Eat to Beat the 3 pm Slump
It’s 3:00 pm, your concentration has plummeted and you feel like your mind has left the building. You need to get through the workday so you ravenously grab for something sweet or a quick caffeine boost to help you stay alert. Instead of relying on quick and unhealthy pick-me-ups that cause an even quicker energy drop, try including energy-rich foods in your diet to beat the 3 pm Slump.
Slow-cooking oats: A healthy breakfast provides energy for your body after a nightlong fast and slow-cooking oats can help you get your day started right. This healthy grain is an excellent source of fiber to help regulate your blood sugar levels and keep your energy stable. Oats also have energy-rich nutrients such as B vitamins and folic acid. Have slow-cooking oats instead of instant oatmeal, which is high in fast-acting sugar causing a quick energy boost and fast energy crash.
Greens: Whether in a salad bowl or in a smoothie, greens are nutritional super foods important for good health and stamina. Greens are an excellent source of vitamin A and a good source of vitamin C, calcium, magnesium and fiber. Leafy greens are energy-boosting foods that should be a part of everyone’s diet.
Fruits: Fruits are super-energizing foods that contain an abundance of healthy vitamins and minerals along with ample fiber. Fiber helps keep you full longer and gives you more energy by controlling blood sugar levels. Oranges, apples and berries are great energizing afternoon snacks to have at your desk. Mix fruits into yogurt or blend fruit, protein powder, soymilk and flaxseeds for a balanced breakfast or snack smoothie.
Whole grains: 100% whole wheat, oat bran, rye, spelt and kamut are called complex carbohydrates. These healthy whole grains provide your body with the energy, B vitamins and fiber it needs. Complex carbohydrates are referred to as low glycemic index foods, which means they are broken down slowly, entering into the bloodstream gradually and causing less insulin to be secreted; simple carbohydrates, such as white flour and white sugar, enter the bloodstream rapidly causing your body to release too much insulin. Excess insulin can lead to feelings of fatigue. For high energy all day long, enjoy whole grains with a low glycemic index rating.
Dried beans, peas and lentils: A common cause of diet-related fatigue is iron-deficiency anemia. Iron is important for making red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout the body. Iron also helps the body make energy; if you do not consume enough iron you will likely feel tired and lethargic. Dried beans, peas and lentils are good sources of iron as are lean meats, iron-fortified cereals, liver, green leafy vegetables, poultry, fish, whole grains and dried fruits. Vitamin C helps the body absorb the iron from some foods. Try having strawberries with iron-fortified cereal or add oranges slices to a leafy green spinach salad.
Water: Drinking at least six to eight eight-ounce glasses of fresh, distilled water daily can help prevent dehydration, a common cause of fatigue. Even if you don’t feel thirsty, you could be dehydrated. Make it a habit to drink water throughout the day. Always have a glass of water at your desk and add a slice of lemon for a tangy taste.
More energy-boosting tips:
- Exercise can help you feel energized and rejuvenated. Getting your body moving improves circulation and improves mood. Fit exercise into your schedule, whether in the morning before work, after work or during your lunch break.
- Eat five or six smaller meals throughout the day to provide a constant flow of energy. Eat a balance of carbohydrates, proteins and fats at each meal for optimum energy all day long.
- Avoid energy-draining foods such as caffeine, sugar. Stress can also cause you to feel worn down, tired and lethargic.
- Get adequate sleep for a fully recharged and energized new you!