Do you ever get that feeling in the afternoon that you are just done for the day. You have no energy and feel tired. You get snappy at family, friends and colleagues and you have that “snickers moment”. If like me, you had a vending machine at work you may have even gotten a snickers or other sweet as a pick me up.
Eating sugary sweets and treats is the worst thing we could do for our bodies in this moment. There is more about this here if you would like to know why, but I am going to share with you my top 5 things you should be eating to prevent these periods of tired grouchiness all together.
Omega 3 is one of the very few supplements you can take where the effects are as good as the real thing, but if you are leaving out fatty fish and only taking Omega 3 supplements, you are missing out on some amazing health benefits of this super-protein.
One serving of Tuna or Salmon will provide your whole RDI (recommended daily intake) of vitamin B12. This little guy works with folate to help iron work better in your body by increasing the amount of red blood cells you have. Having the right levels of iron and oxygen in your blood (carried by red blood cells) can increase your energy levels and make it easier for your muscles and organs to work.
Eggs are an amazingly filling protein. Unlike carbohydrates such as starch and sugar, protein doesn’t give your body a spike in energy and then leave you like a bad date at 3pm. It steadily fuels your body, always there for you with no abandonment.
Unlike other sources of protein though, eggs are amazing as they contain something amazing, Leucine.
Leucine is an amino acid which speeds up the body’s ability to build muscle and increases the breakdown of fat to release more energy. The high number of B vitamins in eggs work with the Leucine to become an incredible fat busting team. Great for our waists, but also for our energy levels!
This is my top 5 and it wouldn’t be mine if it didn’t have chocolate on the list. I am not talking about a snickers bar here though. I am talking dark chocolate, at least 70% cocoa solids but the closer your taste buds and budget can get to the least processed, Cacao nibs the better.
As well as being packed full of anti-oxidants, it actually helps oxygen travel round your body. That means chocolate helps the oxygen in your blood get to your brain (so you have more mental clarity) and muscles so you have more energy, and can help prevent your getting ‘a stitch’ during exercise.
Dark chocolate is also a stimulant, boosting our energy levels and mood with theobromine and caffeine.
They are not just for millennials (and my 4 year old), Avocados are an amazingly versatile and delicious food.
As well as being scrummy, they are considered a superfood because of how rich they are in healthy fats, fibre and those amazing B vitamins again.
The healthy fats in avocado can not only be stored in the body to be used as fuel, but they also help the body absorb nutrients from the other foods we eat, enhancing their positive effects on our mood and energy levels.
About 80% of the carbs in avocado come from it’s fibre content. There is a lot of research on the effect our gut health has on our mood and energy levels and fibre is great for keeping the cogs turning so to speak. But fibre’s other superpower is it’s ability to help sustain our energy tank.
Get Some Nuts
I couldn’t resist that title, but by far my superstar energy and mood foods are nuts.
Again in this post I go into the specific benefits of walnuts but all nuts contain an insane amount of protein and healthy fats, but they also contain some amazing nutrients in the form of B vitamins, iron, vitamin E and manganese. These little legends help keep us alert and send our energy production skyrocketing.
So next time you feel the need to reach for a snickers, GET SOME NUTS