Is staying alert a struggle for you? Is that giant mug of morning brew not working enough to fight off the mid-morning slump? Then it may be high time to start rethinking about what you’ve been putting into your body.
Unfortunately, there’s no quick fix for staying alert during the day except to get enough sleep the night before, but the good news is there are healthy foods that can enhance your focus as well as optimize your energy levels.
Check out these 4 foods that will surely boost your productivity during the day.
There’s a good reason why breakfast is considered as the most important meal of the day. Not only does it provide you with that energy boost to start your morning, research has also shown that people who eat breakfast are at a lower risk for hypertension, diabetes and obesity than those people who skip it.
While it’s tempting to enjoy a doughnut or a sugary cereal in the morning, it’s really important to start your day on the right note so you’ll be able to stay focused, full, and avoid gaining pounds so easily. Experts suggest eating a bowl of oatmeal as it is low in calories and will also help you feel full much longer. To spruce up your oatmeal, add some fresh fruits and cinnamon for a touch of sweetness and spice.
3) Dark Chocolate
Need to pep up in the morning? Ditch the coffee and enjoy some feel-good dark cocoa. According to experts, dark chocolate increases endorphin and serotonin levels, which are linked to greater focus and concentration. Studies have also shown that dark chocolate is a rich source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants such as copper, potassium and magnesium, which, along with a healthy diet, can help control blood pressure. Dark chocolate is also lower in sugar and fat than white chocolate and milk, which makes it a better alternative for diabetics or for those intending to cut back on their sugar intake.
According to a 2013 study, people who drink two cups of cocoa everyday for a month have been found to have improved blood flow to the brain and performed better on memory tests. According to experts, a square of dark chocolate during the afternoon slump should be enough.
All experts agree that sometimes, all you really need is a tall drink of refreshing water in the morning to kick off a productive day, especially if you had a rough night. According to New York City-based nutritionist Cindy Moustafa, thirst and dehydration causes fatigue. And reaching for a cup of coffee or an energy drink will actually dehydrate you more, causing you to feel more tired once they wear off. Try squeezing in some lemons in your water for that extra kick.
According to studies, blueberries are not only delicious and rich in antioxidants, they have also been found to be an effective memory booster. According to a 2010 report published by the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, people who consistently drank blueberry juice every morning for two months have been found to have improved performance on memory tests and learning. Whenever you feel that sugar craving coming on, consider enjoying some fresh blueberries rather than those sugary cookies or doughnuts and notice how you feel more alert and focused.