Do you constantly feel tired? Is it a struggle getting through the day?
When you feel tired, it’s tempting and (oh so!) easy to grab an energy-dense comfort food. It gives you an immediate energy kick - but, you’ll likely feel worse when your energy crashes soon after (not to mention, the guilt of straying from your diet).
Whilst it’s crucial to eat nutritious meals and get high-quality sleep, there are easy natural snacks that can boost your energy during your day.
Try these 5 simple snacks to beat fatigue naturally!
1. DARK CHOCOLATE
Dark chocolate naturally contains caffeine, which gives you an energy boost. And what’s more? Dark chocolate also has a range of health benefits due to its biologically active components, including minerals and antioxidants that combat oxidative stress. Moreover, studies have shown dark chocolate also contains catechins which promote cardiovascular health (1).
But remember not to overindulge; limit yourself to 1-2 squares of dark chocolate per day.
Coffee is a drink that, for many of us, signals the start of our day. It’s an excellent fuel because of its natural active component, caffeine. Coffee stimulates bile secretion and digestion, and also has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Keep your daily intake within the recommended 3 cups a day to avoid risking side effects such as anxiety, restlessness and gastric issues (2).
Walnuts, almonds, pistachios and hazelnuts contain a mix of vitamins and minerals. Specifically, magnesium, iron, zinc, manganese and copper contribute to the proper functioning of the nervous system, and are valuable as antioxidants. Research has shown nuts are also an excellent source of protein and polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids which help prevent cardiovascular disease (3).
Pay attention to how much you eat as nuts are calorically dense; don’t exceed 30 grams per day (roughly a handful!).
Yoghurt is a source of live bacteria which supports a balanced gut microbiome. Healthy gut bacteria help create and regulate neurotransmitters, including transmitters. Be thoughtful when choosing your yoghurt by checking the nutrition label, as many claim to be healthy but in fact contain a lot of sugar! Limit your total added sugar intake to 10% of your daily energy intake as recommended by the World Health Organisation (4).
Natural yoghurt is more often balanced in protein, sugar and minerals like calcium. Choose yoghurt with greater amount of live bacteria, as they play an important role in maintaining a healthy gut microbiota (4). You can add fresh fruit for natural sweetness.
5. PAPAYA AND MANGO
Papaya and mango are exotic, colourful and delicious fruits. Not only are they concentrated in vitamins and antioxidants, they’re also tasty and relatively low-calorie. They are beneficial in maintaining bowel regularity, lowering blood pressure and levels of LDL (“bad cholesterol”).
Find fresh authentic food in a variety of colours to better your mood. After all, we are what we eat – inside and out!
What are your favourite healthy and not-so-healthy snacks? Let us know in the comments. 😛
P.S. Join our Facebook group "Tasty, but healthy" for easy nutritious recipes and healthy living tips!
(1) Serafini, Mauro, et al. "Plasma antioxidants from chocolate." Nature 424.6952 (2003): 1013.
(2) Food Standards Australia & New Zealand. “Caffeine” (2018). http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/consumer/generalissues/Pages/Caffeine.aspx
(3) Lee, John H., et al. "Omega-3 fatty acids: cardiovascular benefits, sources and sustainability." Nature Reviews Cardiology 6.12 (2009): 753.
(4) World Health Organisation. "Healthy Diet" (2018). https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/healthy-diet
(5) Tuohy, Kieran M., et al. "Using probiotics and prebiotics to improve gut health." Drug discovery today 8.15 (2003): 692-700.