As the darkness starts to creep in earlier each night, we can find ourselves struggling to stay awake. With a lack of sunlight naturally depleting our energy levels, it’s no wonder we’re constantly tempted to reach for the duvet and hot chocolate. #BrainFood Nutritionist Yvonne McMeel offers her top tips on how to beat the onset in autumn fatigue.
Although tempting, don’t nap during the day. Get a good night’s sleep instead by swapping your morning glass of orange juice with cherry juice. Research has shown that it improves melatonin levels as well as sleep quality and duration far better than medicated sleeping tablets.
Reduce lethargy by upping your magnesium intake by having more green leafy vegetables. Necessary for more than 300 chemical reactions in the human body, magnesium plays a vital role in energy production. A healthy serving of spinach, kale and cabbage sprinkled with pumpkin seeds will do the trick.
Avoid caffeine from lunchtime onwards. Once you’ve mastered that, try to replace it altogether with herbal teas or caffeine-free teas, such as rooibos. Camomile or valerian tea in particular are known to help calm the body after a stressful day and aid restful sleep.
Sun exposure is important and not that plentiful in the UK, so consider supplementing your diet with vitamin D to help improve mood and wellbeing. Vitamin D can also be found in oily fish, mushrooms, eggs and fortified breakfast cereals.
Although generally associated with exotic summer holidays, coconut is a great natural source of energy all year round. It contains Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs), a unique form of dietary fat that is efficiently converted into energy fuel for immediate use. Look for low-sugar macaroons sweetened with honey that will reduce the glycemic index of the treat. Coconut water-based smoothies can also give you an instant lift.
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