We all know that feeling. Eyelids drooping, difficulty concentrating and almost impossible to sit up straight. We usually reach for the coffee or the chocolate our helpful/evil coworker left in the break room. But doing this, we know, just provides a quick burst of energy and then a near-somnambulant crash, and isn’t much of an option for gluten-free eaters. To avoid this kind of roller coaster, many natural and gluten-free foods provide sustainable energy to get you through the afternoon slump.
Here are just 6 easy-to-swallow healthy choices:
1. Fruit – fresh and dried
Carbohydrates and simple sugars are a good, quick source of energy. This is a quick pick-me-up, and the vitamins can also contribute to better brain power. Fruits contain plenty of fiber alongside, so the food is more evenly digested and less likely to crash you.
There are plenty of other benefits that come with including more fruit into your diet as well. Blueberries are chock-full of B vitamins, which are essential to converting food into ATP– energy your cells use. If you’re watching your weight, these gluten-free goodies are practically guilt-free.
Fats, fiber protein…antioxidant. These powerhouses of the trees really pack in their nutritional value, while being satisfying in small portions. Stick to the ones that have the highest boost (almonds, brazil nuts) or best brain food (walnuts and almonds).
Often, those with gluten sensitivities also have nut allergies, but if you’ve got a safe favorite, see if you can find it in its raw state, so it retains more of its nutrients. The roasting process diminishes the goodness and adds (usually) way more salt than necessary.
Commonly known, dairy products contain a lot of calcium, and yogurt is increasingly trusted to deliver, along with its probiotic properties.
What does calcium have to do with having energy? The natural sugars are a form of carbohydrate, but with the protein of the dairy for measured digestion. The calcium itself is vital for contraction of blood vessels and muscle tissue, so oxygen circulates to keep everything awake, especially the brain. [Sometimes yogurt brands add thickeners that can have trace amounts of gluten, so be careful (and still read those labels!) if you have Celiac disease or a gluten allergy.]
This spice, often found in Indian food, has a detoxifying effect on kidney and liver processes.
This effect helps boost energy by helping the system not work so hard on waste elimination. Since digestion is a top priority for the body, and it does so constantly, helping this process along brings more energy for other things– like thinking thoughts other than “when is quitting time?”
Because the slump can be explained partially by the drop in blood sugar following a quick high, balancing out the levels of blood sugar are critical to not feeling overly down. Consistent energy gets you through the day more satisfyingly.
Not only that, but asparagus also contains the B vitamins choline, biotin and pantothenic acid, all of which are key players in the role of metabolism of sugars and starches, thus, making them critical for healthy blood sugar management.
Bonus: Sweet potatoes get a mention here for the same reason.
6. The GFB
Of course, we would be remiss to not mention our very own gluten-free protein bars. Made with simple, tasty ingredients and having 12 grams of protein, The GFB is an excellent source of sustained energy to get your through the afternoon doldrums and all the way to dinner. We created The GFB because we wanted to make something that people would really enjoy eating – think of it as a healthy, delicious gluten-free snack to get you through your day. We’re so confident you’ll like it, we offer a no-questions-asked return policy. You can shop our online store and use coupon code “CertifiedGF” for 15% off your purchase.
Virginia Cunningham is a health enthusiast and freelance writer living in the Los Angeles area. As a fitness nut herself, she is always looking for the best ways to maintain her energy throughout the day, and she often chooses these gluten-free foods as her go-to option.