Feeling tired can be blamed on your diet as how you eat impacts on your brain’s ability to function.
Food doesn’t just fuel your body, you need certain nutrients to stay mentally focused and alert too.
If you’ve been feeling extra drowsy lately, it’s time to stop blaming it on the weather or your possible luck of sleep and instead focus on your eating habits.
To lend a helping hand, top nutritionist specialist Seana Forbes from fitness app, Freeletics, shared her top eight energising foods with Express.co.uk.
Aside from being delicious and versatile, avocado is also extremely energising, says Seana.
She explained: “It may be loaded with calories but its high (healthy) fat content, including omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, fights bad cholesterol, increases blood flow to the brain and helps the body absorb other nutrients. In addition, avocado provides more protein than most fruits. Since we need carbs, fat and protein for sustained energy, it is this combination of nutrients that makes avocado an amazing energy booster.”
Apples are rich in fructose, the predominant sugar found in fruit.
Seana said: “Fructose is the body’s preferred source of energy, and apples, or indeed any fruit high in fructose will provide a steady supply of energy to your brain and body for longer. Apples can also help to curb any hunger, or sweet cravings you might experience through the day.”
Sprouted grains are whole grains (brown rice, oats, buckwheat etc.) that have been soaked and left to germinate.
Seana said: “The process is said to make it easier for your body to absorb the nutrients it wants and needs, therefore making B vitamins, vitamin C and folate more readily available to the body, resulting in more energy.”
Macadamia nuts – and most nuts and seeds for that matter – are some of the best snacks to beat fatigue and fight hunger, according to Seana.
She added: “At 160 to 200 calories per small handful, macadamia nuts are a concentrated source of energy, containing all major macronutrients such as protein, carbohydrates, good fats etc. Just remember: although nuts are good for you, they are also high in calories, so should be eaten in moderation.”
Not only do blueberries taste great, they’re also energising and can even boost your brain function.
Seana said: “Blueberries are a great source of manganese, a chemical element often found in minerals in combination with iron, which plays an important role in assisting certain metabolic activities in the body, one of which is converting carbohydrates and fats into energy. Studies have also shown that blueberries can help to prevent memory loss and cognitive decline.”
Matcha is made from entire tea leaves that have been ground into a fine green powder, therefore containing all the powerful minerals, antioxidants and amino acids found inside the leaf.
Seana explained: “Unlike coffee, the caffeine in matcha is absorbed very slowly, giving you a sustained energy boost rather than just an energy spike. It’s the combination of caffeine and l-theanine, a rare amino acid that results in matchas miracle effects such as an increase in concentration and attention.”
Dark chocolate is rich in theobromine, a natural stimulant similar to caffeine, explained Seana.
She added: “Dark chocolate can also stimulate serotonin production, helping to elevate mood, which can provide an added energy lift. In moderation, the caffeine and sugar in chocolate won’t lead to an energy crash. As a general rule, the darker the chocolate the less sugar and the more energy-boosting potential it has.”
Kale is one of the richest nutrient sources on earth, jam-packed with the essential vitamins and minerals that your brain depends on.
Seana said: “Kale is also a source of plant-based iron, a nutrient required – especially vegetarians and vegans – to carry oxygen to our tissues and cells. Low levels of iron in the body can lead to exhaustion and feelings of tiredness.”