If you’ve ever struggled from the dreaded afternoon energy slump around 2 p.m., you’re not alone. While you could always grab another cup of coffee, over-doing the caffeine may not be such a good idea. As it turns out, there are a few reasons why you may be lacking energy throughout the day. But luckily, for each one, there is a food that offers the nutrients you need to fight fatigue and keep yourself chipper and focused. Check out the gallery below.
Bell Peppers For Energy
Bell peppers wake up weary adrenal glands.
Red, orange, yellow, or green…pick your favorite color of bell pepper, nosh on one cup daily and watch your energy and stamina levels soar by 33 percent. According to Polish researchers, bell peppers are packed with vitamin C and carotenoids — nutrients that calm, heal, and energize tired adrenal glands, restoring their ability to release and regulate energizing hormones.
Berries For Energy
Berries promote improved nerve cell communication.
Their pretty colors come from anthocyanins — a unique group of antioxidants that stimulate brain neurons to boost mental energy levels by 45 percent, report Tufts University scientists, who add that enjoying one daily cup of berries (fresh or frozen) will deliver the benefit. Good news: A 1⁄2-cup serving of dried berries also does the trick — and makes a yummy on-the-go snack for fun summer outings!
Steak For Energy
Beef replenishes key vitality nutrients.
Your risk of low iron and folate levels doubles as the weather warms since your body uses the nutrients to adapt to the physiological stress of sudden upticks in temperature, humidity, and physical activity. A delicious Rx: Eat four ounces of iron- and folate-rich beef, pork or chicken daily. Harvard researchers say the strategy will cut your risk of this tiredness-triggering shortfall in half.
Bananas For Energy
Bananas revive tired muscles.
Snacking on a medium banana could significantly raise your energy, focus and alertness for as long as two hours, Canadian researchers reveal. Thanks goes to this sweet fruit’s rich stores of potassium — a potent mineral that stimulates muscles, nerves, and brain cells to function at their peak.
Pistachios For Energy
Pistachios balance blood sugar.
Prone to between-meal energy lags? Snacking on 1⁄2 cup of pistachios could cut nap attacks by up to 66 percent, Spanish scientists say. These tasty nuts have a mix of healthy monounsaturated fats, vitamin B-6, and manganese — nutrients that slow sugar absorption and improve insulin sensitivity, enhancing blood-sugar control.
Eggs For Energy
Eggs speed brain processing.
When you need a quick brain boost to help you sail through a hectic day with ease, think eggs! Enjoying two of these gems can increase your alertness and focus by 75 percent for four hours, say British scientists. The reason? Eggs contain choline — a B vitamin that prods your brain to release the energizing, focus-enhancing neurotransmitter acetylcholine.