It’s three o’clock, you still have hours of work to do and you are dying to pour yourself a hot cup of caffeine. Did we say caffeine? We meant coffee! Fast forward eight hours and you are lying in bed staring at the ceiling because you had caffeine too late in the afternoon. The next morning, you wake up tired and the cycle begins again. What if instead of relying on caffeine as an energy boost, you try food? Food is fuel for our body and by eating the right ones, and avoiding the wrong ones, you can perk up without resorting to caffeinated beverages.
If you are frequently fatigued then you may need to add some iron into your diet. Iron deficiencies can cause fatigue and impair physical and mental endurance. Try making a salad made of iron-rich foods such as beans, lentils and spinach. For more bang for your buck, you can increase your iron absorption by eating foods rich in Vitamin C.
Healthy fats help absorb antioxidants and in turn, provide more energy. So embrace the fat and always use a salad dressing made with a healthy fat such as olive oil. Antioxidants need to grab onto fat in order to be absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract into the blood. Antioxidants provide energy by fighting free radicals and keeping your cells healthy.
If you are craving something sweet, try your best to eat fruit instead of candy or cookies that are packed with processed sugar. Fruit is full of antioxidants and won’t mess with your blood sugar levels. Eat a variety of fruits so you get the most nutrients possible. Fruit salad anyone?
If fruit doesn’t satisfy your sweet tooth, try a few squares of dark chocolate. Dark chocolate is rich in theobromine, a natural stimulant similar to caffeine, but it doesn’t contain enough to keep you awake later. A little goes a long way and will help improve your mood as well. PS: This is always a good way to help overcome writer’s block!
Dark chocolate has a natural stimulant similar to caffeine, making it the perfect snack to put some pep in your step!
Not only are nuts a good source of healthy fat, but nuts such as cashews, almonds and hazelnuts are high in magnesium. Magnesium is a key energy ingredient because it helps convert sugar into energy. On top of that, they are full of fiber which keeps blood sugar levels even and will also keep you feeling full. By eating nuts for your afternoon snack, you will keep your energy levels up and won’t be tempted to reach for sugary snacks.
Eggs are the perfect food for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. They are naturally rich in B-vitamins which is responsible for converting food into energy and are full of protein. Bring boiled eggs to the office for an easy, on-the-go breakfast. All you have to do is slice them up and add them to a salad, or eat one for a late afternoon snack.
Because of certain diet trends (we’re looking at you Atkins) carbs have gotten a bad name. But carbohydrates provide 60% of the energy your body requires. Choose whole grains as they are made of complex carbs which have plenty of vitamins and minerals. By eating whole grains, you can prevent a surge in blood sugar after eating. You will have fewer energy crashes than when you eat refined carbohydrates in processed snack foods. Keep instant oatmeal packets in your desk and have a bowl when you start to feel tired in the afternoon.
What is real food you ask? It’s food that has not been processed and filled with additives such as sugar or sodium. Swap chips for roasted pumpkin seeds, candy for a bowl of juicy grapes, and fast food for a homemade lunch. You’ll be saying goodbye to that afternoon slump in no time!
Looking for an easy way to store you snacks? Check out our post on Snacks To Stash At Your Desk!