When it comes to having a productive day, nothing ruins progress on our to-do list as much as the mid-afternoon slump. The sluggish feeling we’ve all felt after eating lunch is one of the most common work-related woes and while taking a nap is tempting, it’s simply not an option for most of us. Instead, focusing on how to prevent it from happening and doing our best to snap out of it with the help of nutritious snacks are both good ways to deal with the issue.
As is the case for other aspects of health, food and lifestyle choices have a direct impact on our energy levels and are largely responsible for our experience of a mid-afternoon slump. E.g Eating a large and fatty meal for lunch after having one too many coffees in the am makes for a bad combo. Combine that with your natural circadian rhythm telling you it’s time to rest and you get that intense need for a nap.
It’s important to note that if you find yourself routinely plagued by a bad case of afternoon slump or have persistent fatigue that lasts throughout the day, getting a doctor’s opinion is advised as you might be dealing with a more serious issue. If that’s thankfully not your case, keeping any of these seven foods on hand can help you deal with your typical mid-day dip in energy. As a bonus, we’ve included delicious snack recipes from the Food Monster App that make for the perfect pick me up!
Vanilla Orange Pumpkin Bars/One Green Planet
Prized for its immune-boosting properties thanks to its vitamin C content, we already know that this juicy fruit is good for our health. However, did you know that its scent can instantly make us more alert and improve our mood? Research shows that compounds found in orange peels have the ability to stimulate the nervous system and the neurotransmitters involved in alertness and attention. Oranges are also composed of 87 percent water which makes it a great hydrating snack that will replenish your body and help you zap out of your slump.
Oranges are obviously only a peeling away from being enjoyed but you can also include them in energy boosting snacks. We recommend trying these Chocolate Orange Energy Bites, these Chocolate-Dipped Candied Oranges, these Orange and Almond Tahini Fudge Cups, and these Raw Carrot-Orange Cupcakes With Coconut Cream.
No-Bake Chaga Maca Cookie Bites/One Green Planet
Native of Peru, this root veggie part of the radish family has been conquering the US health food scene in recent years. Rich in amino acids as well as vitamins and minerals, maca root powder rightfully deserves its superfood status and notoriety as a powerful energy-booster. The B-vitamins, calcium, potassium, copper, zinc, magnesium, and other bioactive compounds contained in maca can help us focus thanks to its positive effect on our memory and learning abilities. This superfood also boasts adaptogenic properties which lower our stress and balances out our hormones.
Want to start including maca into your snacks to get some pep back? We suggest you give these Tropical Banana Maca Coconut Bars, this Crunchy Chia Chocolate With Maca, Lucuma, Vanilla, and Cashews, this Cacao Maca Energizing Smoothie, and this Goji, Maca, And Caramel Puffed Rice Slice a try.
Vanilla Bean Chia Pudding/One Green Planet
Chia seeds are packed with protein, fiber, and heart healthy fats which make them a great addition to snacks to get out of your afternoon slump. Apart from their macronutrient content that will fuel your body, they are also rich in antioxidants that give your brain that needed boost to focus on your tasks. Last but not least, chia seeds contain a good amount of potassium, calcium, iron, phosphorus and manganese.
Not sure how to include these nutritious seeds in your snack recipes? Check out this Super Power Chia Bread, this Raw Black Sesame Chia Pudding, these Healthy Spelt, Oats, Chia and Flax Seed Crisps, and these Berry Fruit Tarts With Chia Seeds.
5-Minute Edible Date-Sweetened Brown Rice Cookie Dough/One Green Planet
If you’re looking for a quick snack that will instantly energize you, look no further. A handful of dates will provide you with B-vitamins, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, and potassium along with a healthy dose of natural sugars. Packed with fiber, dates will ensure your blood sugar doesn’t spike while giving you a much needed boost.
Reap the benefits of this nature’s candy by making these Indian Date and Peanut Balls, these Dark Chocolate Almond Stuffed Dates, these Date Caramel Hazelnut Balls, and these Oil-Free Apple, Date, and Ginger Bars for your next afternoon snack. You can also check out these 20 Awesome Things You Can Do With Dates.
Raw Pistachio and Matcha Truffles/One Green Planet
These green little nuts are not only fun to crack open, they’re also a great energy-boosting snack thanks to the many vitamins and minerals they contain. Having a handful of pistachios mid-afternoon will help you focus due to their high amount of B-vitamins which are essential for cognitive functions and brain health. Their rich content in healthy fats also make pistachios an energy dense snack that is sure to dispel your desire to take a nap.
Pistachios are a great snack on their own but if you want to switch things up we suggest making these Pistachio Lime Crunch Bars, these Pistachio Sesame Seed Balls, these Cranberry and Pistachio Energy Bars, and these Pistachio, Pecan, and Goji Berry Bites. You can also try out any of these 21 Sweet and Savory Recipes Made With Pistachio Nuts. These goodies will ramp up your energy and won’t disappoint your taste buds.
Carrot Oat Balls/One Green Planet
Oats may be one of our favorite breakfast staples but that doesn’t mean that we can’t enjoy them in the afternoon as well. In fact, having oats in the afternoon is a good idea to improve your energy and increase your motivation as they are a great source of healthy carbohydrates. Making sure you fuel your body with an adequate amount of this macronutrient will ensure long lasting energy. In the case of oats, the fiber content and high amount of vitamins and minerals will also help stabilize your blood sugar levels, improve your brain functions, and protect your heart. Talk about a win-win!
A good way to include oats in your afternoon snacking habits would be by making these No Bake Chocolate Pumpkin Oat Bars, these 3-Ingredient, Easy Peanut Butter Oat Bars, these Almond Butter Oat Scones, and these No-Bake Oat Bars.
Blueberry Spirulina Chocolates/One Green Planet
Used by astronauts on space missions, spirulina deserves the recent popularity it has gained. This blue-algae is made up of 70 percent protein and is a good source of vitamin A and vitamin B12 as well as iron. Moreover, spirulina is rich in antioxidants and healthy fats that increase brain flow and aid mental focus. It is also theorized that spirulina is a great energy booster due to its role in energy release at the cellular level through its support in the production of vitamin B6 in our digestive track.
Not sure how to include spirulina in your snacks? Making tasty and healthy treats with spirulina is easy. Check out these Six Ingredient Spirulina Snackies, these Super Easy Spirulina Cashew Balls, and these Nut-Free Spirulina Sesame Bars. You can also make any of these 15 Spirulina Infused Nutrient-Dense Snacks and Desserts for a quick energizing pick me up!
If you’re looking for more info on the impact of nutrition on your energy levels and how to get rid of fatigue once and for all, we suggest you check out these Plant-Based Foods and Herbs That Help Adrenal Fatigue and Feeling Fatigued? Try These 15 Magnesium-Rich Meals That Will Have You Coming Back for Seconds.
You can also find out more about foods that positively impact your focus by checking out these 10 Foods That Can Help You Boost Your Productivity and these 7 Vitamins and Minerals You Need in Your Plant-Based Diet for a Productive 2018.
Looking for more recipes that will boost your energy and sustain you during long days? You can find a ton of healthy recipes for meals and snacks by downloading the Food Monster App, which is available for both Android and iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 10,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to new recipes every day. Check it out!
Lead image source: Shutterstock