Have you ever asked yourself how you could maintain optimal energy levels throughout the day, without the couple extra coffees? What if we told you that replacing them by oat and berry based snacks could help?
We often think restful sleep is the only solution to being focused, alert and efficient, no matter what the day throws at us. You shouldn’t be surprised to hear us say that it’s not the only solution - otherwise our article would stop here. There are, in fact, some definite and sometimes underestimated links between your energy and your diet.
Oats and restful sleep
What is melatonin?
Surely, you’re familiar with melatonin? It’s the hormone involved in regulating our sleep. It’s secreted in the absence of light. Some of us also know it in its capsule form, to help reduce the effects of jetlag for example. It’s not always easy as 1, 2, 3 for our body to make melatonin. We have to provide our neurons with certain building materials throughout the entire day so that they can produce and release this hormone at the desired time.
What nutrients help this process?
To make sure our body can generate an adequate amount of melatonin, it’s our job to feed it with a variety of nutrients such as tryptophan (oats, bananas, peanuts), vitamin B (cereals, wholemeal bread, whole grains), iron (oatmeal or oat bars, pumpkin seeds, tahini) and magnesium (oat flakes, almonds, dark chocolate).
So, what should we eat?
If you hadn’t already noticed, the four main nutrients (tryptophan, vitamin B, iron and magnesium) that support a good melatonin production are easily found in oats. Adding oat-based snacks to our daily diet is a great habit to adopt to give our body the means to our ambitions! It’s as simple as preparing some tasty overnight oats or having an oat bar on the go!
Red berries and energy
Dietary fiber allies
We’re not stopping there! Yes, it’s important to eat all these good nutrients, but how can we make sure we absorb them well? We’re talking about the importance of balance within our intestines.
Each and every one of us is inhabited by billions of microorganisms, and their sole purpose (or almost) is to keep us healthy. Many of them live in our digestive tract and take care of digesting, fermenting and absorbing essential nutrients. By nourishing our body with the best, we make sure these processes run smoothly. When we think about foods that are good for us, one category comes to mind: colourful fruits and vegetables. Among the most popular foods in this category, we of course have berries, especially cranberries.
Why should we eat cranberries?
Despite its tangy taste, the cranberry has it all! It helps the intestinal bacteria that are beneficial to our health take up more space, creating a positive effect on our blood sugar levels, even stabilizing our energy levels during the day. Not bad for a simple berry, right?
What about other red berries?
Let’s not forget the other popular red berries! Strawberries and cherries, for example, are packed with fiber and antioxidants and help limit damage to our healthy cells. It’s quite simple, adding colour to your plate does good to our bodies.
The quality of ingredients we eat daily have a major impact on our overall energy level, vigour, mood, and more. It’s easier than ever to benefit from all the health benefits of oats and red berries combined with our oat-based products. Our Strawberry & Cranberry oat bar, for example, is a delicious on-the-go snack. If you’re more of an overnight oats fan, our Almond Butter & Cherry flavour is easy to prepare and can be enjoyed at any time of the day.
This article was written in collaboration with Andréanne Martin. Andréanne is a dietitian-nutritionist who thrives on projects that allow her to promote healhty habits in order to help as many people feel and live better. She’s a big fan of oats and their benefits and contributed to this article with her expertise in preventive health and her passion for the science of nutrition and the microbiota.