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All you want is a nap. Instead of a sweet snack – which will only make you peak and crash – try these energising alternatives.

Apples

These perk you up faster than a coffee, being full of B-group vitamins which your body uses to turn food into fuel, and iron, a deficiency of which can leave you feeling constantly drained and exhausted. Apples also contain potassium, a mineral which is vital for maintaining a healthy heart – your body’s ‘engine’ – and so getting you through the day.
Top tip: Dip slices of organic apple into your favourite nut butter for a booster shot of healthy fats and protein.

Almonds

The perfect snack for anyone who dozes off in the afternoon, as they are full of protein, along with magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin B2, and potassium, which is particularly important for boosting physical and mental energy, maintaining a strong nervous system, regular heart rhythm, and correct blood pressure. They are also low in saturated fat and contain nutrients that protect against cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Top tip: Only eat raw, unsalted almonds; processed roasted ones can be devoid of nutrients and contain artificial colours and flavours. Fresh is always best!

Yoghurt

An easy snack for staying alert, it’s full of friendly probiotic bacteria like L. acidophilus and B.bifidum that not only support gut health but improve mood and energy, because if your gut bacteria is out of balance, headaches, sluggishness, irritability, fatigue, and even anxiety can all result. Yoghurt is also a good source of protein, calcium, and zinc, which strengthen your immune system.
Top tip: Lactose intolerant? There’s a good chance you can still enjoy yoghurt, because the lactose in milk used to make yoghurt is converted to lactic acid, making it easier to digest than milk or cheese.

Berries

It’s tempting to reach for something sweet – but make it fresh organic berries, not lollies! Berries are chockfull of get-happy nutrients and antioxidants, like vitamin C, manganese and vitamin E.
Top tip: Stir your berries into your cup of yoghurt. And experiment with a variety – strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, goji berries …

Ginger

Amongst its many talents – it’s anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving - ginger also stimulates digestion, which is critical to avoid mental and physical sluggishness. It is also a good source of energy-boosting vitamins B6, B3 and C, plus potassium, magnesium, and copper.
Top tip: Make refreshing ginger tea for your afternoon break – just chop a piece about an inch long and steep it in hot water; add a little honey, if you like.

Lemons

A simple dash of lemon in water or tea will give you a lift to get you through the afternoon. Lemons are full of immune-boosting vitamin C, folate, potassium, and limonene, a chemical that has been shown to slow the growth rate of certain cancers.
Top tip: Stay hydrated by toting a bottle of lemon-infused water with you during your day. Bonus - lemons are sturdy and portable, so take extra ones with you.

Margaux J. Rathbun, B.S., N.T.P., is a certified nutritional therapy practitioner, media
nutritionist, and the creator of Authentic Self Wellness. www.authenticselfwellness.com