Looking for natural foods that will help sustain your energy throughout the day? Look no further!
While there are a number of supplements that can keep your energy levels up (including royal jelly, coenzyme Q10, and others), a balance of nutrients is really what's going to give you sustained energy - and that means eating whole foods in their most natural state.
Because your body digests protein, fats and carbohydrates differently, eating foods that contain a healthy mix is more efficient. Your body gets more for less!
These are some energy superstars that are easy to find and easy to Blast, for a quick and healthy meal that will keep your body running at its best.
Bananas provide a lot of potassium, an electrolyte that helps maintain normal nerve and muscle function. Unlike some nutrients, the body doesn’t store potassium for long periods of time. This means that your potassium level can drop during times of stress or during strenuous exercise when the nutrient is lost through excessive sweating. The sugar in bananas is also an easily digested form of carbohydrate, helping deliver a quick burst of energy, which is then sustained because of bananas' fiber content.
Without water, your body cannot generate energy. Water makes it possible for your system to digest, absorb and transport nutrients. It also helps regulate body temperature. When you’re dehydrated, your cells receive energy nutrients less efficiently and your body can’t properly expend heat through sweating.
3. Lentils and Beans
Lentils and Beans are a great source of fiber, which translates to a slow release of glucose, as well as B vitamins, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, calcium and copper. Lentils provide both carbohydrates and protein.
Oats contain the energizing and stress-lowering B vitamin family, which help transform carbs into usable energy. Oats are also low on the glycemic index because they have a lot of fiber, translating into a steady stream of energy, as opposed to a short-term spike, because the carbohydrates gradually flow into your bloodstream.The key here is to look for high-fiber oatmeal, like oat bran. For the best nutritional kick, avoid instant oatmeal and stick with more natural varieties. My favorites are steel cut and groats!
5. Nuts – Cashews, almonds, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts
These nuts are not only rich in protein, but they also contain magnesium, a mineral that plays a vital role in converting sugar into energy. Research suggests magnesium deficiency can drain your energy. Magnesium is also found in whole grains, particularly bran cereals.
More energy-saving tips!
- Avoid high sugar foods, especially refined sugars. These cause a spike in blood sugar followed by a reduction in blood sugar, leaving you feeling fatigued.
- Avoid caffeine. This is also a temporary stimulant. Although coffee initially raises stress hormones and gives a rush of energy, consuming several cups or more of coffee per day can promote burnout.
- Get enough sleep!
- Do not eat a heavy meal at lunchtime. This will use up energy to digest the food, leaving you feeling tired mid-afternoon. Remember that feeling you get after eating your Thanksgiving meal!
- Another strategy for stabilizing blood sugar, energy and mood: Eat small meals and snacks every three to four hours, rather than a few large meals.