For moms-to-be or anyone looking to cut back on caffeine!
by NatureBox Health Writer Jenilee Matz, MPH
For many women, pregnancy is a time of joy, excitement, and extreme exhaustion. Unfortunately, with pregnancy comes hormones that often sap energy levels.
It may be tempting to turn to caffeine to help get you through the day, but try to resist. (The March of Dimes says pregnant women should limit caffeine to 200mg per day.) Instead of reaching for a cup of joe, fill up on natural pick-me-ups. Eating a wholesome, nutritious diet is one of the best ways to keep fatigue at bay.
- Whole grains. Healthy carbohydrates are energy-boosters. Avoid sweets and other refined carbs because they cause blood sugar levels to spike and then plummet, which will leave you feeling tired. Have oatmeal for breakfast, whole wheat bread with lunch, and brown rice at dinner to keep blood sugar- and energy- levels stable throughout the day.
- Eggs. Eggs are packed with protein. Eating protein with every meal and snack can help keep energy up all day long. Kick off your day with a veggie omelet.
- Nuts. Almonds, hazlenuts, and cashews are loaded with magnesium. Low magnesium levels have been linked with low energy. Munch on a handful of nuts to avoid the afternoon yawns.
- Salmon. Fatty fish, like salmon, is high in omega-3 fatty acids which may help ward off depression. Note that pregnant women should limit their seafood intake to 8 to 12 ounces per week
- Apples. Like other fruits and veggies, apples are high in fiber. Fiber slows digestion, which helps your energy levels stay consistent. Apples also contain boron, a mineral that keeps you alert. Pair an apple with a slice of reduced-fat cheese for a healthy snack.
- Pumpkin. Pumpkin and other orange produce is high in Vitamin A, which keeps your immune system strong. Pumpkin also contains postassium, which helps your muscles function at their best. Add pumpkin to muffins, oatmeal, or risotto.
- Water. Being dehydrated can leave you feeling fatigued. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated and energized. Add fresh lemon, lime, or cucumber slices to pizzazz up regular H2O.
Food isn’t the only natural way to boost your energy. Regular exercise can help you feel more energized and going to bed earlier or taking naps will help you feel more rested. Check with your doctor first, though, before you increase your activity level.
These tips are great even if you aren’t pregnant but may be looking for a little extra boost without having to turn to coffee.
Jenilee Matz, MPH is a medical writer, health educator, and runner based in Charlotte, NC. A new mom to an almost six month old little boy, she used nutrition and fitness to maintain her energy and health during pregnancy.
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