Many people feel tired or run-down at some point during the day. The morning coffee is a good example of how we can become reliant on stimulants to get us going. A lack of energy could affect your daily activities and make you less productive.
The fact is that the type and quantity of food you eat can play an essential role in determining your energy levels during the day.
Even though all foods give you energy, some foods contain nutrients that help increase your energy levels and maintain your alertness and focus throughout the day.
This green veggie is high in B vitamins, which naturally support healthy energy levels by turning food (carbs) into fuel (glucose), and it contains plenty of blood sugar-steadying fiber. If it’s in season, add asparagus to your salad at lunch to help get you through the afternoon.
Beans are rich in nutrients and a great source of natural energy.
Even though there are hundreds of different types of beans, their nutrient profiles are very similar. They are a rich source of carbohydrates, fiber and protein.
Beans are digested slowly, which helps maintain stable blood sugar levels and gives you steady energy. Additionally, beans contain antioxidants that can help fight inflammation and promote energy.
Beetroot provides the body with a great source of antioxidants and nutrients that help improve blood flow and energy. People can consume beets as dried beetroot chips, cooked beets or as a bottle of beetroot juice.
Edamame is a real powerhouse of energy boosting nutrients. A single serving of edamame, or half a cup of the beans, contains energy boosting nutrients to improve your energy and your state of mind. Tryptophan, which improves sleep, mood and helps regulate appetite, is at 58 percent of the recommended daily amount. In the same serving, you’ll get 28 percent of the recommended amount of protein, 22 percent of your daily omega-3 fatty acids, 20 percent of fiber, and 25 percent of your daily iron.
Kale received a lot of attention over recent years, as a superfood, with many people combining it with juices and smoothies. Kale goes great in a salad, or sautéed as a side dish, chopped into soups, and tossed with whole-wheat pasta. Kale contains the amino acid L-tyrosine, which can help give you a mental lift, as well as a number of antioxidants and fiber to fill you up and help keep your blood sugar stable.
Popcorn is a quick and easy energy booster, as long as you don’t douse it with butter, salt, or oil. It also provides volume and so tends to keep you satisfied longer than chips and processed snacks. Don’t use store bought microwave popcorn though, instead try popping your own kernels, then season them with herbs and spices; nutritional yeast goes great on home made popcorn.
Raw sauerkraut helps you maintain energy. The fermented cabbage is high in probiotics, which makes your gut digest food more efficiently, meaning your body has to work less to digest, you’re left with more energy. Kimchi, the spicy fermented cabbage popular in Korean cuisine, also provides the same benefit.
If you eat sushi, you will be familiar with the nori sheet, which is the most well known seaweed. Seaweeds and sea vegetables store a wide range of energy enabling trace minerals and nutrients. In addition, they provide natural sodium to the diet.
Spinach is a great source of iron which is the main component of energy production in the body, so be sure to add spinach to your morning omelet or smoothie to feel energised all day long.
10) Sweet Potato
As well as being delicious, sweet potatoes are a nutritious source of energy for those looking for an extra boost.
One medium-sized sweet potato packs up to 23 grams of carbohydrates, 3.8 grams of fiber, 28% of the RDI for manganese and a whopping 438% of the RDI for vitamin A.
Thanks to sweet potatoes’ fiber content and complex carbs, your body digests them at a slow pace, which provides you with a steady supply of energy.
Sweet potatoes are also a great source of manganese, which helps in the breakdown of nutrients to produce energy.