Sorry, no candy bars, sodas, chips, or fast food happy meals made this list of energy-boosing foods. Here are my favorite foods that provide lasting, sustainable, healthy energy.
Dark Chocolate: The list starts with my favorite, dark chocolate. Dark Chocolate naturally contains caffeine. A couple of pieces of dark chocolate is an excellent pick-me-up snack in the early afternoon. Dark chocolate also contains health-promoting antioxidants (especially flavonoids) and nutrients. As a general rule, the darker the chocolate, the less sugar, and energy-boosting potential, so look for chocolate 85% or darker.
Coffee: It’s not the most popular beverage in the world by chance. As many of you probably know by now, the stimulant caffeine found in coffee can help you feel less tired and increase energy levels. Caffeine blocks an inhibitory neurotransmitter in your brain, which causes a stimulant effect that improves energy levels, mood, and various aspects of brain function. Like anything, you can overdo it with the coffee consumption and instead be wired and jittery.
Green Tea: Touted as one of the healthiest beverages on the planet, a cup of green tea can give your body and brain the energy boost it needs. With about one-third of the amount of caffeine compared to coffee, green tea can be a great go-to for those non-coffee drinkers or those looking for a milder caffeine kick. Green tea also contains L-theanine, which has an anti-anxiety effect. Studies show that caffeine and L-theanine can have synergistic effects. This means that the combination of the two can have potent effects in improving brain function and energy levels.
Water: Feeling sluggish or not right? Your body simply may be telling you that you are dehydrated. Even being slightly dehydrated can bring on an onset of symptoms and risks that can be prevented via drinking water. A good rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight (pounds) in ounces. Depending on your lifestyle, you may need to consume more or less. Add a pinch of Pink Himalayan salt for added electrolytes and to upgrade your drink to support your energy. Before reaching for any other food or drink to enhance your energy levels, first consume a cup of water and that may do the trick.
Chia Seeds: One of the best sustainable energizing foods and delivering a massive amount of nutrients with very few calories is Chia seeds. Chia seeds are a concentrated food containing healthy omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, antioxidants, and calcium, making them an essential source of nutrition. Chia seeds are highly absorbent and expand up to ten times their original size when they come in contact with water, forming a gel-like substance. Because of this gel-forming action, chia slows the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar, meaning your body will feel fuller for a more extended period.
Avocado: It’s hard to find a healthy food list of any sorts without avocados. Avocados contain rich, healthy fats, B vitamins, and fiber. Avocados are great for helping keep blood sugar levels stable and help prevent energy spikes and crashes. Additionally, the fiber in avocados accounts for 80% of their carb content, which can help maintain steady energy levels.
Pumpkin Seeds: Pumpkin seeds contain an ample amount of magnesium. With up to 75% of Americans being deficient in magnesium, consuming pumpkin seeds can help fill that nutritional void. Magnesium plays many crucial roles in the body, such as supporting muscle and nerve function and energy production.
Sardines: Sardines are an excellent source of vitamin B-12. This vitamin helps your cardiovascular system and gives you energy. In addition, these fish contain a healthy amount of vitamin D. Along with B-12, D is necessary for good bone health throughout your life.
Walnuts: These nuts are rich in omega-3 fats and contain higher antioxidants than most other foods. Omega-3s provide calories to give your body energy and have many functions in your heart, blood vessels, lungs, immune system, and endocrine system.
Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes are a staple food in many parts of the world. They contain good amounts of complex starch, along with healthy vitamins, minerals, and proteins. They are easy to digest and can provide a good amount of instant, sustainable energy.
Berries: Berries (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries) may be a good option when the body is craving something sweet. The combo of soluble and insoluble fiber in berries can help slow down the rate of digestion in your GI tract, causing a steadier release of sugar into your bloodstream and a more stable, longer-lasting energy boost.
Beets: Beets can help boost physical stamina. If you’re looking for energy before a workout, consider consuming beets or a trusted source of beet juice. Beet juice can help you go further, faster by allowing your blood to flow faster and your muscles to get more oxygen during a workout. Those nitrates that help lower blood pressure also help give an added physical endurance kick.
Eggs: Eggs are rich in protein and nutrients, including thiamin, riboflavin, folate, B12, and B6, the B vitamins that are essential for energy production. The protein in eggs is a steady and sustained source of energy. Hard-boiled eggs make a great on-the-go, energy-providing snack.
Spirulina: Spirulina is a type of blue-green algae that grows in both salt and fresh water. It may be one of the most nutrient-dense foods on earth and is touted as “the food of the future.” Spirulina is a complete protein meaning it contains all the essential amino acids. If the body is deficient in amino acids, many functions, like energy production, won’t run effectively. You can buy spirulina in powdered form (found in many green juice powders) or tablets.
To MAS health,