It’s entirely normal to feel your energy markers dip as the day progresses. You can blame the increased workload or you can even hold lack of sleep as the culprit. It’s typical for you to reach for the conventional pick-me-up treats of coffee and candies. We view these as an instant source of energy that also improve our mood.
However, both coffee and candies result in more harm than good. The chief reason is the addictive nature that culminates in side effects. Protein-enriched foods are, however, the ones that improve your energy levels.
Kari Kooi, RD, of Houston Methodist Weight Management Center in Texas explains the role this class of nutrients play. She says, ”Protein improves focus, making you feel alert and on top of your game. When the mid-afternoon energy slump strikes, a well-timed, protein-packed snack can provide an instant pick-me-up and keep you satisfied for hours.”
Kooi recommends having proteins with carbs that are fiber-rich as power snacks that help brush up your energy levels in no time. Even though most foods boost your energy levels, there are certain foods that enhance your energy and boost your attention and focus.
Here is a look at 15 foods that improve your energy levels:
Banana’s role in boosting your energy is applauded so much that it is considered no less than a sport’s energy drink. It is packed with vitamin B6, carbohydrates, and potassium that help improve your energy.
Moreover, eating bananas encourages the release of dopamine that amps up your concentration. A study revealed that eating a banana before a cycling trial of 75-km is as effective as a carbohydrate drink for perking up performance.
- Green food
Plant food is a rich source of iron, which helps you feel energized. Iron deficiency comes to a crescendo of fatigue. It also impairs mental and physical endurance and results in weak immunity. Research points out that women who had plant-based iron were less prone to developing PMS. These women had 35% of the odds in their favor as compared to women who consumed the lease plant-based food sources of iron.
Consequently, some of the common food items to include in your diet are spinach, lentils, sesame seeds, and beans. Pair the intake of food items with foods that are rich in vitamin C, as the vitamin helps boost iron absorption.
Quinoa is credited for boosting the highest amount of protein than in any other grain. It is also packed with amino acids, which makes this a great food an amazing energy-booster. Dr. Lindsey Duncan, a celebrity nutritionist, adds to this.
She elaborates, “It is also high in folate, magnesium, phosphorus and manganese, making it a nutrient-packed source of carbohydrates for long-lasting energy levels.”
- Fatty fish
Fishes such as tuna and salmon are great sources of fatty acids, protein, and vitamin B. A serving of these fishes gives you the recommended daily amount of vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3 is renowned for lowering inflammation in the body that is a common culprit behind fatigue. Some studies indicate that omega-3 supplements can help decrease fatigue particularly, in cancer patients and cancer survivors.
On the other hand, vitamin B12 collaborates with folic acids for producing red blood cells (RBCs) that are responsible for carrying oxygen throughout the body. Optimal pointers of RBCs and iron can help curtail fatigue and improve your stamina.
Almonds are superstars for their super energy-boosting abilities. These dried fruits are loaded with essential nutrients such as B vitamins and magnesium that promote food conversion into energy.
Research highlights that people who show low magnesium levels tend to become quickly tired during exercise sessions. This is chiefly due to the role that magnesium plays in energy metabolism.
Furthermore, an insufficiency of vitamin B culminates in irritability, fatigue, and poor concentration. You can munch on an ounce or 23 almonds to keep your calories controlled while simultaneously improving your energy levels. On top of all this, almonds also nourish your brain and enhance heart health.
Beans are excellent energy-boosters that also help you feel full, therefore, assisting you in preventing gain pounds. These are enriched with protein that helps maintain steady blood sugar levels. Consequently, you feel more energized. Beans also contain complex carbohydrates to the body that provide energy for your body and brain.
Apples boast amazing health benefits including amped up energy levels. These contain iron, minerals, vitamins, soluble fiber, and antioxidants. Red apples help manage weight, maintain heart health, strengthen the immune system, and detoxifies the liver too.
The soluble fiber packed in the fruit aids in feeling full and energetic for a longer time. Also present in apples is iron, which helps up the hemoglobin in the bloodstream, builds stamina, and increases oxygen supply to your muscles.
- Sweet potatoes
In addition to their good taste, sweet potatoes showcase a healthy nutrient profile that multiplies your energy. A medium-sized sweet potato is packed with up to 23 grams of carbohydrates, 28% of recommended daily intake manganese, 3.8 grams of fiber, and 438% of the RDI for vitamin A.
Owing to the complex carbs and fiber content, your body digests sweet potatoes at a slower pace. This provides you a steady stream of energy. These energy-boosting food items also contain manganese that helps in the nutrient breakdown, which produces energy.
Oatmeal tends to make it to every expert’s suggestion for improved energy levels. It is primarily the high-fiber content in oatmeal that makes it a source of lasting energy. Fiber takes a lot of time to digest, which means that if you take oatmeal for breakfast, it will power you through the morning.
It also maintains stable sugar levels in your blood, which makes you feel more energized and focused.
There are a number of reasons for taking eggs as a fuel source of increased energy. These are packed with heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids along with supreme quality protein that keep you energized.
Proteins are a sustained source of energy as they maintain normal blood sugar and insulin levels. In addition to the proteins, leucine, an amino acid present in eggs is also credited for stimulating energy production. It encourages the breakdown of fat to produce energy as well. These are also rich in B vitamins that help enzymes in their role of breaking down food for energy.
- Brown rice
These are nutritious food sources that provide significant energy. In comparison with white rice, these retain more nutritional value, as they are less processed and contain a higher content of minerals, vitamins, and fiber.
The fiber content of brown rice exhibits a low glycemic index. This helps regulate the blood sugar levels and maintain steady energy levels. A cup of cooked brown rice provides 3.5 grams of fiber and nearly 88% of the recommended daily intake of manganese. The mineral assists enzymes in breaking down proteins and carbohydrates to generate energy.
- Goji berries
These are rich in antioxidants, mineral, and vitamins. Goji berries are also good sources of fiber. Research outlines that these berries not only reduce fatigue but also maintain mental fitness and amp up your alertness.
These are also fiber-enriched. A single serving of an ounce (928 grams) provides 2 grams of fiber, which slows digestion and release energy in a steady supply.
- Pumpkin seeds
Pumpkin seeds are rich sources of healthy fats, fiber, and protein, which help in providing energy for a longer duration. This nutrient profile of pumpkin seeds also allows it make you feel full. These also contain essential minerals such as zinc, phosphorus, manganese, and magnesium. All these provide additional energy support.
You can sprinkle these on your salad or eat them solo during lunch to maintain a steady supply of energy throughout the day.
Yogurt is a good food that improves your energy levels. It contains carbs in the form of simple sugars such as galactose and lactose. When broken down, these simple sugars provide ready-to-use energy.
Yogurt is rich in proteins too. These help slow the digestion of carbohydrates, which slows the release of sugars into the blood. Moreover, yogurt contains significant amounts of vitamin B12 and B2 that are involved in cellular functions. These help in the formation of ATP molecule that cells use for fuel.
Hummus is made of energy-rich ingredients such as sesame seed paste, lemon, oil, and chickpeas. These ingredients make hummus a good source of energy. Chickpeas are powerful source of fiber and complex carbs that provide steady energy.
At the same time, the oil and sesame seed paste in hummus is packed with healthy fats. The ingredients are also helpful in slowing the absorption of carbs that prevent any spikes in blood sugar levels. You can try hummus in your salads or sandwiches or use it as a dip for vegetables.
Briefly, it is better to rely on foods items such as these for maintaining good energy levels. You can have these for breakfast for ensuring a steady stream of energy throughout the day or have them for breakfast for an energized morning.