Thrive has teamed up with Bupa Healthcare on this healthy eating post.
For many, the post lunch energy slump at work is an inevitable part of the working day. Whether you suffer from tiredness, lack of concentration or suddenly feel drained, there are things you can be eating to help prevent it.
Most people know that this is mainly down to diet. But many aren’t sure where to start. Bupa dietitians, Bianca Parau and Chara Malioti, share their top tips on good eating habits you should adopt at work to make you feel great.
Carbohydrates are the main energy source in your diet, so cutting them out completely – as some fad diets tell you to do so – will result in your feeling more tired. Rather than stopping yourself from eating carbohydrates altogether, try switching from carbs that are considered as ‘bad’ for ‘good’ alternatives containing whole-grains.
Whole-wheat pasta, bread and rice will slowly release energy throughout the day to help you perform at your best and stop you from feeling weak and fuzzy headed. Why not try having a healthy sandwich for lunch using whole-wheat bread or a whole-wheat tuna pasta salad to see how it makes you feel?
Being dehydrated can also make you feel the dreaded afternoon slump. You’ll all know that drinking plenty of water can remedy this, but another thing to try is snacking on fruit and vegetables that contain high levels of water.
Cucumber and lettuce have the highest water content in any food – a massive 36 per cent. Tomatoes are also packed with water – about 95 percent. Keep your hydration levels topped up by adding them to a salad or a sandwich.
And, did you know, watermelon, strawberries, cantaloupe and peaches, pineapple, oranges and raspberries all contain more than 87 percent water? Great for a hydrating snack.
In many workplaces, eating fish or warming it in the microwave is a big faux pas because of the strong smell. However, throwing in some tinned salmon or tuna into a salad can be less offensive to your colleagues and provide you with great health benefits.
Oily fish, such as mackerel, salmon and sardines, are rich in omega-3 and is a good source of protein. Combining this with good carbohydrates, fruit and vegetables during your working day will form a well balanced meal to help you to feel great.
Natural sources of sugar
It’s not uncommon to sometimes crave a sugar fix throughout the working day. Choosing to eat the wrong kinds of sugar can give you a temporary fix which leads into a crash later on. Added sugar in tempting foods such as chocolate, cakes and fizzy drinks can cause you to gain weight and gives you a short lived energy boost.
Fresh fruit contains natural sugar; snacking on fruit to satisfy your sweet tooth is a much healthier alternative to vending machine favourites like chocolate and sweets. Bananas are a great workday snack because they’ll satisfy your sweet craving while offering more nutritional value.
A healthy breakfast
As many people say, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Skipping it means you’re starting your day at a disadvantage. Often people use the excuse of not having enough time, but it’s essential to kick-start your energy levels both mentally and physically, so it’s always worth making time for.
A healthy breakfast should give you a good balance of the foods you need for good health. Some easy to prepare breakfast suggestions include:
• yoghurt and fresh fruit
• toasted wholemeal bread topped with mashed avocado
• wholemeal cereal
Whether you eat your breakfast at home, or prepare it then eat it when you get to work, it’s crucial that you make the time to avoid having a bad start to your day. You wouldn’t start your car without putting fuel in it, so why not do the same with your body?
Help yourself to feel great…
Making the decision to eat the right food during your working day can make a big difference to how you feel.
Eating a balanced diet, drinking enough water and avoiding unhealthy snacks at work will leave you feeling refreshed and the post lunch slump can become a thing of the past.