefruit contains over half of the daily recommended intake of vitamin C, so get yourself some citrus STAT!  

7. Mango

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In addition to their delicious flavor, mangoes also contain linalool, which may help lower stress levels, according to Greatist.

8. Pumpkin Seeds

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Pumpkin seeds are a fantastic snack and, as a report from NPR noted, they contain magnesium, which may help combat anxiety.

9. Salmon

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Sushi is one of my go-to food choices when I'm stressed, and there may be some underlying logic to this choice. As CNN reports, salmon's omega-3 fatty acids may combat stress hormones. Bring on the salmon rolls!

10. Spinach

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Psychology Today calls magnesium the "original chill pill" because it seems to help regulate the stress response hormones. And since one cup of cooked spinach contains 39 percent of your daily recommended magnesium intake, it's the perfect food to help you relax.

11. Sweet Potatoes

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Sweet potatoes are a healthy way to meet your carb cravings during stressful times, as Woman's Day notes. Their high fiber content can also help you feel full (and less prone to further stress) for a while. And anyway, who can feel uptight while eating sweet potato fries?