Feeling fatigued? Eating the right foods can perk you right up. Check out this list of revitalizing foods that will supercharge your spring pep.
Bell peppers boost focus.
Adding a cup of red bell peppers to your daily diet could boost your focus, concentration, and recall by 33 percent in five days. That’s the word from University of Connecticut researchers, who say the plant compounds (carotenoids) that give red peppers their bright, cheerful colors also heighten electrical activity in the frontal lobe of the brain.
Tart cherries tamp down stress.
You’ll feel 40 percent calmer and steadier all evening long if you enjoy 20 tart cherries (fresh, frozen or dried) as your afternoon or evening snack, say investigators at the University of California, Davis. Turns out tart cherries contain potent nutrients (anthocyanins) that calm the adrenal glands, dialing down their stress hormone release.
Tip: Sipping two ounces of tart Montmorency cherry juice concentrate diluted with water or seltzer can give you a tasty, soothing dose of evening calm.
Sweet peas release happiness hormones.
Heighten your happiness and energy by 28 percent for five hours straight just by adding one cup of sweet green peas to a meal or snack. The reason? According to USDA researchers, 25 percent of a pea’s calories come from easy-to-absorb amino acids — the basic building blocks of the energizing, mood-boosting hormone serotonin.
Brown rice flushes toxins.
Brown rice is loaded with fiber, manganese and selenium — nutrients that block the absorption of fatigue-triggering toxins in the intestines and speed toxin breakdown in the liver. Eat a half cup of brown rice daily, and Canadian scientists say you’ll boost your energy up to 45 percent in three days.
Pistachios prevent blood-sugar dips.
Adding one ounce of pistachios to your morning snack or lunch could help you feel 66 percent more energized all afternoon. That’s the word from UCLA scientists, who say the nuts are brimming with monounsaturated fatty acids, healthy fats that enhance blood sugar control, preventing the fatigue-triggering blood-sugar dips that make us crave afternoon naps.
Beef mends sore muscle tissue.
Great news from Australian researchers: If stiff, sore muscles are making you feel weary, savoring two four ounces servings of beef each week could cut your healing time in half, plus heighten your energy and stamina by 55 percent. Thanks goes to beef’s rich stores of protein, zinc, and iron. This trio of nutrients helps rapidly repair and strengthen damaged muscle tissues.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine.