It's that time of day and you are distracted. Fatigue invades you, your eyes become glazed and your head is dangerously close to the keyboard. You have been hit by the midday drowsiness.
However, you are not alone. Around 2 or 3 p. m., people often fancy coffee or snacks from the vending machine.
"They want something to wake them up," explains Sheah Rarback, registered dietitian and nutrition director at the Mailman Center for Child Development at the University of Miami, "either due to the drop in energy level caused by the circadian rhythm. natural, for not having gotten a good night's sleep, having skipped breakfast or having lunch a meal of processed carbohydrates and without protein value ".
The secret lies in the power of anticipation, which reduces or even prevents collapse. However, all is not lost if you failed to load the fuel, since there are also immediate options. Just avoid sugary foods, which will give you an initial rush but leave you more tired and hungry an hour later.
The best meals to prevent or defeat afternoon depletion combine fiber and protein, are low in fat and sugar and provide less than 200 calories.
The fall in energy [is] caused by the natural circadian rhythm, not having gotten a good night's sleep, having skipped breakfast or having lunch a meal of processed carbohydrates and no protein value.
Sheah Rarback, registered dietitian and nutrition director of the Mailman Center for Child Development at the University of Miami
Nuts and almonds
Avoid the roller coaster given by blood sugar by taking a healthy handful of almonds (some 23) in the morning. Almonds help stabilize blood sugar levels for the rest of the day, according to a study by Purdue University researchers published in the January 2011 issue of "Nutrition and Metabolism."
The next time you have a deadline, try eating a handful of nuts, or 12 to 14 nut halves, to help improve your mood and intellectual ability. According to a study by the University of Pittsburgh in 2007, the omega-3 fatty acids found in nuts can increase areas of the brain that help maintain a balanced mood.
To treat yourself with a special touch, toast 2 cups of nuts in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper in an oven at 375 degrees F. Cayenne pepper adds properties that fight heat and cancer.
The sugar in milk, or lactose, in low-fat dairy products gives you instant energy, while the high amount of protein helps you avoid hunger later, says Susie Garcia, a registered dietitian who lives in Oakland, California.
For a healthy push in the morning, add a spoonful of yogurt to a bowl of oatmeal. The combination of a prebiotic and probiotic food contributes to healthy digestion, immunity and prevents swelling.
Convert adding milk to your coffee into a habit. Or better yet, make your low-fat yogurt or string cheese part of your morning routine, because while those cups at Joe's offer the dose of caffeine to kick-start your day, regular consumption can affect health of the bones with time. According to the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements, caffeine increases the amount of calcium lost in the urine.
Avocado and olive oil
One avocado every day, the feeling of hunger would save you. It is especially useful when your midday includes cravings. The monounsaturated fats in avocado and olive oil, heart-healthy, slow down the emptying of the stomach, so you feel full longer. According to a study published in the October 2008 issue of "Cell Metabolism," the oleic acid in olive oil helps suppress hunger between meals.
"Oleic acid triggers a reaction in the body that keeps hunger at bay and activates an area of the brain that tells the body that you feel satisfied," explains Rarback.
Avocados are rich in potassium, which regulates kidney function and blood pressure, and in folic acid, a B vitamin that helps the body produce and maintain new cells.
For a mid-morning or afternoon snack, cut a small avocado in half and remove the seed. Sprinkle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
Boiled hard-boiled egg
With only 80 calories, a boiled boiled egg packed with protein can curb appetite for hours. In a study published in the June 2010 issue of "Appetite," participants reported higher levels of satiety and satisfaction three to four hours after eating a breakfast high in protein and low in carbohydrates, compared to a low one. in proteins and rich in carbohydrates.
"Protein takes longer to be digested than carbohydrates, so it provides greater satiety and sustained energy levels," says García.
Convenient to eat, a hard-boiled egg takes about 10 minutes to make: three minutes to reach a strong boil and then seven minutes into the boiled water. Boil a batch on Sunday and store it in the refrigerator for up to a week. When the time comes to enjoy one, sprinkle with paprika, pepper and salt, and then squeeze a little lemon juice to taste.
After lunch, enjoy a cup of blueberries covered in low-fat whipped cream. With only 80 calories per cup and no fat, blueberries will sharpen your mind for the rest of the afternoon.
In a study by Tufts University, published in the January 2010 issue of the "Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry," rats fed cranberries over a four-month period performed better on memory tests and mental agility. Cranberries are one of the foods richest in antioxidants, explains Rarback. Its compounds fight free radicals and activate the growth of new brain cells.
Or you can consider changing your afternoon coffee for a glass of cranberry juice. In a study published in the same journal issue in April 2010, people with memory problems related to age had a better performance on learning and memory tests than the control group after drinking cranberry juice every day During two months.
If your work collapse of the day is accompanied by stress, take a piece of dark chocolate, which causes the release of endorphins that will lift your mood. Serotonin, the neurotransmitter that soothes, is also affected by chocolate, says Rarback.
Rich in flavonoids, these chocolate chips have an antioxidant power that helps resist cell damage caused by free radicals and, according to a study published in the June 2010 issue of "BMC Medicine," chocolate Black can help lower blood pressure.
But eat in a controlled portion. Limit yourself to just one or two drops or squares of dark chocolate, Garcia recommends.
Beat the drowsiness
Quick tips to help avoid the midday crash:
• Do not skip breakfast.
• Eat a good portion of food. Not eating enough will leave you with few nutrients and little energy. Eating too much will make you feel bloated and slow.
• Sleeps at least eight hours at night.
• Avoid sweets, which will cause your blood sugar to go off and then you want to sleep.
• Get up and move around every hour to help blood circulation and reduce fatigue.
• Avoid foods that are high in sodium and fat. They can make you feel bloated.
• Exercise regularly to increase your energy levels.