We’re sure that everyone at some point has felt tired of being tired! Whether its not having enough energy to get through a hectic morning or perhaps you’ve felt sluggish as the working day draws to an end. Instead of feeling tempted to reach for that coffee and a sugary snack, we’re sharing five of our favourite energy-boosting foods, which will help you to avoid that 4pm slump and generally keep you bursting with energy all day long!
Greens such as Kale and Spinach
Popeye was right – spinach, kale and other dark, leafy greens are packed full of iron and can really give you a boost! Iron is an essential mineral required to form a central part of hemoglobin, the oxygen carrier in the blood. Not getting enough iron could therefore result in body tissue not receiving as much oxygen as they should, leaving you with a feeling of constant fatigue. These Super Greens are also extremely high in magnesium, which plays a vital role in the production of energy. Or if that’s not reason enough, scientists have now found that these “Super Greens” contain a compound called nitrates, which are an energy-boosting ingredient. Dr Eddie Weitzberg states that these nitrates act “like a fuel additive for your muscles”. We weren’t always told to eat our greens for nothing! Plus, we love how easy it is to pack tons of spinach into meals, simply throw it into a breakfast smoothie or have it wilted in a bowl of yummy brown rice!
If they’re not already, make sure almonds become your new best friend! These little gems are an amazing source of healthy fat and protein, all of which help to regulate energy levels, banishing that slump we have all felt in the afternoon. Almonds are also packed with a potent combination of energy-enriching nutrients, including vitamin E, magnesium and copper, but they are also incredibly delicious, Win-Win! Blitz up almonds with dried fruit to make energy bars, or simply eat them by the handful as the perfect snack!
Lets not forget the sweet potato. We want to tell you why these guys are such great energy-boosters and one of our favourite sources of carbohydrate. These particular carbs are “slowly released into the bloodstream as glucose, which the cells in the body use as energy,” says Dr Frankie Robinson. Sweet potatoes also contain iron, potassium, magnesium, vitamin C and vitamin D – all of which help to increase energy levels. We love sweet potatoes roasted and thrown into salads or in a yummy frittata as the perfect go-to breakfast choice! Like all produce though, do try and buy organic where possible, as Jon Barron notes in his book “Lessons from the Miracle Doctors”, that organic veg is much more nutritious, not only due to the lack of pesticides and chemicals, but due to a higher mineral content in the soil.
We’re not talking about anything fancy here, just the humble banana, which is an amazing source of fuel for the day! Bananas are very easily digested and provide instant energy due to being a carbohydrate. Bananas also contain lots of potassium, an electrolyte that helps maintain normal nerve and muscle function, as well as mood-boosting trytophan, bonus! Oranges are also a great high-energy food – the Vitamin C and natural sugar content help reduce fatigue levels. Tara Gidus, R.D., nutritionist also states that even a simple apple can work wonders on our lagging energy supply, due to containing lots of fibre, which gives longer lasting energy, instead of a nasty spike in blood sugar.
This fashionable miracle grain seems to be loved by all! Quinoa is a highly nutritious grain that keeps you feeling fuller for longer due to its rich complex carbohydrate and protein content. It is also packed full of iron which helps keep red blood cells happy, ensuring that they can deliver sufficient levels of oxygen to the body. Magnesium is also found in this super food, which is vital in energy production. According to a study conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, individuals with low levels of magnesium in their muscles used up more energy, even during minimal physical activity and therefore became tired more easily. If it isn’t already, quinoa should definitely become a kitchen staple, our favourite dish right now is a delicious quinoa tabbouleh!!
Image: Californian Almond Board
Words Madison Manners