Many of us live busy lives whether you’re a parent and or are living a busy work life. There’s been some time or other we have all sought quick energy fixes just to make it through the next couple of hours of work or to make it until bedtime. Most of those quick fixes are fast foods to fuel our bodies or a quick energy drink full of sugars to give you that extra jolt of energy you need.
While many of these options aren’t healthy not to mention can be very expensive, they could also be taking a big toll on our bodies long term in a negative way. It is important to know there are many healthy foods that are easily accessible to us that can not only fuel and satiate us but energize us as well. We have found 15 healthy foods that you can properly energize your body with today.
Fresh fruit is not only sweet but satisfying too. There are so many fruits to choose from that there has to be something out there to please your palate, or your children, whomever the picky eaters are. Fresh fruit is full of natural sugar which makes it a high-energy food. They will help provide the quick pick me up your body is looking for. You will get the boost of energy you need but because they are a great source of fiber too they will help keep your blood sugar levels at bay.
Fruits that are high in Vitamin C such as strawberries and oranges help turn fat into burned energy, iodine is found in pineapple to help your body control how quickly the body burns energy, and blueberries can help you focus. Skip the candy because you don’t want a sugar crash and choose a healthy sugar like fresh fruit.
Chia seeds are a glorious food item. Not only do they help aid your digestion but they can energize you too. They can be easily added to smoothies, yogurt or used to make healthy pudding (yes, it is amazing).
Chia seeds are an excellent source of energy because they have a proper ratio of fiber, protein, and fats. Unlike refined sugar or other poor energizing choices, chia seeds will not spike or drop our blood sugar levels which in turn, help prevent cravings and overeating.
Iron is the main component of energy production in our bodies. Spinach is an excellent source of iron making it a great healthy food to choose when trying to energize your body. It is also a great source of folate which helps our bodies turn food into usable energy.
You can easily incorporate spinach into your diet through salads, as a sandwich topping or even mixing into your morning omelet. It is recommended that you eat spinach with a food that is high in vitamin C to help your body absorb the iron.
While drinking coffee may be one of the most obvious choices when seeking an energy booster it is still worth noting. Caffeine is what makes coffee an excellent energy enhancing drink. Make sure to not drink your coffee with too much sugar or creamers as the sugar spike can cause a crash and actually make you more tired later on.
Caffeine does several different things to our bodies to help gives us energy. First, caffeine helps boost dopamine in our brain. This is known to affect our levels of concentration and help make us feel good. Further, it can increase the release of catecholamines (adrenaline) which can make your heart beat faster, send more blood to our muscles and then tell the liver to release sugar into the bloodstream for energy. Make sure not to overdo it as drinking too much coffee could dehydrate you and then, in turn, make you more tired, everything in moderation right?
If you prefer tea to coffee then trade a morning cup of joe for some healthy green tea. Like coffee, green tea is naturally full of caffeine. Along with caffeine, green tea contains thymine which helps you stay focused without feeling jittery. This makes it an excellent choice when looking for a morning or afternoon pick me up.
Further health benefits of green tea include a great source of antioxidants which means it can help burn belly fat – double score! If you choose to regularly drink green tea it could even help delay symptoms and signs of aging. There are so many great reasons why introducing or continuing to consume green tea is such a great idea.
If you can’t fathom the idea of having to drink coffee or tea to get a healthy source of energy that is okay too, not everyone likes it. There are other healthy beverage choices when it comes to energizing your body. By adding lemon to your water it not only makes your drink a little prettier but also turns it into a natural energy drink. Drinking lemon water can help contribute to our daily electrolyte intake which is critical for our cells to produce energy.
A sign of dehydration is fatigue so staying hydrated as a whole is a key to keep your energy levels up. Drinking lemon water is good for digestion as well as a great source of vitamin C and is high in potassium. Potassium stimulates the brain and our nerve function as well as help control blood pressure. All of this not only adds up to more energy but also clearer skin, less stress, and more focus. So why wouldn’t you want to start drinking more lemon water?
If you’re a true chocolate addict like myself, you’ll be happy to know dark chocolate makes the list of healthy energizing foods excuse me as I go grab a piece of chocolate now. Dark chocolate contains a natural stimulant called theobromine. This is similar to caffeine which will boost your energy levels making you feel good.
Although I wish it were healthy to eat an entire chocolate bar, as always in moderation will do. You only need a piece of dark chocolate to give you the alertness and attentiveness your body is searching for. It is recommended that you consume a dark chocolate that is 60% cacao or higher for the healthiest option and best results.
When you don’t want to drink beverages to get a dose of energy you can consider eating a power food like brown rice. It makes an excellent high-energy food because it is high in manganese. This helps your body turn protein and carbs into energy keeping you feeling energized all day long.
There are so many ways you could incorporate brown rice into your diet. You could even consider serving it with high energy veggies or fish as discussed here to make it an even more powerhouse meal. Make extra’s to save for lunch the next day to prevent your afternoon crash at work.
If you’re spending a lot of money on energizing drinks or energy bars consider investing your money into a less expensive yet much healthier option like apples. Contrary to belief, apples are actually a high-carb fruit, yes you can have a food that’s high in carbs other than bread! There are many reasons why the classic saying goes “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”.
If you’ve ever been on a low carb diet and have felt fuzzy it could be due to the fact that carbs actually give you energy. Apples are a great carb choice because they provide you energy from the carbs. This works by the carbs breaking down into sugar that enters the bloodstream and in turn, travels to your cells to provide your body energy. Poor carbs like white bread or candy bars will do the same but at a much faster rate which is known as a blood sugar crash. So you may feel good for a very brief moment of time but it ends up making you feel worse afterward. So next time you’re feeling lousy, try having an apple!
Nuts are generally high in protein as well as other nutrients. They are a great source of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B, magnesium, and zinc. When looking for nuts to fuel your body energy it would be best to choose unsalted nuts that are high in protein and low in saturated fat. Some great choices would be walnuts, almonds or pistachios.
Almonds and walnuts specifically are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids. Healthy fats help your body meet it’s energy needs all the while provided protein is also converted into energy. All in all, nuts make a great healthy energizing snack. You could eat a handful on their own or try adding it to a bowl of yogurt for a healthy breakfast.
A yogurt is a great option when looking for a healthy breakfast. It can also be a good choice when you’re looking for an afternoon pick-me-up because yogurt too can energize you. It provides energy because of its carb content, they’re made up of simple sugars known as lactose and galactose. When these sugars are broken down in our bodies, they provide us energy.
Furthermore, yogurt is also a good source of protein and because of this, that helps digestion of carbs to slow down. This then will slow down the release of sugar into the blood which helps level your energy without causing your blood sugars to spike and then results in a sugar crash. Make sure to choose a good quality yogurt that isn’t filled with refined sugars or it could have the opposite effect to energizing you.
Sweet potatoes are a great way to get your children to eat more vegetables. If you don’t tell them they’re healthy the sweet flavor will do all the talking! There are so many ways you can make sweet potatoes appealing for kids such as making them into fries or making mashed potatoes. These sweet vegetables are doing more than filling you up they are energizing you too.
Your body digests sweet potatoes slowly because of their fiber content and complex carbs, all of which help provide your body with a steady amount of energy. You can also find a good source of manganese in sweet potatoes. Manganese is important to help your body break down nutrients into energy. Have sweet potatoes for dinner but save the leftovers for your lunch so you can stay fueled all day long.
Some consider bananas to be one of the best energy fueling foods. This powerful fruit is full of many great nutrients. Your energy levels can increase because bananas are a great source of carbs, vitamin B6, and potassium. Considering bananas are high in vitamin B6 makes them a healthy alternative to painkillers too, the next time you feel a headache coming on, reach for a banana instead.
Bananas are so powerful that a recent study showed just two bananas can provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout. Consider fueling up on bananas before you head to the gym to help keep you energized throughout your whole workout. Or make it your go-to grab and go snack to fuel you in between meals.
Both beans and lentils come from the legume family and they are both excellent energy fueling foods. Although there are many different kinds of beans they all have similar traits. Beans and lentils are rich in fiber, carbs, and protein and because of this that makes them a great choice when seeking healthy energizing foods.
Beans help maintain stable sugar levels because they are digested slowly. Considering beans are digested slowly that helps keep your body with a steady flow of energy. Beans also have antioxidants that can help fight inflammation and boost energy. Along with energy beans and lentils provide your body with vitamins and minerals you need such as iron, magnesium and folic acid.
An oily fish like salmon can help promote brain health, mental awareness and increase your energy levels all because it is high in protein and rich in healthy omega 3 fatty acids. The omega 3’s can increase your mood to make you happier overall which then will generally make your more productive. This makes salmon an excellent choice when seeking lunches that will fuel your workday.
Following this, omega 3’s help reduces inflammation in our bodies. It has been shown that inflammation can cause fatigue which is why this fatty fish can help increase your alertness. Salmon is also an excellent source of vitamin B12 which helps with cell renewal. When B12 works with folic acid they produce red blood cells which then helps iron to work in the body. When there are proper levels of red blood cells and iron in our blood both of this can contribute to increased energy and decreased fatigue.