Words by Fiona Call
July 5th, 2016
Hitting that mid-morning slump and it’s only 9am? Struggling to keep your eyes open but you haven’t reached the office yet? If you can relate, and let’s face it, most of us probably can, then you may need to reconsider what you’re putting inside of your body from day to day.
We are all too quick to blame our lack of morning coffee or watching one too many episodes on Netflix the night before but often our diet is the main cause of our lack of energy and sluggishness. Thankfully, this is something that can easily be remedied (provided you have the willpower) with a change of diet. By incorporating these 7 energy-boosting and nutrient-rich foods into your daily diet they will help maintain stamina levels throughout the day, not to mention an overall boost in your skin’s vitality. All of the foods listed are cheap and convenient and most will be found as regulars in your shopping cart, so no extra effort is needed. Keep reading for a full food analysis.
Did you know that while most people believe strawberries are part of the fruit family, this is a misconception? A strawberry is in fact, a plant structure known as a ‘fleshy receptacle’. The seeds which are studded on the outside of the fleshy receptacle are the actual fruit and not the entire berry. Despite this science update, this eye-catching food is a great source of Vitamin C and K, whilst providing a good dose of fibre which so many of us lack. It can also help to reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers.
Back in the day, Ancient Romans believed strawberries had medicinal powers. They used this ‘fruit’ to cure an array of health problems such as depression, fever, kidney stones as well as aiding teeth whitening. The benefits of this vibrant low-calorie snack can be enjoyed by all, and works particularly well with a chocolate fondant (who says you can’t have a treat every now and then). In that case, pass the punnet.
A staple in most kitchen cupboards, this simple yet wholesome ingredient makes for a perfect way to help kickstart your day. Studies have suggested that eating porridge first thing can reduce levels of hunger throughout the day and increase feelings of fullness, which means less reaching for the nearest square of chocolate come mid-morning. This staple has also been proven to lower high blood pressure, reduce bad cholesterol and regulate blood sugar levels. Whilst fashionable grains such as chia and quinoa are having their moment, rolled or jumbo oats will always be ranked as one of the top affordable, nutritional breakfast options – not to mention a fantastic natural beauty product which can help keep those pesky skin problems at bay.
This distinctive and sweet-smelling spice isn’t just made for us to enjoy around the festive period. Evidence has shown that cinnamon may be the solution to many health problems such as diabetes, weight loss, cancer and Alzheimer’s to name a few. This super spice is filled with anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and has proven to be a great source of potassium, which is essential for controlling heart rate and blood pressure. It also packs a punch of energy, roughly 12% of the recommended daily amount per 100g serving. Cinnamon can also help to reduce those pesky sugar cravings as it controls blood glucose levels making it the perfect addition to almost any hot beverage, sprinkled over your morning porridge or incorporated into your favourite cake recipes.
Just a handful of these pocket rockets is enough to keep you going throughout the day, thanks to the strong presence of manganese and copper. The kernels are among the richest sources of health-benefiting nutrients essential for optimum health including Vitamin E and host of complex B vitamins. This bite-sized snack is a great mid-afternoon pick-me-up – the days of feeling ‘hangry’ will be a thing of the past.
Almond oil is also a renowned beauty solution if you suffer from dry, flaky skin thanks to its soothing properties which sink into the skin leaving you with a gorgeous healthy glow.
Yoghurt is another simple kitchen staple everyone should have in their fridge. This creamy product is packed with probiotics (beneficiary bacteria) which will do wonders for your overall gut health which in turn helps with achieving that sought after glow for your skin. It hosts an array of different vitamins and minerals including B vitamins, magnesium, potassium, calcium and protein making yoghurt a great post-workout food as it helps your body recover quicker, so no more complaints of sore limbs post gym. Yoghurt provides a perfect blank canvas for fruit, nuts, and even porridge oats. Who said being healthy can’t taste good too?
Yoghurt can also act as a homemade skin scrub solution thanks to the presence of lactic acid which is a main ingredient used in the chemical peels you pay for at the beauticians. The acid helps to exfoliate the skin and can help to reduce acne breakouts meaning you no longer have to break the bank to achieve glowing skin.
The benefits of this yellow jacketed creamy fruit are well-known – high in Vitamin B, Potassium and fibre! It is a definite favourite amongst athletes as it releases energy slowly, helping with endurance and protecting against muscle cramps due to its high level of potassium whilst training.
Studies have also shown that bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that is converted to serotonin which can help relax you and lift your mood if you’re feeling down in the dumps. If you suffer from PMS, acid reflux, morning sickness or Anaemia, it is recommended that eating a banana will lend a helping hand in reducing some of these symptoms. This versatile fruit is perfect as a topping or ingredient in almost any dish, or even just as a quick snack. Start stocking the fruit basket.
What foods do you turn to to beat the mid-afternoon slump? Let us know in the comments below.
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