It’s a great feeling to go through your day with steady energy.
But that doesn’t happen by chance. To optimize your daily energy level, let’s examine some foods you should add to your daily mix.
Wait, doesn’t all food boost your energy? Yes, it does, but in different ways. Candy, sugary drinks, and sweets are tasty, but they add too much sugar to your blood too quickly. That spike in your blood sugar will crash, leaving you tired and hungry all over again.
Proteins, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates take longer to digest, they satisfy your hunger and give you a steady stream of energy. Here are a few to consider:
They digest slowly, which stabilizes your blood sugar. They’re a great source of protein, especially if you’re vegetarian or vegan. They also contain antioxidants, fiber, protein, and carbs. Beans are great sources of folic acid, iron, and magnesium, which help produce energy and deliver it to our cells.
They’re tasty legumes that are energy powerhouses, rich in carbs and fiber. One cup of cooked lentils contains about 15 grams of fiber and 36 grams of carbs. Lentils replenish your stores of iron, folate, zinc, and manganese.
It’s a complex carb, which means it’s a slow-burning source of energy full of fiber and nutrients. Oats also boost serotonin production, which can help manage stress. Avoid flavored instant oats, which are loaded with added sugar. Instead, add berries, bananas, or a drizzle of honey.
Nutritious and satisfying. It’s less processed than white rice which allows it to hang onto more nutritional value in the form of vitamins, fiber, and minerals. A half-cup of brown rice packs two grams of fiber and much of the recommended daily intake of manganese, a mineral needed for enzymes to break down carbs and proteins, turning them into energy.
One of the best foods for energy, whether frozen and blended into a smoothie, sliced onto oatmeal, or eaten on the go. They’re great to replenish electrolytes. Bananas are full of complex carbohydrates, vitamin B6, potassium and a little protein.
The carbs in yogurt are mainly in the form of simple sugars, such as lactose and galactose. These sugars, when they break down, can provide energy immediately. Greek yogurt is an especially good choice. Add some berries or bananas on top.
Packed with protein, which means steady energy. A single egg has just 70 calories, yet awards you with six grams of protein. That provides fuel that gets released slowly. It also has more nutrients per calorie than most other foods.
A great source of potassium, iron, magnesium and vitamin C, a nutrient needed for energy production. Your body will thank you for the sustainable complex carbohydrates, which release energy into the body slowly over time.
Chickpeas (they’re also called garbanzo beans) in hummus are a good source of complex carbs and fiber, which provide steady energy. The tahini (sesame seed paste) and olive oil in hummus contain healthy fats and slow the absorption of carbs, which helps avoid blood sugar spikes.
A superfood, rich in ‘good’ fats, fiber, and B vitamins. Around 85% of the fat in avocados is from monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, which promote healthy blood-fat levels and boost the absorption of nutrients. About 80% of the carb content in avocados is made up of fiber, which means delicious, sustained energy.
High in protein and low in saturated fat. There is also strong evidence that eating fish or taking fish oil is good for your heart and blood vessels. Try tuna, salmon, herring, mussels, anchovies, swordfish, sardines, mackerel, and trout.
Dark leafy greens
Kale, collard greens, mustard greens, spinach, Swiss chard and arugula are energizing additions to your meal. All dark leafy greens are high in nutrients and a rich source of chlorophyll, yet they’re low in calories.
Being dehydrated will definitely cause low energy and sometimes make you feel sluggish mentally. If you’re feeling a slump physically or mentally, drink a tall glass of cool water for quick relief.
Cinnamon works to keep blood sugar levels stable, which evens out your energy levels. One teaspoon of cinnamon contains as many antioxidants as half a cup of blueberries, one of the most antioxidant-rich foods. Use it in your yogurt or add a dash to your coffee.
What you eat contributes more to your energy level than you realize. Try to incorporate as many of these into your diet as possible.
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