The post-lunch slump is something we have all experienced. We start the day full of energy, but by mid-afternoon we feel exhausted and find ourselves reaching for the coffee. While its natural to experience different levels of energy throughout the day, there are certain foods you can eat which will help you avoid the post-lunch slump.
Here, frida Harju-Westman, in-house nutritionist at health and wellbeing app Lifesum, gives her advice on lunchbox foods that won’t cause you to fade as the day goes on.
Salmon is known for helping to lower cholesterol, due to its high levels of omega-3, however it’s also a great food to have for lunch, if you want to prevent an energy slump later in the day. Salmon is rich in niacin, vitamin B6 and riboflavin, all of which help your body convert eaten food into energy, while the omega-3 oils contained in salmon, can also help you burn fat.
A versatile ingredient, brown rice is a great food include in your lunch, to avoid an energy slump later in the day. It is rich in manganese, a mineral that helps your body produce energy from the carbs and protein that you consume, leaving you feeling energised for longer.
Sweet potatoes, are another food that can give you a boost in the afternoon, as they contain plenty of vitamin B. The energy consumed from these potatoes is released slowly, meaning that you will not experience an energy slump later in the day and won’t feel bloated as sweet potato is easily digested.
Cashews, hazelnuts and almonds are all good energy boosters and make for a perfect mid-afternoon snack. Nuts are rich in magnesium which is essential when it comes to converting sugars into energy, as well as protein for an extra boost. However, make sure to only have a handful at once as nuts are high in calories.
Bananas are great if you need an energy boost – even the likes of Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova have been seen munching on them. Bananas are made up from three different types of sugar (fructose, glucose and sucrose) which get absorbed into your blood at different speeds, meaning that you will get a quick boost of energy and won’t suffer a slump, as the sucrose will keep your blood levels steady.
Not only is spinach extremely low in fat, it’s helps to restore energy and vitality, which can cure that afternoon slump. When the body lacks iron, it can result in a decrease of oxygen flow to the brain, which leaves you feeling tired. Spinach is rich in iron, making it the essential food to include in your lunch to ensure you get a good boost of energy in the afternoon.
Having a natural probiotic yoghurt after your lunch, is an easy way to give yourself an energy boost that will help prevent that post-lunch slump later in the day. The complex carbohydrates found in yoghurt will give you a quick boost, while the combination of lactose and protein will release energy slowly, leaving you feeling energised for longer. I always opt for a natural full-fat greek yogurt, as this is high in protein.
Pumpkin seeds are packed with important nutrients such as proteins, amino acids, minerals, vitamins and complex carbohydrates. These nutrients make the seeds the perfect thing to snack on after lunch in order to stop yourself feeling hungry and give your brain a burst of energy.