Photo: Fly View Productions via gettyimages.com

If you often find wake up groggy and exhausted, your body might be trying to tell you something. Before you grab that next cup of Joe, try making a few changes to your diet. While the coffee may give you a temporary jolt, feeding your body with wholesome ingredients will provide you with more sustainable energy. 

Here are a few options to keep you feeling energized throughout the day. 

Fresh Fruit 

Highly-processed foods can leave you feeling tired and sluggish. What’s worse? Junk food makes you hungrier! While splurging on a sugar-coated scone does sound like a tasty idea, consider snacking on fresh blueberries or a banana instead. This swap could help you curb your cravings and lead to better eating habits down the road. 

  • Bananas are rich in fiber, potassium, folate, and antioxidants. According to a study published in PLoS One, bananas are an even better energy source than most popular sports drinks. If you find yourself hitting a mid-day slump, grab a banana instead of a second or third cup of coffee. 
  • Apples are loaded with antioxidants and fiber. They can also give your body the boost it needs to keep going well after lunchtime. This is because apples contain calories and carbohydrates—two things your body needs to fuel your brain, central nervous system, and kidneys. 
  • Dark berries, such as raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries, are not only delicious, but they’re also filled with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that may be powerful enough to fight off random bouts of screen fatigue.   

Veggies 

Vegetables are packed with essential vitamins, nutrients, and minerals that keep our bodies running strong. As the University Medical Center New Orleans puts it: Veggies provide lots of bounce per ounce. 

  • Spinach contains iron, potassium, vitamin E, magnesium, and other vitamins and minerals. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), one cup of spinach contains 24 mg of magnesium. Our bodies require magnesium to stay healthy and energized.  
  • Sweet potatoes are versatile, easy to make, and an excellent source of complex carbs. Sweet potatoes are also high in fiber. Fiber slows down the digestion process and helps regulate our body’s use of sugar, keeping our hunger and blood glucose levels in check. 
  • Carrots have several health benefits. They’re the perfect snack for weight management, can help with blood pressure regulation, and may reduce the risk of heart disease. Carrots also contain many B vitamins, including vitamin B6, which helps our body convert food into energy.  

Nuts and Seeds 

Nuts and seeds provide us with protein, healthy fats, and tons of good-for-you vitamins and minerals. Eating various nuts and seeds is one way to get a mid-day energy boost.

  • Almonds are high in dietary fiber, protein, and healthy monounsaturated fats. They’re also chock-full of B vitamins and magnesium, both of which provide the body with energy. 
  • Pumpkin seeds are magical. Studies show that pumpkin seeds have the ability to improve our heart health, blood sugar levels, and sleep quality. Bonus: Pumpkin seeds can be added to just about anything, including smoothies, yogurt, and cereal. 
  • Chia seeds may be small, but they’re mighty. Chia seeds are an excellent source of energy. Plus, they help you feel fuller longer and are packed with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, protein, and fiber. 

The Bottom Line 

Mindful eating is a healthy and effective way to keep your energy levels up and avoid a mid-day crash. Good nutrition combined with regular physical activity and a consistent sleep schedule is the perfect recipe for a productive week.