The vagus nerve connects the brain to key areas of the body, such as the heart, lungs and stomach. And stimulating this nerve encourages the release of a compound called acetylcholine that clears aware brain fog and sharpens thinking in a hurry. Since the nerve is connected to your vocal cords in the back of your throat, it’s easy to get it humming by… humming! Try opening and closing your mouth while humming the alphabet song–it’ll create a strong vibration that stimulates the vagus nerve for an even bigger mental boost.
An easy way to ward off fatigue that tends to set in during the fall and winter: Season your favorite savory dishes with seaweed flakes instead of table salt. This low-sodium pick provides salty flavor and plenty of thyroid-nourishing iodine, which helps increase energy within 30 minutes. Another plus: It boasts appetite-suppressing soluble fiber to thwart cravings, and it’s terrific on poultry, vegetables, salad or even popcorn. Tip: To preserve its beneficial enzymes, add the flakes after cooking. One to try: Maine Coast Dulse Granules (SeaVeg.com).