Do chips, chocolates or cookies tempt you mid-afternoon at work? Though snacks provide a quick pick-me-up, unfortunately a let-down’s not far behind – leaving you drowsy or sleeping at the wheel. If afternoon chip munching and candy nibbling is now routine, a snack makeover’s in order.
Snacking on munchies full of carbohydrates or sugar initially spikes your energy with a surge of blood sugar. Soon after though, insulin spurs your brain to produce melatonin and just enough serotonin – that can leave you feeling drowsy. Good news is that sleepiness generally passes in an hour or so as insulin clears blood of glucose when sugars fully digest.
You may desire to eat more, especially in winter, because it relates to ways the body’s conditioned. Simply put, “the brain goes to great lengths to preserve body fat, since the body adapts to food scarcity. That scarcity-based position prevailed for most human history.” With food supplies so abundant in the West, you’re in a battle to control compulsions.
Crave a pick-me-up without caving in to sugar and carbs? Here’s how to satisfy the need to munch by tweaking choices. Foods full of antioxidants boost brainpower and increase vigor, to makeover afternoons that seeming drag at work. Here’s how… Flavonoids in blueberries or grapes, for instance, may improve memory, learning, cognitive functions including decision making, reasoning, comprehension, and numerical ability. You’ll be delighted by munching:
Blueberries – an excellent source of vitamin C, dietary fiber, manganese. Their antioxidant properties aid in neutralizing free radicals that can otherwise break down your immunity. Snacking on blueberries or grapes may help prevent development of cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s. Just put some in a plastic bag or container and place them in your fridge at work. Test to see how these affect afternoon brainpower.
Almonds – lower cholesterol levels, since fat within is unsaturated or “good” fat. Not only do they satisfy a need for a mid-afternoon snack, but they pack a nutritional punch. Nice accompaniment to the blueberries, too.
Sunflower seeds – pack a punch to snacks with protein, vitamin E, selenium, copper, folate and other B vitamins. So let the sun shine in for your late afternoon tidbit.
Carrot sticks – richest source of vitamin A carotenes, which promote vision, especially night vision.
Celery sticks – contains high calcium levels, which help calm nerves since calcium helps reduce level of stress hormones in your blood. Reduces cholesterol, has anti-inflammatory properties which help reduce swelling and pain in joints. For some people, celery can provide relief for migraine.
Red Delicious or Northern Spy Apples – pack a great wallop of disease-fighting antioxidants. Be sure to eat the skins since it provides most benefits.
Dark Chocolate – enjoy a small piece of dark chocolate daily, about an ounce to help reap cardiovascular benefits. Avoid chewy caramel-marshmallow-nut-covered dark chocolates laden with extra fat and calories that spike fat and calories.
To stay mentally sharp try drinking water throughout the day or try green tea, which contains antioxidants. Interestingly, you may be misreading your body’s signals, since often when you think you’re hungry, the body is getting low on liquids.
What healthy snack foods would you add to the list?
To experience increased energy just try a change-up. A few pounds may fall away as a bonus. Ready for your mindful snack makeover?