Food is meant to give the body energy so that it can function well. However, there may be times when the body feels sluggish instead of energized after a meal. There are different possible reasons why eating can make you sleepy but more often than not, it is related to the types of food you eat during a meal as well as how often you eat.

A healthy diet can consist of three big meals, specifically breakfast, lunch, and dinner or smaller meals that are eaten at more frequent intervals. The important thing is to provide the body with adequate nutrition throughout the day so that it can function at an optimal level. Healthy eating involves healthy food so that it fuels the body instead of making you feel tired and sleepy. Below are some of the things you can do to avoid an energy slump during the day.

Avoid High Glycemic Index (GI) Foods

Glycemic index or GI refers to the measure of how carbohydrates present in food affects sugar levels in the blood. Glycemic index is specific to each kind of food and is not related to the amount of food consumed by an individual. High GI foods cause a rapid rise in blood sugar levels since glucose, the end-product of carbohydrate metabolism, is quickly absorbed from the digestive tract into the bloodstream. Insulin levels rise in response to increased glucose levels in the blood so that glucose can be used by the cells for energy. Insulin does not only exert control over blood sugar levels but also causes serotonin levels to increase in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is associated with sleep which is why eating high GI foods can cause an individual to feel drowsy instead of alert.

Avoid Fatty Foods

Foods that contain high amounts of fat such as fried foods, fast foods, oily snacks, and meat with high fat content are likely to cause sleepiness. Fats aren’t as easily digested as other nutrients and it takes longer to digest. The blood in the body is diverted to the digestive system in order to support the demands of fat digestion and this leads to less oxygen that reaches the brain. Fatty foods cause a feeling of reduced energy which is why fats should only be taken in minimal amounts.

Eat a Healthy Breakfast

Breakfast is considered to be the most important meal of the day. Eating a healthy breakfast of foods that are burned slowly by the body like fruits and whole grains is sure to kick-off one’s energy levels and reduces the possibility of overeating. According to studies, people who skip breakfast have a tendency to eat excess calories later in the day through high calorie, high fat foods. Low GI foods are best for the body as these cause glucose to be released gradually into the bloodstream so that energy levels do not slump or spike suddenly.

Choose Snacks with Care

A midday snack is always a good idea but you need to make sure that you make healthy food choices. Avoid snacks that are high in calories, sugar, and fats. Instead, choose fruits, whole grain crackers, or nuts to help keep up your energy in the afternoon.

Healthy eating is important when keeping energy levels up. Foods that are high in sugar and fats do not only cause sleepiness but also tend to have harmful effects on the body especially when taken in excessive amounts. Good nutrition will not only improve one’s energy but also promotes better health.

Published On: February 19th, 2021 / Categories: General Health /

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