When you ask people about the first day of Daylight Savings, they’ll say that they do not look forward to losing an hour of sleep and feeling tired the next day. This appears to be a legitimate fear: we’ve read elsewhere that there are many more accidents in the week after Daylight Savings than in a typical week.
You can counter that fatigue from lost sleep by eating certain highly nutritious fruits and foods. Here are a few suggestions:
Fresh and dried fruits
Fruit is a natural and healthful way to get energy-boosting sugars such as glucose and fructose into your body. Fruits that contain the highest amounts of sugar include oranges and tangerines, kiwi, pears, pineapples, plums, starfruit, bananas, cherries, dates, figs, grapes, mango, passion fruit, pomegranates and dried fruit including raisins. Many fresh fruits are also high in protein, fiber and antioxidants for vim and vigor. Blueberries, for example, may help your concentration by reducing inflammation and encouraging oxygen flow to the brain. Bananas, avocados, dates, dried figs and oranges have more potassium than other fruits which may help keep blood pressure down. Fruits are also a ready source of energy because they are easy to prepare and can be combined in so many interesting ways (smoothies, on your cereal, in salads, in salsas, etc).
Nuts and seeds
Most nuts can deliver an energy enhancing punch of protein and are an ideal pick-me-up snack when energy dwindles in the late afternoon. Nuts and some seeds are also a rich source of many minerals and vitamins known to improve energy and mood. For example, almonds contain magnesium which helps to convert sugars to energy, increasing blood flow to the brain and sharpening cognitive acuity. Pumpkin seeds contain a variety of energy-rich minerals such as calcium, iron, Vitamin K and magnesium. The mineral selenium is believed to play a role in maintaining positive mood and it can be readily found in Brazil nuts. Walnuts are nature’s way to raise serotonin levels in the brain which can elevate mood and help you handle stress.
Complex carbohydrates such as whole wheat pasta and whole grain breads are another great natural food source of energy for the mind and body. Brown rice contains manganese known as a metabolism booster. Even Grandma knows that oatmeal, with its high fiber and B Vitamins, is the ultimate power breakfast to keep energy levels constant all morning. Quinoa contains the energy rich minerals iron and phosphorous as well as fiber and is also naturally low in sodium and cholesterol making it an especially healthy choice.
In addition to the lift you can get from the caffeine, dark chocolate is a good source of a variety of energy-boosting minerals such as calcium, potassium, iron and magnesium as well as fiber and anti-oxidants. Dark chocolate has also been found to contain the compound flavanol which may improve physical and mental energy and mood by increasing blood flow to the brain. So when you want to indulge, go ahead and choose this sweet treat!