It’s hard to fight the afternoon daze at work, but UC San Francisco nurse Shelley Pepper says what you eat for lunch or snacktime can make a big difference. Surprise—a healthy fruit snack may make you less productive than a slice of bologna. Pepper says:
You need carbs for energy, but if you eat stuff that breaks down really quickly and floods your body with glucose, the insulin will come out and pack the glucose away into your liver for later use, which gives you the post-sugar crash. Eating carbohydrates for energy, together with some fat and/or protein will slow down the digestion so it lasts longer and doesn’t make you crash.
Remember, carbs come in fruits and veggies as well as grains. And you can get protein from meat, dairy, fish, eggs and beans (like soy or pinto). The perfect lunch might be a veggies with fish (mmm, nicoise salad, anyone?), and the best snack an apple with a little cheese. If you’re still feeling sleepy in the afternoons, Pepper has a final bit of advice: “You could just do what they do in other countries and take a siesta.” You can get more information about how to choose carbohydrates, proteins and fats from the Harvard School of Public Health Nutrition Source.