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Food & Recipes

6 Superfoods That Will Boost Your Energy Over the Holidays

The holidays can leave you very tired and exhausted. However, these tasty superfoods will boost your mood and give you the energy you need to enjoy the holiday festivities!

Cinnamon powers brain waves.

Cinnamon adds instant yum to favorite holiday treats, and breathing in its tantalizing aroma could sharpen your focus and concentration by 60 percent in just 2 minutes, Canadian scientists say. Cinnamon’s secret: This aromatic spice stimulates your brain to produce beta waves, or electrical impulses that help you feel awake, alert and upbeat.

Beef boosts metabolism.

A delicious way to boost your mood and dodge energy slumps: Add 4 ounces of beef to your daily diet. Australian researchers report that beef is a great source of two essential nutrients (iron and folic acid) that help your body maximize its fat-burning, energy-producing metabolism, reducing your risk of tiredness by 50 percent.

Wine improves circulation.

Cheers! According to Boston University researchers, sipping 6 ounces of wine (red or white) can chase away grogginess within 20 minutes, and enjoying one glass daily could increase your overall stamina and brain function by 45 percent. Wine’s unique blend of alcohol and plant compounds (polyphenols) relax and open blood vessels, ensuring nutrient-rich blood flows easily to hardworking brain and body cells.

Potatoes tame tension.

When you’re feeling rattled, savoring a medium potato (with the skin) can calm your nerves in 20 minutes. Plus, it reduces your odds of chronic tension by as much as 65 percent if you dig into a tasty spud every day, say researchers at the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut. Thanks goes to the potato’s rich stores of potassium, a mineral that soothes the central nervous system and eases muscle tension.

Turkey perks up tired muscles.

Feeling a bit sluggish? Adding 3 ounces of turkey to your next meal could help you power through the rest of your day with 40 percent more energy and stamina. That’s the word from University of Missouri researchers, who say turkey’s balanced blend of amino acids switches on genes that activate glucose absorption and metabolism inside muscle cells.

Pumpkin activates energy cells.

To boost your energy by as much as 55 percent for 4 hours, enjoy a ½-cup serving of pumpkin. According to Yale University investigators, pumpkin’s cheery orange pigment (beta-carotene) soaks easily into mitochondria — your body’s cellular powerhouses — where it kick-starts the production of a key energy enzyme called ATP.

This article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.

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