Energy Boosting Foods
You’re not alone. Most people are in search of ways to gain more energy and often struggle with the typical 2 p.m. slump. Often times, we are tempted to turn to caffeine, energy drinks laden with chemicals and artificial sweeteners, and sometimes sugary foods.
While those substances can provide quick energy, they won’t provide sustained energy, and will usually cause you to feel worse after their effects peak.
Here are some better energy boosting foods to try the next time you’re feeling fatigued:
- Lemon water. Sometimes fatigue is caused by mild dehydration. Most of the population lives in a state of chronic mild dehydration. Adding a bit of lemon to your water is a simple and effective way to get hydrated and boost your energy!
- Nuts. Cashews, almonds, and hazelnuts are high in magnesium (helps regulate the release of energy) and filled with fiber to keep your blood sugar levels even, and protein to stave off hunger. Keep a bag of mixed nuts with you to stay energetic all day.
- Fresh Fruits. It’s no wonder we crave sweets or sugar when we are stressed or fatigued. Our brains are hard wired to use glycogen as an energy source in times of stress. However, our brains can’t tell us to grab an apple, so you just feel like you want something sweet. Instead of going for sugary treats, grab some fresh fruit. Unlike juice, whole fruits contain the fiber you need to keep your blood sugar levels steady. Try iodine-rich pineapple help control how quickly your body burns energy, blueberries which help you focus, strawberries high in vitamin C, which help turn fat to energy.
- Asparagus. Loaded in B vitamins, which help convert food into fuel and contains a substantial amount of fiber to keep blood sugars steady. Try it for lunch to get a little afternoon boost.
- Dark Chocolate. Nibbling a square of dark chocolate as a post-lunch dessert is good for you. 70% dark chocolate is a great way to get a little boost from theobromine, a component similar to caffeine, which affects both your energy levels and your mood.
- Iron-rich plant foods. Foods rich in iron can help prevent PMS Great plant sources of iron include beans, lentils, spinach, and sesame seeds; eating them with vitamin C-rich foods can boost iron absorption.
- Eat the right combos. The best combination for maximum energy is a fruit or veggie + a whole grain + lean protein + plant-based fat + herb/spices.
- Eat an energizing breakfast. Instead of having just yogurt, add some fruit, a good fat like nuts or seeds, and raw or toasted oats.
- Whole foods. Eat more real, whole foods like fruits and veggies instead of processed foods. Once you make the switch from processed foods to simple ingredients and whole foods, you’ll notice a big difference in your energy level. (Just ask my sugar detox clients!)
- Variety. Eat a variety of superfruits instead of the same old banana every day. When you eat the same fruits over and over, you are limiting your nutrient and antioxidant intake.
- Choose the right energy bar. Be cautious here and become a label reader. Don’t just focus on the nutrition facts, read the ingredients list. If it sounds like a science experiment, stay away. If it sounds like a recipe you could make yourself, it’s a winner.
- Eat fresh foods in season. Check out your local farmer’s market for locally grown and in-season produce. When that’s not possible, frozen is the next best option. Freezing foods locks in the nutrients, so when farm-fresh isn’t possible, go for frozen.
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Engels, Jonathan. “The 5 Cleanest Sources of Plant-Based Fats.” One Green Planet. N.p., 21 Feb. 2014. Web. 16 June 2017.