Tired Of Feeling Exhausted? These 20 Energy Foods Can Help
With the start of the new year, now is the perfect time to start gaining more energy to accomplish all of the goals you may have. Even though getting 8-hours of sleep and some daily at-home exercise are crucial for a happy body and mind, what we eat plays a huge role too!
While it is true that all foods provide us with energy, some have more revitalizing benefits than others. With this in mind, we have crafted a list of the 20 most powerful energy foods (along with some helpful recipes) that will keep you full longer while simultaneously boosting your energy levels. A perfect solution that can elevate your mood from the comfort of your home. If you stay till the end, we will even let you in on the 4 types of food you should avoid.
20 Healthy Foods That Give You Energy
This convenient fruit is perhaps one of the best energy boosters out there. A banana’s high fiber content allows a slow release of its natural sugars, meaning your energy levels will remain stable and last longer throughout the day. (1)
Bananas are also packed full of potassium, complex carbs, and vitamin B6, all of which are natural energy boosters. (1)
Eggs also contain high levels of B-vitamins and leucine, an amino acid specialized in boosting energy. (1)
- Tired of eggs the traditional way? Make these healthy breakfast egg muffins (Veg, GF).
Pro-Tip: You’re better off making your own oatmeal in the morning, so you can avoid those pesky added sugars.
Keep some water handy throughout the day and drink even if you don’t feel thirsty. Don’t enjoy plain water? Try infusing a pitcher with some fruits and herbs. Make a batch in the morning, set it in the fridge, and you’ll be set for the whole day.
- These 6 different versions of infused water are guaranteed to add a bit more flavor to your glass.
5: Green Leafy Veggies
Make some more room on your plate for spinach because it has high levels of tyrosine, a compound that promotes alertness. (7)
Some energy-boosting green vegetables include spinach, kale, swiss chard, and collard greens.
- Replace your potato chips this year with some kale chips (V, GF).
Quinoa is a complex carb high in fiber and protein. (4) As a result, this superfood has a low glycemic index leaving you full all day without any wild dips in your energy. (8)
Even though quinoa is tiny, it is packed full of the nutritional benefits of vitamin B-9, magnesium, and manganese as well. (4)
Perhaps you know oranges for their high vitamin C content. In fact, one orange can provide your entire daily recommended intake. Beyond boosting immunity, vitamin C also protects against oxidative stress which is a major cause of fatigue.
With the help of an orange’s potassium and folate, your metabolism will ramp up converting food into energy within just two hours after eating one orange. (4)(7)(22)
Pro-tip: If you’re drinking orange juice, choose one with some pulp. This way you’ll get some fiber alongside the natural sugars.
- Spice up your salad day with this kale orange salad (Veg, GF).
8: Fatty Fish
The most common fatty fish include salmon, tuna, mackerel, and sardines. (9)
9: Goji Berries
In fact, a recent study found that 34 individuals who consumed goji berries experienced increased energy and reduced levels of fatigue and stress. (10)
These smart snacks also contain energizing manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc. Zinc, in particular, helps the body produce hormones that affect energy and mood. (9)
They also have a low glycemic index, helping you manage blood sugar spikes throughout the day, aka no more dips in productivity. (11)
Proving that popcorn is a power snack, a study found that people who ate popcorn stayed full longer than those who opted for chips. (12)
- Follow this guide and learn how to air-pop popcorn.
Did you also know copper and phosphorus can be found within soybeans? These convert food into usable energy as well. (9)
Pro-tip: Eat the skin for extra fiber or add some nut butter for additional protein.
- Feeling a bit adventurous? Make this tasty roasted apple and cauliflower dish (V, GF)
15: Sweet Potatoes
Adding another complex carb to the list, sweet potatoes are high in vitamin C, iron, and magnesium like so many other energy-boosting foods. Aside from vitamin C’s previously mentioned benefits, it also transports fat into our cells for energy production. (9) Just one sweet potato provides 24 grams of carbohydrates, necessary for keeping our muscles energized throughout the day. (14)
- Warm up and feel rejuvenated with this sweet potato kale soup (Veg, GF, can be V).
Grab a handful for a great snack that will keep you full and energized.
- Here are some tips on how to make a healthy trail mix.
Once again, we’ve got a powerful combination of fiber, protein, and B vitamins. (19) For hummus, chickpeas are typically mixed with olive oil which is a source of healthy fats. (15) As a warning, hummus is high in calories so be sure to portion correctly.
Pro-tip: Use celery or carrots rather than pita for a healthier alternative (15)
- This Lebanese bean salad (V, GF) pairs great with some hummus.
19: Greek Yogurt
- Feeling tired? Treat yourself to some frozen yogurt bark (Veg, GF).
20: Dark Chocolate
If you find yourself still wanting a sweet fix, then dark chocolate is your solution. A study recently found that dark chocolate increases blood flow, making you more alert and awake. (20) Additionally, chocolate also contains theobromine: a natural stimulant found in cacao that produces milder yet longer-lasting effects than caffeine from coffee. (16)
As Promised, Here Are The 4 Foods You Should Avoid
1. Refined Carbs
Ditch the pizza, pasta, and white bread for lunch. Instead, replace them with any of the alternative energy foods listed above. (17)
Most cereals are loaded with added sugars and will only guarantee low energy later in the day. (18)
3. Store-bought Granola Bars
Just like cereal, most granola bars are sugar bombs. After snacking on one, you’ll most likely be hungry again within the next hour. (17)
This one may be surprising, as we typically reach for the coffee pot when fatigue hits. No doubt, caffeine is good for restoring energy in small amounts. However, a crash is inevitable if consumed in excess. (18)
Personal Balance Is Key For An Energy-Boosting Diet
Incorporating these 20 energy foods into your diet is the first step towards feeling unstoppable throughout the day. However, always remember: stay in-tune with your body. What may work for someone else, may not always be best for you. Instead, find what personally helps you attain your optimal energy levels.
Interested in what else food can do for you? Read more in our article about how to boost your metabolism through your diet.
Make sure to share this blog with your friends and help them re-energize their new year. That way we can all get our energy back this year through the power of food!
Kombucha is a slightly sweet drink that can help aid your body and mind. Discover today why this fermented tea is considered a healing elixir by many.
Around the world, the food fermentation process has been applied for hundreds of years. Included in this post are just some of the benefits that have been discovered.
Creating a healthy and nourishing breakfast consists of picking the right foods. By including protein, carbs and fats in your morning meal, you can give yourself energy for the day ahead. Learning about the health benefits of each of these macronutrients, as well as some easy meals that can provide them, is a great place to start.