The Best Foods to Eat at Every Time of Day

By , Jessica Girdwain, Woman's Day
It's not just what you eat, but when you eat that matters. "Our food dictates everything from our mood and energy levels to sleep patterns and cravings," says Marci Anderson, a registered dietitian in Cambridge, MA. So whether you want to feel alert in the morning, blissed-out at lunch or sleepy at night, smart food choices can get you there. You don't have to eat everything that follows in one day; just pick what suits your needs. Keep clicking to find out how to maximize your meals throughout the day.
Are you hungry when your alarm goes off? Good! "That's a sign that your metabolism is revved up," says Anderson. And eating, rather than skipping breakfast, is associated with better metabolism and health, she says. Eat within an hour of waking up and aim for a balance of complex carbs, fats and protein, which helps control your appetite throughout the morning, according to research from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Some suggestions: oatmeal topped with peanut butter and berries or whole-wheat toast topped with Cheddar and avocado. 

9 A.M. Goal: Focus on work

You may be hardwired to expect your morning jolt from coffee, and three cups a day have been shown to be healthy. Java may also perk up your ability to focus and pay attention, says registered dietitian Lauri Boone, author of Powerful Plant-Based Superfoods. For a similar lift with less caffeine, gulp some green tea. Its antioxidants—in particular EGCG—have been found to promote brain cell production and improve memory and learning, a 2012 Chinese study found. Or for a caffeine-free concentration boost, chew a stick of gum, per one UK study

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