8 Everyday Foods That Help Boost Your Energy
Food that gives you energy helps raise your metabolism and battles fatigue. Here are eight foods you can eat today to recharge your battery and feel better.
Nodding off in meetings? Napping after lunch? While getting inadequate sleep and failing to exercise can contribute to feeling sluggish, what you eat contributes more to your energy level than you may realize. Technically speaking, all food provides fuel for your body, but the food that gives you energy contains a higher percentage of the protein, vitamins, fiber and complex carbohydrates needed to sustain that energy throughout the day. Up next, don’t miss these 30+ protein-packed snack recipes.
In addition to a healthy dose of complex carbohydrates, brown rice is a good source of magnesium. Just one cup provides 25 percent of the daily magnesium needs for women and 20 percent of the amount recommended for men. Low magnesium levels hinder the body’s metabolism, so dig into this Brown Rice Chutney Salad to spice up your energy and your taste buds.
Yogurt is also high in magnesium, which is essential for releasing energy. High levels of calcium and vitamin B are an added bonus. Work yogurt into your diet as a substitute for sour cream and a thickener for chilled soups, or start your day with a Mango Smoothie.
The high level of protein in beans helps stabilize blood sugar levels throughout the day. High levels of vitamin B help your body turn food into energy. Widely available and inexpensive, beans are an easy way to introduce energy-boosting meals into your diet. Take a container of Colorful Corn & Black Bean Salad to work, or cook up some Hearty Baked Beans for supper.
A handful of almonds might just be the perfect snack. Nutrient rich and boasting healthy unsaturated fats, nuts are also packed with protein. But don’t overindulge—nuts are high in calories, too. A moderate helping of Coconut Almond Granola would be a great way to start the day.
Known for being packed with vitamin C, oranges also contain lots of potassium and folate. Oranges dole out energy over time, so try this Strawberry-Orange Spinach Salad with Toasted Walnuts for lunch and you may be able to avoid wanting a mid-afternoon nap.
Spinach is considered a superfood for good reason. An all-around nutrition powerhouse, spinach is a great source of iron, which helps combat fatigue and increases mental and physical endurance. The tyrosine in spinach also helps improve alertness, so if you’ve got a final exam or a heated round of Trivial Pursuit in the near future, fill up on Orange Vinaigrette Spinach Salad (the vitamin C in the oranges helps boost iron absorption).
For sustained energy, lay off the coffee, energy drinks and sugary sodas and brew yourself a cup of green tea. It does contain caffeine, but not as much as coffee, which helps you get the boost without the buzz. One of the real benefits appears to come from an amino acid, L-theanine, which has been shown to increase mental alertness. Drink it hot, or switch it up with Iced Melon Moroccan Mint Tea.
(It’s pronounced “keen-wah.”) If you haven’t leapt onto the quinoa bandwagon, jump now. Packed with protein, amino acids, magnesium, folate, manganese and more, this could be the easiest whole grain—seed, really—to add to your diet. It cooks in minutes and provides a long-lasting energy boost. If you need inspiration, try these 20 quinoa recipes.
How to develop an energy-boosting lifestyle
Keep your energy going with these tips:
- Avoid consuming overly processed and artificial food, refined sugars or energy drinks that give you a momentary boost but send you crashing later.
- Eat a balanced diet.
- Consume food that’s in season and grown locally.
- Stay hydrated throughout the day.
- Adhere to a regular exercise regime.
- Get a good night’s sleep.
Real energy comes from real food. Perform at your very best by eating foods that keep your energy going day in and day out.