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Healthy Lunches that Give You Energy

Amy Long Carrera, MS, RD, CNSC, CWCMS
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist | Shield HealthCare
02/14/14  6:51 PM PST
Healthy Lunches

Avoid a post-lunch slump by lunching on healthy foods that give you the nutrients you need to stay energized through the afternoon.

High-fiber foods slow the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates, stabilizing your blood sugar levels and preventing lows that can leave you feeling listless after lunch.

YOUR LUNCH

  • Whole grain: brown rice (can buy frozen for use in a pinch)
  • Veggie: Kale (throw this in a container with a few drops of water the night before, ready to steam in the microwave at lunch time)
  • Protein: edamame (soybeans – also available shelled and frozen)
  • Fruit: a few dried cherries or cranberries
  • BONUS: healthy fat: sprinkle with slivered almonds

 

Omega-3 fatty acids are necessary for circulation, brain function and energy production.

YOUR LUNCH

  • Whole Grain: half of a 100% whole-wheat bagel
  • Lite cream cheese (if you must use full-fat, spread with a light hand)!
  • Veggie: sliced tomato and cucumber
  • Lean Protein: Smoked salmon (BONUS: great source of healthy omega-3 fats)
  • Fruit: Strawberries, kiwi or an orange (BONUS: vitamin C supports a healthy immune system)

 

Antioxidants help your body fight inflammation and illness, keeping you energized.

YOUR LUNCH

  • Whole Grain: 100% whole-wheat pasta (whole grains are a rich source of antioxidants)
  • Veggie: halved grape tomatoes and cubed cucumber
  • Lean Protein: low-fat or fat-free feta cheese
  • BONUS: healthy fat: toss the above ingredients with sliced Kalamata olives and drizzle with balsamic vinegar olive oil
  • Fruit: fresh or frozen blueberries

 

BONUS TIP:  Stay awake by staying hydrated throughout the day with plain or flavored water.

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