5 healthy foods to beat the afternoon slump

Does the 3.30pm slump have you diving for the office biscuit barrel or scoffing the kid’s fundraiser chocolates?

Don’t worry, you’re not alone.

For many of us, the 3.30 slump is real and completely normal. It hits us between lunch and dinner when we are low in energy. You may be craving sugar, feeling flat and struggling to concentrate – all of which can leave us looking for a quick fix like caffeine or a sugar hit.

Having a healthy breakfast and lunch, which includes low GI carbohydrates and protein for long lasting energy, can help to maintain energy levels and avoid the slumps. Click here for tips on how to lower the GI of your meal. Exercising at lunch, getting some fresh air and breaking up the screen time can also help.

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If it’s all too late for all that, and you feel yourself falling into an afternoon stupor, here’s a nutritionist approved list of the top 5 snacks that will help you power through the afternoon.

1. Get nutty

Forget the chocolate bar, try nut butter on apple slices. The high fibre fix will help curb sweet cravings and also boosts your fibre and protein intake. The combination of protein and fibre helps to keep to hunger pangs at bay and provides long-lasting energy.

2. Drink up

Instead of a coffee, try almond milk in a smoothie or straight up. So Good Unsweetened Almond Milk has no added sugar and is fortified with vitamins B12 and B2. As part of a balanced diet, these vitamins play important roles in helping your body unlock and use the energy from your food. As well as vitamins, the extra fluid is a must. Staying hydrated is crucial to help us keep working at our best, but is something many of us forget! While water should always be the top priority, mixing it up with plant milks is a good way to get those extra nutrients.

3. Go bananas

The carbohydrates and vitamin B6 found in bananas act as a great pick-me-up any time of the day, but they’re especially useful as an antidote to the mid-afternoon slump. Vitamin B6 helps your body create and use energy, and it also helps reduce tiredness and fatigue.

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4. Look for low GI

Low GI foods release glucose slowly creating a gentle rise in blood sugar levels that helps to maintain good energy levels, without the spikes and dips. Foods that are less processed and are higher in fibre are more likely to be low GI. This includes most fruits, dairy products and soy milk, sweet potatoes, legumes (chickpeas, kidney beans, lentils) as well as wholegrains and wholegrain foods. An ideal low GI mid-afternoon snack could be as easy and tasty as hummus and wholegrain crackers.

5. Crispy chickpeas or edamame

Making sure your diet contains plenty of iron rich foods helps to fight fatigue. While this is not an instant pick-me-up, maintaining your iron levels will keep you feeling energised throughout the day. Crispy chickpeas and edamame are a popular healthy snack. Pop a packet into your bag for an afternoon snack that is a good plant source of iron and also ticks the box as being low GI. Win-win!