Savoring minty candy (like candy canes) can slash stress levels by 25 percent in as little as 2 minutes, asserts Alan Hirsch, M.D., medical director of Chicago’s Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation. That’s because the powerful combination of peppermint’s cooling sensation and spicy aroma stimulates the olfactory nerve in the nose, signaling to the brain to amp up the production of calming alpha waves. In addition to its soothing properties, the scent of peppermint also stimulates the brain’s limbic system, boosting energizing beta-wave output. That makes it the perfect cure for winter energy lulls, which are caused by UV-light shortfalls and affect up to 66 percent of women.
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