When you’ve just brought a new baby home, it can feel as though you’ll never be rested again. You’re not just a little bit sleepy. It’s not a matter of being slightly fatigued. It’s utter exhaustion. Still, even as a sleep deprived new mom, you have no choice but to keep going.
It would be lovely to be able to reach for one coffee after the next or to work your way through a stockpile of energy drinks. Obviously, that’s not going to help a sleep deprived new mom or your baby, but it sure can be tempting.
Instead, one of the best things a sleep deprived new mom can do is to prepare meals using foods that are known for fighting fatigue. These are whole foods that can be prepared simply and in a delicious way and that will help to replace the energy that is so desperately lacking for you at the moment.
Consider adding the following foods to your regular diet. They may not replace a solid night of sleep, but they can help you to get a bit of a boost when you need it the most.
1. Edamame – These tasty little soybeans are packed with B vitamins, including B6, B12, folic acid, riboflavin, thiamine, copper and phosphorous. These are great for enhancing both circulation and brain function. They also help to promote more effective carbohydrate conversion into glucose, the main form of energy used by the body. You can steam or boil edamame which are purchased either in the pod or frozen. You can eat them at room temperature, which makes them a great energy-boosting make-ahead snack.
2. Nuts – Nuts like cashews are a high source of magnesium, which is vital to boosting energy levels. It helps in the breakdown of glucose – blood sugar – so that the body can convert it into usable energy. When you’re low in this mineral, your energy level can plummet. Snacking on a handful of nuts can make a noticeable difference. Among the only exceptions is walnuts, which also contain melatonin and can make you feel more tired.
3. Melon – Choose your favorite one and you’ll gain fiber, water and B vitamins galore. Cantaloupe, watermelon and honeydew are abundant in the summer and are fantastic for energy building and maintenance. Watermelon is especially good due to the citrulline amino acid it contains. In fact, many athletes eat watermelon to improve their performance.
4. Pumpkin seeds – just a handful of raw, shelled pumpkin seeds can give you protein, fiber, healthy fats, and minerals like zinc, magnesium, phosphorous and manganese for a natural boost when you need it. Eat a handful on their own or sprinkle them on your breakfast.
5. Eggs – Don’t just go for the whites. The yolks contain the vast majority of the nutrients in eggs. One egg will give you a great dose of B vitamins, the lasting energy of protein, as well as vitamin D.