By Betty Murray
Lacking energy this holiday season? Nervous about your upcoming visit with the in-laws? Having difficulty remembering what to do or where to go next? Feeling bloated after yet another holiday meal? If the holidays have you in a fluster, feeling tired or what you are eating may be playing a role.
Get through the holidays with these essential nutrients and power foods.
Boost energy – Iron deficiency is the leading culprit for lack of energy. Soybeans, lentils, spinach and fortified cereals are the best non-meat sources of iron.
Relax nerves – Caffeine may not be the only thing contributing to your jittery nerves. Refined carbs can cause your blood sugar to spike, leaving you feeling antsy and unable to focus. Avoid refined carbohydrates, which come from foods with high white flour content, and focus on lean protein, healthy fats and unrefined carbs from brown rice, whole grains, whole oats, fruits and to help calm your nerves.
Sharpen your mind – Omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin B12 are two nutrients that are essential for a sharp mind. A lack of B12 has been linked to confusion and fatigue. To sharpen your mind, eat fatty fish that are rich in omega-3s such as mackerel, trout, herring, tuna and salmon. You can fill up on B12 with fortified breakfast cereal, yogurt, cheese, salmon and trout or vitamin supplements.
Stop bloating – Vegetables and carbonated drinks are two leading causes of belly bloat. Beans, broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower cause gas and bloating. The carbonation and artificial sweeteners in soda is difficult for your body to break down, leaving you feeling bloated. If you’re feeling bloated, cut out carbonated drinks, eat fewer of the bloat-causing veggies and drink plenty of water. It’s important that you don’t cut vegetables out of your diet altogether, as they provide many essential nutrients. A probiotic supplement may also help reduce belly bloat.
Betty Murray, CN, HHC, RYT is a Certified Nutritionist & Holistic Health Counselor, founder of the Dallas-based integrative medical center, Wellness and founder of the Metabolic Blueprint wellness program. Betty’s nutrition counseling practice specializes in metabolic and digestive disorders and weight loss resistance. A master of the biochemistry of the body, Betty teaches her clients how to utilize nutritional interventions to improve their health. Betty is a member of the Institute of Functional Medicine and the National Association of Nutrition Professionals.