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7 Power Foods for the Workplace

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It is that time of the day when you are zoning out since lethargy kicks in and your eyes starts to glaze over, your head is dangerously close to the keyboard. I hope you guessed it right, yes; you have hit the midday slump. But you are not alone experiencing this, often people start to crave for coffee or snacks from the vending machine at around 2 or 3 pm during the working days at the office. As per a registered dietician and director of nutrition at the University of Miami, “People need a pick-me-up due to a plunge in their energy level, which is caused by the natural circadian rhythm, skipping breakfast, not getting a good night’s sleep or eating a lunch full of processed carbohydrates without added protein”.

The secret to deal with such a situation is to power up ahead, and this will lessen or even prevent the collapse. All is not lost is you fail to fuel up and there are immediate options to fuel your workday. Avoid grabbing any sugary snacks which give you an initial rush, but leave you more tired and hungry post an hour. The best fare is to prevent or defeat this afternoon skids by combining foods which are fiber and protein rich, low in sugar and fats and provide less than 200 calories.

Here are the 7 power foods to fuel your workday:

1. Walnuts and Almonds

Grab a healthy handful of almonds in the morning to stave off the blood sugar roller coaster ride. They help to stabilize the blood sugar levels for the rest of the day. Next time you are under a deadline, try snacking on a handful of walnuts. It will help to improve your mood and brain power. As per a study conducted at the University of Pittsburgh, omega-3 fatty acids found in the walnuts will boost brain areas that help to bring the mood into balance.
2. Dark Chocolate

If you are experiencing an afternoon workday collapse which is accompanied by stress, then reach for a piece of dark chocolate. It will trigger the release of endorphin’s, which will improve your mood. The calming neurotransmitter called serotonin is also affected by chocolate. Chocolates are rich in flavanoids that have antioxidant power which helps resist the cell damage caused by the free radicals. The dark chocolates also help to lower the blood pressure. But ensure to snack in a serving-controlled manner. Limit yourself to only one or two dark chocolate drops or squares.
3. Low-Fat Dairy

The low fat diary contains milk, sugar or lactose, which give you instant energy and the high amount of protein will help to fend off hunger afterwards. Add a dollop of yogurt to a bowl of oatmeal for a healthy morning boost. The combination of a prebiotic and probiotic food contributes to a healthy digestion and immunity and also prevent bloating. Make a habit of adding milk to your coffee or make a low fat yogurt or string cheese as a part of your morning routine. Those cups of Joe will offer the caffeine boost to kick start your day.
4. Hard-Boiled Egg

One protein packed hard boiled egg has just 80 calories and it will help to curb your appetite for hours. In a recent study, the participants have reported a higher levels of satiety and satisfaction three to four hours after eating a high-protein, low carbohydrate breakfast than after having a low-protein, high-carb meal. This is because protein takes longer to digest than carbohydrates and therefore it provider longer satiety and sustained energy levels. A hard boiled egg is convenient to eat and takes about 10 minutes for preparation i.e. three minutes to achieve a hard boil and seven minutes to sit covered. You can boil a batch of eggs on Sunday and store them in the fridge for up to a week. Sprinkle it with pepper, paprika and salt and squeeze a bit of lemon juice on it for taste when its time to enjoy one each day.
5. Citrus Fruits

Smell an orange when you are about to doze off at your desk. Sniffing citrus scents will stimulate alertness. Eat the citrus fruits as its natural sugars are digested within 30 minutes and provide quick and enduring energy. According to a registered dietician, fruits contain fiber and other complex carbohydrates which provide everlasting energy than eating a candy with no fiber. Eating half a grapefruit before a meal will help in weight loss. Cut a grapefruit in half, scoop out the flesh and top the sections with a half cup of cottage cheese.
6. Blueberries

Post lunch, treat yourself with a cup of blueberries topped with low-fat whipped cream. A cup of blueberries is just 80 calories with no fat and it will help to sharpen your focus for the rest of the afternoon. It is also good for memory and improves your mental alertness. They are one of the most anti-oxidant rich foods and their compounds will help to fight the free radical damage and this will trigger the growth of new brain cells. You can switch your afternoon coffee to a glass of blueberry juice.
7. Avocado and Olive Oil

An avocado will help to keep the hunger pangs away and especially helpful for your midday funk such as the munchies. Avocado and olive oil contain heart-healthy monosaturated fats will slow down the emptying of the stomach and hence you feel satisfied for longer. The presence of oleic acid in the olive oil will trigger a reaction in the body helps to suppress the hunger between meals and activates an area in the brain which tells the body it is feeling full. Avocados are potassium rich which helps to regulate kidney function and blood pressure. The presence folate, a B vitamin will help to the body to produce and maintain new cells. Halve a small avocado and remove the pit and drizzle it with olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper for taste and have it for a mid-morning or afternoon snack.

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