Mood swings: We all have them. They’re a part of life. And that’s okay.
But did you know there are actually foods you can eat when you’re feeling tired and low-energy? And that there are foods you can munch on when you’re feeling overly-energetic that will soothe you and help you relax?
We compiled a list of 7 foods to eat for energy…and 7 you should eat to help chill you out.
FOODS FOR ENERGY
Packed with magnesium and vitamin B, almonds are snack-world stars. Research shows people with low levels of magnesium tend to feel lethargic, so munching down a serving of these (about 23) will be a great pick-me-up.
Besides the fact that it’s peanut butter (get out the spoon and jar), this off-the-charts yummy snack has healthy fats, protein and fiber — key nutrients for staving off hunger and boosting your energy.
You’ve heard the phrase: An apple a day keeps the doctor away, yes? Well we think it’s high time the banana had its day in the sun, too. The potassium and fiber in these classic yellow fruits power muscles and keep you going strong.
Kale is a super versatile vegetable. It goes great in salads, as a garnish, on sandwiches or in soups and in shakes. It’s also a superfood, meaning it has a host of nutrients to power you up, like the amino acid L-tyrosine, fiber and antioxidants, for starters.
Ditch the cheese dip and opt for hummus instead. This healthy Mediterranean food takes the edge off hunger because it’s packed with protein and fiber — two essentials for staying energized.
Chocolate that contains at least 60 percent cacao (so dark chocolate) has been shown to increase alertness and attentiveness. (As if you needed an excuse to eat chocolate.)
These tasty little blue morsels are low in sugar and high in fiber, the perfect combination to keep your body and brain humming throughout the entire day.
FOODS TO HELP YOU CHILL
Cheese and crackers
You’ve probably heard that whole warm-milk-can-make-you-sleepy thing before. And it’s true (sort of). Milk has calcium, a vitamin that helps the brain produce melatonin, the natural chemical that helps you sleep and regulates muscle movements.
Don’t go overboard, but eating pretzels creates a natural spike in blood sugar and insulin levels, which has been shown to shorten the time it takes you to fall asleep.
No, not the maraschino cherries — the real ones. Researchers have found that cherries naturally boost levels of melatonin. Plus, who doesn’t want to snack down some cherries?
This naturally sweet elixir not only goes great on bread and in tea, but it also allows tryptophan to enter the brain more easily. Tryptophan is an amino acid that helps induce sleep, fight anxiety and burn body fat.
You’ve probably experienced that after-Thanksgiving nap a time or two. Turkey meat is packed with tryptophan, which is likely to make you nod off — or at least chill out.
Not only are prunes great for your digestive system, but they also have just the right mix of nutrients — calcium, vitamin B6, magnesium — to regulate sleep into a healthy pattern.
Typically thought of as a morning food, cantaloupe is actually even better enjoyed at night. That’s because it is made up of mostly water, and dehydration is a known enemy of sleep.
Foods not soothing you? Check out our 9 Tried-and-True Tricks to Get to Sleep Faster.
Author: Caitlin Hendee
Diet-to-Go Community Manager
Caitlin is the Diet-to-Go community manager and an avid runner. She is passionate about engaging with others online and maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle. She believes moderation is key, and people will have the most weight loss success if they engage in common-sense healthy eating and fitness.