If you’re starting to drag throughout the day, you may be experiencing a lack of energy due to inadequate nutrition. There are many factors to pay attention to when focusing on diet. Calories, carbs, protein and other variables are all tweaked depending on the person and their diet. Regardless if you’re trying to lose weight or simply maintain, foods that give natural energy to the body are a necessity.
Twelve Foods That Give Great Energy
1. Fish. Fatty fish such as tuna or salmon are an excellent source of protein. Since protein is essential when rejuvenating damaged cells, fish can help boost energy without including unhealthy amounts of cholesterol. In addition to protein, it provides a lower risk of heart disease because of omega-3 fatty acids. According to the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration, women should eat two to three servings of fish each week.
2. Potatoes. Low-carb diets have recently become popular in the United States. While this may be beneficial for certain types of weight loss, eliminating all carbs is usually frowned upon. Potatoes can actually provide more energy while simultaneously quenching one’s hunger at a faster rate. Sweet potatoes play an important role for allowing one’s metabolism to run smoothly. Runners often find that eating a baked potato can help with a tough, cardio workout.
3. Eggs. Like fish, eggs provide a natural source of protein that can exponentially increase energy levels. Eating a couple of eggs in the morning can keep you feeling full and alert for much longer than pancakes or waffles. Unlike processed sugar, eggs will not cause a spike in blood sugar or insulin. For this reason, those with diabetes sometimes prefer eggs over other types of energy-producing snacks.
4. Apples. Apples are frequently known for their ability to aide in the digestive process. Because of their natural source of fiber, apples create a slow release of energy. Although it cannot be felt instantaneously, the production of energy in the body can be sustained over a longer period of time. To make the most out of an apple’s energy-producing benefits, make sure to eat the apple whole. This includes the skin.
5. Dark chocolate. Not all energy-producing foods have to be straight from the ground. Dark chocolate with a higher cocoa content than milk chocolate, has been known to deliver oxygen to both the muscles and brain. By increasing the blood flow, the brain can stay alert and potentially improve mood.
6. Quinoa. One cup of quinoa provides approximately 8 grams of protein in addition to a mixture of essential vitamins and minerals. Considered a superfood, quinoa is high in carbohydrates, but low on the glycemic index. For long-lasting energy that can be sustained throughout the day, eating quinoa can help increase energy over time.
7. Oatmeal. Oatmeal is not just a breakfast food. Because instant oatmeal is easy to make and can be made almost anywhere, this snack can be eaten anytime of the day. The fiber found in oatmeal is soluble and, when formed in the digestive system, can delay absorption of glucose. This can be eaten as a meal or a snack because of its power to keep hunger away with relatively low portions.
8. Yogurt. Yogurt of any type includes simple sugars like lactose or galactose. When these sugars are broken down, they provide instant energy that can be used right away. Not only does sugar help boost energy, but yogurt uses protein to sustain energy over a period of time. To improve cellular function, yogurt also has the added bonus of vitamin B12 which can help your body utilize the nutrients for fuel.
9. Lentils. Lentils are consumed for a variety of purposes. Not only are they inexpensive and rich in protein, but they also have low iron levels. For acquiring energy-rich foods without tipping iron levels, lentils are often a first choice option. This is especially good for people who are using specific types of medication that can be affected by iron, such as Lithium or certain blood thinners.
10. Avocados. Avocados have become increasingly popular in mainstream cafes. Avocado toast as well as sandwiches with avocado spread can be found in many shops around the country. Avocados have large quantities of fiber and healthy fats such as monosaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. By promoting the appropriate fat levels, the absorption of nutrients is made much easier.
11. Beans. There are many kinds of beans available with energy-boosting properties. No matter the type of bean, they are a rich source of protein and fiber. Since beans are digested over a long time period, they help stabilize blood sugar levels while fighting inflammation. For a healthy source of iron and magnesium, black beans in particular are shown to be helpful.
12. Beets. Beets can improve blood flow because of naturally occurring nitrates. These compounds help increase nitric oxide so that oxygen can be delivered throughout the body. By boosting oxygen levels, beets provide sustained energy that can be maintained for hours after consumption. For a rich dose of fiber and natural sugars, many people turn to beets when feeling tired.
A healthy diet consists of more than just calorie counting. Cutting out whole food groups is also not recommended if the proper nutrients cannot be found in other foods. To obtain natural energy from food that can be easily found, a little research can go a long way.