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It’s 3 p.m. You have another two hours to go at the office, but the thought of typing one more character seems a task akin to clearing the beach of sand with a child’s pail. You don’t want a java jolt to keep you awake all night — what to do?
Why not reach for a treat? Here are eight healthy snacks that energize your mind and help you bust the afternoon doldrums.
If you want a mild caffeine boost, why not reach for green tea instead of coffee? Comparatively speaking, it has a fraction of the go-juice. It shouldn’t keep you up all night unless you’re particularly sensitive.
While you’re at it, why not enjoy a proper afternoon tea by adding a healthy snack? You can make scones using alternative flours like quinoa that keep you fuller longer instead of providing a quick burst of energy followed by a debilitating crash.
Another snack that provides long-lasting energy comes in the form of nuts and seeds. These tiny bundles of goodness might be high in calories, but they don’t seem to pad your waistline the way other snacks do. They’re also a terrific vegan source of protein, so keep a pack of nuts in your purse or briefcase.
Why? Protein helps you feel fuller longer, giving you lasting energy. These wonders also contain high levels of the minerals zinc, selenium and magnesium. All three play vital roles in neurotransmitter production and can improve your mood, even reverse mild to moderate depression in those with deficiencies. When your attitude improves, you feel perkier.
Avocados might look like an alligator pear, but they’re berries. Like many other varieties, they contain a host of health benefits. Snacking on some whole grain chips with a bit of guacamole could power you through your afternoon.
These fruits contain high levels of B vitamins, critical for cellular energy production. Additionally, Most of the carbohydrates avocados contain come from fiber, filling you up and keeping you sated. They’re also high in heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
Why not treat yourself to something sweet when the afternoon doldrums strike? There’s no need to opt for gummy or hard candy that provides an immediate energy boost, followed by a crash. Get lasting energy with a yogurt parfait. You can find non-dairy versions if you run with the vegan crowd.
Yogurt contains probiotics to nurture your intestinal microbiome. Scientists now believe that gut bacteria play a vital role in mood and immune function by sending signals to other parts of your body. Berries are rich in antioxidants, and granola provides filling fiber.
Vegetables are an excellent energizing snack because they contain readily absorbable glucose and filling fiber to keep you going. They’re also a fabulous way to keep your teeth clean when you can’t get to a brush.
The crunchy, fibrous surfaces of cauliflower and carrots scrub plaque away from tooth surfaces where it can cause decay. Plus, the vitamins and phytonutrients in these veggies promote energy production at the cellular level.
Has the spark gone out of your relationship? If so, you might want to eat more apples — at least if you’re female.
These fruits contain a compound called phloridzin, which is biologically similar to the female sex hormone estradiol. Estradiol plays a crucial role in arousal. Apples also contain vitamins and other nutrients that increase blood flow to the genitals.
Prickly pear is a southwest treasure you might not have considered eating if you live in other parts of the country. However, adding it to your diet can lend substantial health benefits, especially if you’re one of the 100 million Americans with diabetes or prediabetes.
One study administered a high carbohydrate breakfast to patients with Type 2 diabetes. Half the participants had prickly pear with their meal while the others did not. Those who consumed the cactus had lower blood sugar and insulin levels after eating.
If you work a non-traditional schedule or aren’t caffeine-sensitive, a cup of coffee and a small square of chocolate could energize your mind. The java helps perk you up while a tiny square of candy invites mindfulness.
Let the square dissolve on your tongue, savoring the texture and flavor as it does. Bringing yourself into the present moment helps break spiraling thoughts of future fears, leaving you feeling more centered. Anxiety can exhaust you — let this trick perk you up by returning you to a calm, relaxed state.
Why let the 3 p.m. doldrums steal two or more productive hours from your day? Try one of these eight healthy snacks that energize your mind and boost your pep.