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Foods For Each Time Of The Day

Foods For Each Time Of The Day

In life, time is everything. What you eat and when you do matter a great deal, because they can determine your overall wellbeing both in the short and long run.

From the time you wake up in the morning to the time you retire to bed at night, experts counsel that you should have an idea of what to put in your mouth by way of food or drink. This is because your diet weighs very much on your mood, such that your actions and inactions are guided by your foods.

This is corroborated by experts at Canadian Living, an online community, who suggest that certain elements in food can lift your mood by releasing neurotransmitters. They conclude that some foods can modify your mood. So, what foods do you need to get round the demand of the day? Read on.

Breakfast at 7am

Many people skip breakfast, thinking it’s one way to maintain their weight. But nutritionists and scientists alike stress that breakfast is, indeed, the most important meal of the day, as it practically determines whether you’d feel cheerful or grouchy for the rest of the day. Plus, it gingers up your metabolism and improves your overall health.

Researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia suggest that a balance of complex carbohydrate, fats and protein would help to control your appetite throughout the morning.

Nutritionist at the Mart Life Detox Clinic, Mrs. Idowu Ashiru, explains that carbohydrates provide calories that are necessary for the production of energy.

She says, “Carbohydrates provide more than 60 per cent of the amount of energy required by the body. And the energy is mostly used for normal body functions such as heartbeat, digestion, breathing and body movement.”

Foods that contain complex carbs include spinach, yams, broccoli, beans, zucchini, lentils, skimmed milk, whole grains, whole-meal bread, and many other leguminous plants and vegetables. You don’t need more than two of these foods at any point in time, especially as breakfast. Again, take them in reasonable quantity, instead of gorging your digestive system with them.

And if you’d rather go the English way, take cereal or oats with milk or yoghurt. For good effect, leave out sugar (a simple carbohydrate). You can also have whole-grain bread and eggs (fried, poached or boiled) with it. Remember, eat lightly.

Midmorning at work

On the average, by 9a.m., most workers are engaged in one meeting or the other, during which refreshments are served. What should you take here? For one, it’s a meeting that sometimes determines whether or not you are justifying your pay; so, you need to keep alert and awake. Many people will opt for coffee which, experts say, is actually good in helping you to feel alive all day, function better, improve alertness, encourage creativity and heighten thinking.

Despite these advantages though, some people are allergic to coffee. Here, green tea comes in handy. Described as the healthiest drink of all, a research scientist in nutrition at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Dr. Christopher Ochner, says the catechin content in green tea improves blood flow; prevents a range of heart-related issues such as high blood pressure and congestive heart failure; and also promotes greater activity in the working-memory area of the brains.

Again, nutritionists swear that sipping tea helps you slow down and relax; while an amino acid, called theanine and found in green tea, can provide a calming effect. You need all these at work, don’t you?

Morning meeting

Again, stuffs are served at meetings, but you can simply opt for yoghurt and, if you must, whole-grain biscuits. For one, yoghurts aid with digestion and they keep you regular, nutritionists say.

An associate professor at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, Dr. Alvaro Alonso, says special proteins in dairy regulate blood pressure, while its high levels of calcium, magnesium, and potassium contribute to the blood pressure-lowering effect. For those who work in fast-paced companies (and pray, who doesn’t?), these are beneficial.

Lunch that de-stresses

It’s lunch time and you need to get over the stress of PowerPoint presentations, answering clients’ enquiries, queries, etc. Therefore, go for foods that are rich in magnesium (mackerel fish, beans, avocados, banana, chocolate); protein (turkey and chicken breast, salmon fish, lean beef, eggs, etc.); and vitamin B6 (liver, tuna and salmon fish, vegetables, etc.). Again, moderation is the rule and you don’t need more than two combinations of these foods.

Boost your energy

By 3.30pm or thereabout, tiredness begins to set in. Rekindle your energy by eating snacks that will energise you. They include nuts such as groundnuts and walnuts. You may also moderately indulge in nut-fruit bar, among others.


You are home now and the day is fast winding down. After a hard day’s job, the best thing is to be able to drift to sleep effortlessly. Eating the kind of heavy stuffs that we are used to will only lead to heartburn and sleeplessness. Therefore, try foods such as lettuce, which contains lactucarium, which has sedative properties and affects the brain just as opium does.

Again, the good old white rice has a high glycemic index; so, eating it will significantly slash the time it takes you to fall asleep, according to an Australian study. In particular, jasmine rice brings on sleep faster, as a research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people who ate a meal that included jasmine rice fell asleep faster than when they ate other rice types.

In addition, downing a cup of chamomile tea will help you sleep. According to researchers, drinking the tea is associated with an increase of glycine, a chemical that relaxes nerves and muscles and acts like a mild sedative.

Quick facts

• Eating a fatty food along with your carbohydrates slows down digestion and blunts the feel-good response of carbs. That means pasta with tomato sauce is a better mood-improver than pasta with cream sauce.

• Skipping meals can have negative effect on mood and energy. Eat small amounts of food throughout the day to keep your energy levels and mood more constant.

• When you’re tired, you’re more likely to be in a poor mood. So, limit alcohol and caffeine, both of which can affect sleep.

• There may be even more to the food-mood connection. It’s possible that the feelings you have when you eat certain foods can also determine your mood. For instance, eating the foods you associate with happy family times may make you feel good. (Of course, the reverse may be true, as well.)

Source: Punch

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