The expression ‘go with your gut’ means that take heed of your instincts and make a decision based more on how you objectively feel about something, rather than weighing up the variables and their possible outcomes. Your gut seems to have a mind of its own, and this isn’t actually far from the truth: the bacteria in your gut is responsible for neurotransmitters that affect the levels of dopamine, acetylcholine, and acetylcholine in your body. Impacting your mood, concentration span, motivation, and anxiety, these neurotransmitters can influence how our brains react to certain situations and can affect rash thinking or more intense emotions.
This is the science behind the ‘hangry’ phenomena, where an empty tummy can directly dictate a person’s feelings of anger and stress. For your mental wellbeing, and the wellbeing of those around you, it’s important to keep your body properly stocked with nutrients and energy to ensure rational decision-making, as well as numerous other bodily functions, can perform at peak efficiency. The famous advertising slogan employed by Snickers – “You’re not you when you’re hungry” – has some solid scientific foundations beneath it, as running low on energy is a sure-fire way to heighten your stress levels and frustrate the people around you. Here are some of the best foods to get into your diet to keep your energy levels – and your spirits – up.
Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day
To help you get your day sorted – to keep you active and awake for the train ride to work, or to help you power through all the items on your to-do list – a healthy, balanced breakfast is all that’s needed to ensure you stay on track. Nothing can be more dispiriting than the 11 am energy crash, so be sure to seat yourself in front of a bowl of diced fruit, wholegrain toast, or some hearty porridge to give you enough slow-release energy to power you through until midday. Those of you looking to start your day right would be well served by a bowl of Scottish Oats, whose whole-oat grains offer enough pure fiber to not only protect you against heart disease but also guarantee that you feel fuller for longer. Making sure you don’t snack between meals, these oats will power you through till lunchtime thanks to the slow-release energy of their carbohydrates and B-vitamins, which aid the body convert food products into sources of energy.
Staples of a hearty breakfast are the classic omelet or fried eggs, which have numerous health benefits on top of their famously high levels of protein, but nothing quite beats a warming bowl of porridge on a cold, dark morning. Another fantastic thing about breakfast is the range of customization it allows, as you can load up your plate – or bowl of cereal – with all kinds of natural sugars and slow-release energy. Just about the best breakfast item for those who want their first meal of the day contained in a single bowl is muesli, as this can easily be found with plenty of different nuts, oats, and seeds on offer. As well as being the far healthier option to other supermarket cereals, some of which offering an ingredients list that is 35% sugar, the nuts found in muesli have a very high content of healthy fats, as well as being a good source of vitamins and minerals.
Almonds, for instance, are loaded with magnesium and vitamin E, which can aid physical performance in exercise, relieve symptoms of depression, and even strengthen the body’s immune system to ward off illness and keep you in peak physical condition. A proven method to intensify the health benefits of nuts is leaving them to soak overnight in a pitcher of water, as this kickstarts their germination and thereby enhances their nutrient value, as well as allowing them to be digested more quickly.
Snack on fruit instead of candy bars
As we get further into the spring months, more and more colorful fruits and vegetables will find their way into grocery stores and farmers’ markets, giving you more diverse and vibrant meal plans as the days get warmer and longer. Now is a terrific time to load up on fructose-heavy fruits such as apples and oranges, whose natural juiciness not only tastes delicious but can also keep colds at bay with their high levels of vitamin C. Apricots are another optimum snack to perk you up from a mid-afternoon sugar crash, thanks to their wonderfully sweet taste and high levels of fiber and antioxidants to keep your body working at its best.
If you wanted to a smooth-textured base to your sweet, juicy snacks, the best bet is definitely going to be natural or Greek yoghurt. Steer well clear of low-fat variants, as these are often heaped with sugar to improve their taste, and you’ll get a full-fat dose of the many benefits of this thick, creamy dairy product. Containing live bacteria that aids the digestive system, thereby absorbing more of the energy-providing nutrients taken from your food, Greek yoghurt is a great way to turbocharge your mood with so much creaminess to balance out the sharpness of the apples or oranges you’ll be enjoying it with.
When it comes to the downsides of neglecting your body of the energy it needs, there are just too many to count. As well as spiking your anger, energy crashes caused by lack of sustenance can really knock the wind out of your sails: fatigue, difficulty keeping awake, inability to focus on even simple tasks and impeded coordination, all of these negative effects are the result of failing to keep your body replenished. This is where Buffalo Market steps in, as we have an inventory of more than 2,600 farm-fresh and 100% organic ingredients for you to choose from, sourced direct from small-scale farmers across California.
Nurturing long-standing and meaningful relationships with these independent producers, our organic produce is delivered direct to your door to not only maximize convenience but to ensure you are safe in the knowledge that every cent of your purchase goes straight back to the farmer. At Buffalo Market, we’re about as interested in middlemen as we are in processed, genetically-modified foods (which is to say, not one bit!) With a constantly rotating turnover of stock to suit the seasons, we are always bringing in fresh deals on our premium market-quality goods, making it easier than ever for you to enjoy the benefits of shifting to a more diverse, more colorful diet. Try for yourself and see what a difference going organic can make in your kitchen.