On "The Early Show on Saturday," Frances Largeman-Roth, senior food and nutrition editor for Health magazine, shared the power foods below that may help keep you energized and focused.
To Boost Energy:
If you feel tired and groggy throughout the day, you may not be getting enough iron. And because women lose the mineral when we menstruate, you could feel this effect even if you don't have a full-blown deficiency.
Eat: Red meats, poultry, fortified cereals
To Feel Calm:
We know caffeine can put us on edge. But another surprising source of jitters is too many refined carbs - foods high in white flour (cookies, white bread) and stripped of nutrients and fiber that normally keep your blood sugar stable. A big dose of these foods could cause your blood sugar to soar, and you may be antsy as a result. Then, the extra insulin will make your blood sugar plummet, leaving you feeling sluggish. To prevent those drastic spikes, stick with unrefined carbohydrates.
Eat: Brown rice, whole-grain bread, whole-grain pasta
To Get Sharp:
Are you constantly misplacing your car keys? You might not be getting enough brain-boosting nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B-12. Omega-3s are loaded with DHA, a type of fatty acid that makes neurons in your brain fire more effectively. And a lack of B-12 has been linked with confusion, numbness, and fatigue. If you up your intake of these suggested foods and still feel disoriented, ask your doctor if you should consider having your B-12 level tested.
Eat: Salmon (omega-3), eggs (B-12)
To Beat Bloating:
Even though veggies and legumes are good for you, certain ones - like beans, broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower - can produce lots of gas, leaving you with major bloating. It might have something to do with their complex sugars being hard to digest. Carbonated drinks can also increase bloating, both because they're bubbly and because their artificial sweeteners can be hard for your body to break down. If your belly is feeling swollen, try halving the amount of bloat-boosting veggies you normally eat for a week to see if that helps. Don't cut them out completely, because they still provide crucial nutrients. Ditch soda and seltzer, but keep drinking flat water, which helps relieve constipation - another cause of bloating. Taking probiotic supplements can also help. Talk to your doctor about which one might be right for you.
Eat: Probiotics, plain water