A lot of people that come to see me in my surgery say they feel tired for no apparent reason. It’s one of the most common complaints along with not having enough sleep – though of course, the two are inextricably linked. We are meant to wake up feeling full of beans ready to face the day, largely thanks to the hormone cortisol, which peaks around 6am. Come the evening, levels should be falling while melatonin, the sleep-inducing hormone, rises to ready you for sleep.
It’s often tricky to maintain steady energy all day though, especially after lunch. I’ve noticed that the foods that often drive a mid-afternoon slump are sandwiches, jacket potatoes and pasta. These tend to raise blood sugar for a short while, followed by a blood sugar dip that leads to feelings of fatigue. The best way to maintain steady blood sugar is to choose your lunch wisely and go for meals filled with protein, healthy fats and veg.
RANGAN’S ALL-DAY ENERGY PRESCRIPTION
● For lunch, eat a good source of protein such as egg, fish or chicken, as well as healthy fats from avocado, olives or nuts, and lots of veg, either steamed or raw.
● Instead of coffee or a fizzy caffeinated drink, drink plain water.
● Try deep breathing before settling down to your afternoon’s work.
Read the full column in the April 2017 issue of Top Sante, on sale from 22nd February. Doctor in the House can be seen on BBC One. Find out more atwww.drchatterjee.co.uk