Feeling tired? Find out what foods are energy boosters
By Brittany Anas
Didn’t that extra hour of sleep feel good this weekend when we were setting our clocks back? Too bad it’s a once-a-year only deal.
The truth is, we’re a nation of zombies — with many Americans getting too little sleep. The nightly dose of sleep that the Centers for Disease Control prescribes adults is seven to nine hours. If you’re a teenager, you need 8.5 to 9.5 hours of nightly sleep. However, the National Health Interview Survey tells us we’re staying up past our bedtimes — with nearly 30 percent of adults reporting an average of less than six hours of sleep per day. Only 31 percent of high school students reported getting at least 8 hours of sleep on an average school night.
For those nights that we don’t get enough sleep (and we suspect there will be some between now and the busy holiday season), our diet can help us ward off the sluggish feeling. We’re not talking about chugging coffee and chasing it with energy drinks. We’re talking about all-natural, good-for-you foods that can help you feel good throughout the day.
Here’s how, and what, to eat to feel at your max energy level:
- Eat frequently and eat light. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends eating every three to four hours to fuel your metabolism, maintain your muscle mass and prevent unhealthy snacking. Think of your food as fuel. You need it to help you focus and drive you through the day. When you eat light, you won’t get the afternoon yawn attack.
- Eat salmon. It’s high in Omega-3 fatty acid that is proven to boost your memory and give you that extra brain power for the day. Try some smoked salmon on your bagel with a light cream cheese in the morning. Or, add slices to your salad at lunch. Don’t feel like cooking? Order some salmon fillets from Omaha Steaks, where you’ll get 10 percent Cash Back from ShopAtHome.com. There’s a wide variety to suit everybody’s taste buds — from hickory marinated salmon to fire roasted salmon to fillets seasoned with lemon and dill. (Read more articles about Omaha Steaks here).
- Go nuts! Keep some healthy snacks stashed at work or even in your car if you’ve got a long commute. This is key to avoiding the vending machine or drive thru lane. Nuts like walnuts, cashews and pecans contain nutrients that are good for you. Be sure to find nuts that are raw and avoid ones with added salt.
- A little bit of dark chocolate. We saved the best for last. Research shows that the epicatechin in dark chocolate before a workout can give you more endurance. The key, of course, is moderation. Limit yourself to a small piece for a little pick-me-up before you hit the gym.
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