Stop drinking coffee! Here are five better foods to consume

About to enter a food coma after lunch? Instead of reaching for a coffee, which is harmful in the long run, why not try one of these five "superfoods"?

Let’s face it, caffeine does provide that immediate boost people need to get going at work in the mornings and after lunch.

But long-term caffeine consumption comes with many harmful effects, including dizziness, diarrhoea, irregular heartbeats and insomnia.

Studies also show the crash that comes after the caffeine has worn off can cause even higher levels of moodiness and irritability, leading to lower productivity at work.

Instead of drinking coffee, there are less-harmful foods and drinks that employees can consume to beat exhaustion at work, as one UK nutritionist Cassandra Barns, recently shared with news site Daily Mail Online.

Here are five of HRM Asia’s picks:

1) Whole grain oats

Having a typical high-sugar and high-fat Singaporean breakfast of toast and eggs, or even fried beehoon with luncheon meat, can lead to a drastic drop in energy around 11am.

Whole Grain Oats, however, are high in fibre, and because it is an unprocessed whole grain, breaks down at a slower pace, which will provide sustained energy throughout the day.

2) Raw chocolate

Yes, completely raw cacao that has not been roasted, heated or processed in any way.

A typical bar of chocolate, again, like all high-sugar foods, will give you an initial sugar rush followed by a sharp crash.

But raw cacao contains a gentle stimulating substance called theobromine, which increases energy levels. It also stimulates the production of serotonin in the brain, which is responsible for mood regulation and overall sense of well-being.

So why not cut out the sugar in a Cadbury and avoid the aftermath?

3) Sea vegetables

Barns said one nutrient often lacking in most people’s diets is iodine.

Iodine is vital for making the thyroid hormone, which plays a key role in regulating metabolism and energy release from food. 

One major symptom due to a lack of the thyroid hormone is tiredness.

Sea vegetables, like Japanese seaweed, are a great source of iodine.

4) Mackerel

A deficiency in the vitamin B12 can lead to lower energy levels.

B12 works with iron to help build healthy red blood cells that carry oxygen around the body.

Mackerel is one of the best natural supplier of the vitamin, and also provides provides other B vitamins and magnesium that help the body to release energy from food. 

5) Water

Of course, the benefits of water are well-covered.

But just as a reminder, water carries nutrients and oxygen to where they are required in the body.

It is also needed to break down food molecules to produce energy.

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