Eating for Energy

Jasica Twardus, Feature Reporter

At one point or another everyone hits that slump in their schedule. Eyelids slowly flutter shut, pencils stop their feverish writing, and students seem to grow strangely quiet. What exactly is this epidemic that has been hitting schools all over the nation? The key source of the issue can be located right under one’s nose, more specifically, on one’s plate.
This crash that burdens the majority of America is natural for the human body system. The internal clocks within the body craves rest between the morning and the time one goes to sleep. However, by supplementing the human body with the proper nutrients this energy crash can be slowed if not prevented altogether.
As is often heard the day of a big test, “Eat your breakfast.” These wise words should not only be limited to exam days. After a night’s rest the body has just gone, on average, seven to eight hours, without food or water. Without the proper fuel in the morning, little work can be expected of an individual without the right materials to get it done. With a proper breakfast the mind, as well as body, is ready to tackle the day. Several dietitians advise a protein and potassium combination for breakfast. The two combined gives the body a kick start after a busy night of recovery. Protein being the basic building block of the body is needed to make muscle. Meanwhile, potassium is a part of that process and also serves for other functions like breaking down carbohydrates for energy. Some simple recipes can be as easy as peanut butter toast with sliced bananas. Another quick fix is rice cakes with almond butter and potassium-rich pumpkin seeds. A breakfast such as this can not only energize but also prevent overeating. This is especially important because overloading on food is known to be an energy drainer. Another habit that is usually frowned upon but can be looked on positively is snacking. The determining factor being the kind of snack that is chosen. Between meals, a dose of minerals from a vegetable or fruit can aid an individual to power through that portion of the day as well as stifle unhealthy cravings.
The nutrients absorbed by the body at lunch are crucial to the energy sources for the remainder of the day. This one meal can either power a body through the rest of the school day or leave a student sleeping in the middle of sixth hour. Doctors recommend the consumption of iron rich foods during the lunch time period. A few examples of these foods would be tuna, spinach, and turkey. The iron in this food aids in the production of hemoglobin. This substance is found in red blood cells and gives them the ability to carry oxygen throughout the body. Thus if one consumes more iron the body will receive more oxygen flow and in turn greater amounts of energy.
Yet, for some individuals that struggle between work and naptime is in the afternoon. During this silent struggle a dose of dark chocolate can help increase dopamine levels. This in turn will dilate blood vessels and increase the blood flow, causing oxygen to reach organs faster.
One aspect that cannot be forgotten is water. With 50-65% of the human body being composed of water this component is crucial to maintain. Extra health benefits can be obtained by infusing water with fruits. The nutrients and oils from the fruits are convenient sources of energy.
Through smart maintenance of the diet all people can control their energy drive. The next step is to work on that individuals’ sleeping schedule.

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