We’ve all hit the afternoon slump more than a time or two (perhaps, even daily) or felt the need for a nap after a big meal.
But with the right foods in your pantry or desk drawer, you can actually fuel your brain and body with the energy it needs. We’re not talking about a quick rush like you get from a cup of coffee or a sugar-packed soda. No, the foods that boost energy are natural sources of vitamins and minerals as well as protein, fat, or fiber.
So, the next time you’re fading, reach for one of these energy-boosting foods.
5 Foods that Boost Energy
When learning how to boost energy through food, the key is to avoid foods that will spike your blood sugar, such as simple carbohydrates and sweets. These will result in a quick rush followed by an equally quick crash.
Instead, opt for complex carbohydrates, protein, fiber, and fat. These will result in a slower, more stable, blood sugar rise, which means better energy for longer.
The following foods are just that. Consider combining them for a powerful lunch that will keep you energized all day long. Or, reach for one when you need an energy-boosting snack.
Avocados are a superfood packed with B vitamins and healthy fats that can be stored in the body as natural sources of energy. Plus, they are rich in fiber which will slow the release of sugar into your bloodstream.
Like avocados, salmon is rich in healthy fats. This fatty fish is also an incredible source of protein. That combination is a natural energy booster. Eat it on your salad at lunch and feel its effects for the rest of the day.
Bananas have plenty of natural sugar to give you energy quickly, but they’re also rich in nutrients such as potassium and vitamin B-6. For these reasons, they support the natural function of the body, which in and of itself can promote better energy. To enhance their energy-boosting food power, eat bananas with peanut butter.
Nuts are dense with protein and omega-3 fats, which can provide sustained energy. But that’s not all. Almonds, cashews, and Brazil nuts, in particular, are high in magnesium, which is essential for the body to convert food to energy. If you’re looking for a crunchy snack to satisfy and boost energy, reach for a handful of nuts.
If you want something on the sweeter side, consider a scoop of almond butter with a few apple slices. The apple will provide plenty of fiber while the nut butter will provide fat and protein—a snack with staying power.
The antioxidants and natural sugar in strawberries can help fight fatigue and make you feel naturally energized. Combine strawberries with a bit of greek yogurt for a protein-rich, energy-boosting breakfast or snack. Or, blend strawberries and bananas with milk, protein, powder, and a scoop of nut butter for a delicious smoothie to drink when you need a pick-me-up.
How To Boost Energy in Other Ways
There are other ways, in addition to food, to boost energy naturally. If you’re feeling tired after a meal, go for a walk, or if you didn’t get enough sleep last night, consider a cup of green tea.
Exercise, for one, is a great natural way to boost your energy in both the short and long term. It immediately increases oxygen circulation and boosts mood, which can prevent lethargy. It also will help you sleep better, which means you’ll have more energy for tomorrow.
Another critical component of energy is hydration. If you aren’t drinking enough water, fatigue is one of the first symptoms to show. So drink plenty of water throughout the day to ensure your cells fire on all cylinders. And reach for water first when you’re starting to feel your energy wane.
Finally, coffee and tea can be great sources of energy. Unlike energy drinks, these beverages offer antioxidants, which means they offer more benefits than just caffeine. And while they can stimulate the body and brain, it’s easy to over-drink caffeinated beverages. Too much caffeine can poorly impact your sleep. This can leave you tired the next day and on the hamster wheel of consuming more caffeine because you’re sleeping less and sleeping less because you’re consuming more caffeine.
Use Food to Boost Energy
There are many reasons why we may feel low on energy, from running a marathon or chasing kids around all day to a long day of work.
Thankfully, though, there are many ways we can support good energy levels through our diet. When you make the above foods and actions a part of your regular routine, you may notice a significant difference in your energy.
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