When low on energy, we may reflexively crave for a cup of coffee or reach out for a handful of candy to provide a quick fix. But the effects of both are notoriously short lasting. The key to a nutritious yet energy sustaining snack lies in its contents which should be rich in protein, fiber, and complex carbohydrates.

Here are 8 of the best options recommended to power through the day:

1. Almonds

Almonds are a superfood in the snack world, as they contain important nutrients like magnesium and vitamin B that help change calories into energy. Insufficient vitamin B may lead to fatigue, irritability, and difficulty in concentration. Those who are weight conscious may choose to stick to one serving of about eight almonds, to keep calories in check.

2. Bananas

Bananas are nature's pre-packed and portable healthy snack. They are filled with fiber, B vitamins, and potassium which are nutrients which promote sustained energy and maintain muscle function. Bananas are particularly appealing as a snack for gym junkies as one of the rare nutritious yet palatable superfoods.

3. Greek yoghurt

When it comes to yogurt, Greek varieties deliver twice the amount of hunger-satisfying protein as its regular counterparts, making it a super-charged breakfast, lunch, or snack. You can also select the nonfat or low-fat variety to keep calories at bay!

4. Iron-rich foods

Constantly feeling lethargic and fatigued? Iron-deficiency anemia, a common cause which is identifiable by simple blood works especially in adolescent women. Iron is essential for producing hemoglobin, which carries oxygen to our body’s cells, where it is utilised to produce energy. Good food sources of iron are red meat, iron-fortified cereal, green leafy vegetables, and dried beans.

5. Eggs

Thanks to their richness in choline, an essential nutrient in the B vitamin family, eggs contribute to energy in many different ways. For example, choline is involved in our body cells’ metabolism and also helps the central nervous system to function in regeneration.

6. Dark chocolate

Just to be clear, we’re talking about really dark chocolate – above 70% cacao. When eating chocolate as a source of energy and not merely to satisfy that occasional craving, you want the highest cacao concentration, because cacao has nutrients that fight stress and boost energy and focus. Dark chocolate also contains a kick of caffeine, which helps to boost energy levels quickly but with a better health profile than caffeine from coffee in excessive quantities.

7. Whole grains

Though many are eliminating carbs from their diet to lose weight, there is strong evidence that supports healthy whole grains as the way to go to improve overall health and weight loss. As our body primarily uses carbohydrates to fuel itself, eating whole grains is an important part of creating natural energy that lasts throughout the day.

8. Water

Finally, while we believe in the importance of drinking water for many reasons, we often forget that energy is chief among them. When feeling sluggish, it could be simply from dehydration, of which fatigue is a very common nut unrecognised symptom.

A good first step in the fight for greater alertness is to simply drink some water especially if all you have sipped all day is coffee and soft drinks. MIMS

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