People often talk about breakfast being the most important meal of the day but lunch can be just as instrumental in a successful, productive afternoon. Eating a carb loaded heavy meal mid day can mean struggling to make it through that afternoon meeting. Instead pack a lunch design to help you coast through the day.
Stock up on protein: Protein is a slow burning fuel that will help you stay full longer, balance blood sugar and give you sustained energy. Good choices include lean chicken, hard boiled eggs, cheese, nut butters, protein powders and tofu.
Focus on Healthy Fats: Your brain is made of 60% fat so providing it with healthy fats keeps it functioning at its best. High fat foods also increase feeling of satiety leaving you feeling satisfied longer, decreasing those afternoon trips to the vending machine. Salmon, avocado, nut butters, Greek yogurt or nuts are just a few great choices for your lunch.
Avoid simple carbs: Simple carbs like white pasta or white rice are quickly absorbed in the body leading to blood sugar swings. Complex carbs like brown rice, whole wheat pasta, fruit, vegetables and whole grain breads pack in more nutrients than simple carbs, because they are higher in fiber and digest more slowly. This also makes them more filling, preventing that mid afternoon energy slump.
Hydrate: Over half of your brain is composed of water. If you do not replenish your body’s water supply by drinking adequate fluids and become dehydrated, your body may struggle to perform its normal duties including attention and memory. Dehydration also affects sodium and electrolyte levels in the body, which has been linked to cognitive changes. Finally, thirst is often mistaken for hunger, leading people to eat when really they need a tall glass of water. Focus on including water throughout your day to keep your brain functioning at optimal levels.