Guest post by Susan Wells
Do you find yourself falling asleep at the wheel of your car or nodding off at your desk at work? Staying alert during the day is not only necessary for productivity, it is also necessary for good decision-making and personal safety.
Although there are many things that can cause lethargy, nutritional deficiency is one of the most common reasons. There are several foods that contain important ingredients for brain power and energy. These foods can boost your alertness and help you stay focused during the day. Below are four of the best foods for alertness that are easy to eat on the go and in the office.
Yes, coffee is a drink, not a food, but it’s awesome for alertness. Although coffee contains only two calories when consumed black, it certainly isn’t lacking in the antioxidant and caffeine department. Thanks to these two ingredients, a cup of Joe has become one of the most popular morning wake-up cures in history. Research shows that the caffeine in coffee works to stimulate your central nervous system and improves your concentration and focus, when drank in moderation. As a general rule of thumb, a moderate dose is the equivalent of two to four cups per day. Drink more than four, though, and you may get the opposite effect. Too much caffeine in your system can cause jitteriness, insomnia, irritability, muscle tremors, fast heartbeat, nervousness and upset stomach.
Forget what the anti-carb groups say! Carbohydrates packed with fiber are essential for energy and alertness. Studies have shown that a diet rich in high-fiber carbohydrates gives our bodies both short-term and long-term energy boosts. High-fiber foods also fill our bellies up, keeping our hunger satisfied for longer (hunger plays a huge role in our everyday alertness). To be even healthier, eat choose carbohydrate foods that are both high in fiber and whole grain.
The sugars found in fruit help produce glucose in our bodies which help give our cells energy. Although too much sugar can be damaging to our health, we still need a little to rev up our engines. Eating fruit is one of the most nutritional ways to boost our blood glucose levels and wake up our brains. Drink freshly-squeezed orange or grapefruit juice in the morning or eat a fruit salad at lunch to increase alertness and get a daily vitamin and mineral boost.
Yes, it’s a dream come true! Dark chocolate in moderation can be good for you. Studies have shown that the flavonoids and antioxidants in dark chocolate can improve blood flow to our hearts and brains and repair cell damage, respectively. Both of these benefits are good for better body function and alertness. Another ingredient in dark chocolate, caffeine, is also widely known for its body and mind stimulating affects. As with all food consumption, moderation is very important. To keep things healthy, only eat one ounce of plain dark chocolate a few times per week, and make sure the chocolate contains no less than 70% cocoa.
Susan Wells is a freelance blogger who enjoys writing about automotive and health news, technology, lifestyle and personal finance. She often researches and writes about automobile insurance, helping consumers find the best car insurance quotes online. Susan welcomes your comments and questions below!
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