Foods That Give You Energy
For most of us, coffee is our go-to source of energy on busy days. But since we can’t drink coffee for every meal, we have to find something else to supply our energy needs. Here are some yummy ideas.
An Appealing Banana
Bananas are a wonderful energy boosting food choice. This occurs because bananas are carbohydrates with high levels of potassium and B6 vitamins—which work together to reenergize our tired bodies. A deficiency in some vitamins and minerals can leave us feeling more fatigued than usual, and bananas are a sweet solution. They also boost your metabolism and leave you ready for a hearty dinner.
Fatty Fish Delights
Mmmmm! Fish is an excellent energy booster—especially salmon. It is loaded with nutrients, Omega 3 fatty acids, B vitamins, and vitamin D. These vitamins work together to combat fatigue in our bodies. Additionally, salmon is anti-inflammatory; chronic inflammation can sap our bodies of much-needed energy. There are numerous ways to incorporate salmon and other fish into our weekly meals—from salads to sandwiches and even smoked salmon on bagels!
Nutritious Brown Rice
Brown rice is an unprocessed whole grain with amazing energy-boosting properties. Because it is unprocessed, it retains more of the naturally occurring fiber, minerals, and vitamins which our body needs to fuel itself. Additionally, one of those minerals is manganese which helps our enzymes to break down carbohydrates and protein to turn them into energy. Brown rice also has a low glycemic index which helps to regulate our blood sugar levels and provide steady energy all day long without that annoying crash later in the day.
Sweet Potatoes Galore
This is your chance to have mashed sweet potatoes, sweet potatoes chips, and sweet potato fries all week. It turns out that these orange tubers are great at boosting our energy levels. This is because they are loaded with fiber, vitamins and minerals which include manganese and vitamin A. Due to their fiber content and complex carbohydrate levels, sweet potatoes are digested at a slower rate than other foods and supply us with a steady source of energy.
Eggs are a complete protein and can be served in a variety of delicious ways so that everyone can find a way to eat more eggs—egg-rich pound cake totally counts but only on the weekends. Eggs contain an amino acid called leucine which stimulates the energy production in the cells and can increase the breakdown of fats into energy. So a salad with hard boiled eggs on it, deviled eggs for a snack or fried eggs and bacon for breakfast all are winners.
Rich Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate with a cacao content level of 75% or higher has many health benefits—including increasing our energy levels. Chocolate boosts our energy by increasing our blood flow. Blood flow to the brain means more oxygen and more oxygen means lower fatigue levels and less brain fog. Furthermore, once we are feeling more mentally awake our mood begins to improve. A piece or two of dark chocolate might just be what we need to salvage the rest of a lousy day so always carry a bar with you for “emergencies.”
Whole Oats Time
Oatmeal is a whole grain cereal that can be served hot or cold and prepared in a variety of delicious ways to suit everyone’s individual needs and tastes. Oatmeal contains beta-glucan which is that sticky glue-like substance that appears once oatmeal has been cooked. This soluble fiber delays the stomach from emptying and slows the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream which provides us with a steady stream of energy rather than a sudden spike followed by a crash. Oatmeal can be eaten the traditional way or prepared in the form of overnight oats or added to yogurt, smoothies, energy balls or trail mix.
Plain Greek Yogurt
The attraction of yogurt is usually the variety of delicious flavors when we are hungry but for the best results, you want plain yogurt. You can jazz it up later with fresh fruit or nuts as you see fit. The beauty of Greek yogurt is that it supports gut health, is loaded with protein and also contains calcium which can strengthen your bones. Yogurt also makes a convenient and delicious afternoon or mid-morning snack.
A Slice Of Whole Wheat
Whole wheat is a complex-carb which raises our blood sugar levels slowly when being digested rather than all at once—resulting in a spike of energy followed by a crash which then requires another spike to recover from and the cycle goes on. Whole wheat bread might not be your favorite but whole white wheat is a viable option to the traditional brown wheat and is just as nutrient dense. Make a sandwich with peanut butter and jam or fresh bananas and a dash of Nutella and you have a lovely treat.
Fruity Apples And Strawberries
Apples are a fiber-rich anti-inflammatory fruit and apples can provide us with lots of energy by reducing our inflammation levels and keeping our blood sugar levels steady with their fiber content. Additionally, strawberries are sweet little packages containing folate, vitamin C, minerals and lots of antioxidants which can produce energy at the cellular level.
Drink A Smoothie
The beauty of smoothies is how easy they are to make and customize to your individual day-to-day needs. One day you might add protein powder, strawberries, and almond milk. Another day you might use spinach (which contains iron and improves blood circulation), fish oil, matcha powder, and coconut milk or water, with a bowl of melon balls to munch on for their water content. The blends are endless, and you can literally make your own energy drink on your way to work, after a workout or when you get home for the day and are feeling a bit peckish.