Hitting a wall after lunch? You're not alone! Many people experience the dreaded 2pm slump, where energy levels dwindle and attention spans run short, making getting your work done or taking care of active kiddos even more difficult. But it doesn't have to be this way! You can boost your energy naturally by snacking on these plant-based foods in the afternoon.
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Yep, nutrition plays a big role in balancing your energy levels during the day. Foods high in added sugar and fat tend to give you a energy boost but it's only temporary. And once the initial jolt of energy passes you're back to square one — hungry again and more tired than before.
When choose plant-based foods to battle your midday slump, on the other hand, you'll get energy that lasts. A plant-based diet, specifically a whole food plant-based one, is filled with fresh fruits and veggies, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole complex grains. And all these wonderful whole plant-based foods are high in fiber to promote a more restful sleep (which means you're less likely to be tired in the first place) and stable blood sugar levels (which means no crashes to bring you down).
Not to mention, plant-based foods take less energy to digest than animal proteins, so you'll have all that energy that would've been used up by your digestive system to cross off all your to-dos instead.
OK, so now that we know why a WFPB diet is energizing, let's talk about some plant-based foods you can snack on in the afternoon to keep that slump at bay.
Bananas are high in potassium, complex carbs, and vitamin B6 (all of which can boost energy). And they're also a great "fast food" — bananas need zero preparation and can be eaten on the go.
2. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are a great choice for an energy-boosting snack as they're loaded in fiber and complex carbs, which means sustained energy all afternoon long. Toast sweet potato slices and top with almond butter, and chia seeds for an extra plant-based protein boost!
3. Apples (with Peanut Butter)
Apples are low in calories and high in fiber and complex carbohydrates. Skip peeling the flesh to make sure you get all that fiber goodness. Enjoy on its own or eat with a dollop of all-natural peanut butter for even more afternoon energy.
4. Goji Berries
These little delicious morsels are packed full of antioxidants which increase blood flow and improve your mood. Nibble on raw berries or add them in your plant-based yogurt, smoothies, or oatmeal.
The king of plant-based snacking, nothing beats sitting down to some hummus and crudites. But it's not just a delicious snack — it's an energy-boosting powerhouse thanks to all the protein, fiber, and healthy fats. Struggling to find a WFPB one in stores? Whip up this easy oil-free hummus recipe at home.
High in protein, complex carbs, and folic acid, edamame beans make great snacks for anyone who needs to stay focused in the afternoon. Head to the freezer aisle in your grocery store to pick up frozen edamame and all you have to do is heat and eat.
Oranges are high in Vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that can reduce mental fatigue, too. This citrus fruit is also high in phosphorus and other important minerals that promote a healthy body and immune system.
Strawberries are one of the most popular fruits to snack on, and rightfully so. They are deliciously sweet, high in naturally-occurring sugar, and loaded with fiber. And yes, it counts if you're using strawberries as pancake topping. (Speaking of, you gotta try these WFPB pancakes!)9. Nuts
A handful of nuts is the perfect snack to give you energy and fight inflammation at the same time. Walnuts, almonds, peanuts, and pistachios are only a few of the great choices you have and they can be enjoyed alone or with your favorite fruit.
- Your diet can affect your energy levels — for better or for worse!
- If you want sustained energy, choose plant-based foods over animal products and processed snacks.
- Some of the best plant-based foods to eat for a midday energy boost: bananas, sweet potatoes, apples with all-natural peanut butter, goji berries, hummus, edamame, oranges, strawberries, almonds.
- No time? Order vegan food delivery from MamaSezz to get energizing whole food plant-based meals delivered, ready to heat and eat!
Rafaela Michailidou is a Vegan Lifestyle Coach, and a freelance health and wellness content writer, with a Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies.