If you feel sluggish during the day, chances are that you usually rely on sugar, caffeine, or fast foods to keep you going. Doing so will make you feel energetic, but only for a short while before your energy levels crash again.
To sail through the day with your energy levels as high as possible, be sure to include these 10 healthy foods in your diet.
Being dehydrated can cause you to have headaches and feel lightheaded, making it hard to focus on tasks at hand. While drinking adequate water throughout the day can help you stay alert and productive – eating foods with a high water content will also be beneficial.
Considering that melons have about 90% water content, snacking on them in the morning and afternoon will help you fight fatigue. Watermelon, honeydew melon, and cantaloupe are packed with important vitamins and minerals too!
The antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer benefits of turmeric are no secret; this rhizome has a long and established history as an herbal medicine. The primary active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin, which has energy-boosting properties. Turmeric also aids digestion and increases metabolism and sweat production.
Use turmeric in small quantities in curries or have it as a tonic with lemon, coconut water, and honey.
This North Italian staple made from cornmeal is loaded with complex carbohydrates, unlike highly-processed grains that are rich in simple carbs. Complex carbohydrates are slowly broken down by your body, thereby slowing digestion and providing sustained energy release. What’s more, complex carbs keep your blood-glucose levels under control!
Polenta makes for a quick-fix meal, simply stir it with boiling milk or plain water until cooked and add dried fruit for some crunch. You can also boil it with broth or eat it with your favorite pasta sauce. If you love experimenting with your food, try polenta fries, pancakes, or cake!
Citrus fruits pack a fair amount of water and loads of fiber and vitamin C. Fiber makes you feel full by adding bulk to your food and helps carbs release into your bloodstream at a slow and steady rate. In other words, fiber gives your energy staying power and makes you feel active all day long.
Vitamin C needs to be replenished in the body on a daily basis, and low levels of this powerful antioxidant have been associated to low levels of energy, irritability, and depression. Eating fresh citrus fruits or sipping on citrus juices gives you a burst of vitamin C and natural sugars that can uplift mood and boost energy levels instantly.
Edamame beans or green soybeans are a smart pick because they are rich in protein and fiber. Since they’re nutty and chewy, they make for a great mid-day snack that fills you and keeps you from gorging on unhealthy foods that could make you drowsy.
With ample calcium, iron, and vitamins A and C, edamame beans have several health benefits too. Use them in salads, dips, soups, and stews or just eat them roasted with a dash of olive oil, salt, and black pepper!
These sprouts are rich in vitamin C which helps reduce oxidative stress caused by buildup of stimulants and toxins in the body. Apart from detoxifying your body, vitamin C keeps energy levels up and the metabolic rate steady.
Alfalfa sprouts are also packed with magnesium, which is important for regulating the body’s energy metabolism.
Apart from eating less carbs and eating the right carbs, a good way to keep energy levels high is to eat more protein-rich foods. Greek yogurt is an excellent choice as it not only has ample amount of protein but is also rich in complex carbohydrates.
Have yogurt for breakfast or snack on it mid-afternoon with some berries for slow-releasing energy that lasts you all day!
Asparagus is a nutrient dense food that offers numerous health benefits. Most notably, this vegetable is rich in vitamin B, which helps your body function properly, making you feel energized all day without having to depend on stimulants.
Asparagus is rich in vitamin C and is a source of tryptophan. The latter is needed to create serotonin – a mood-regulating neurotransmitter – which can uplift mood and boost energy levels.
This tuber is loaded with healthy carbohydrates and vitamins A and C. Sweet potatoes are also a good source of vitamin B, potassium, phosphorus, and dietary fiber. As such, eating them slows digestion and gives you a steady supply of energy.
You can enjoy sweet potatoes mashed or cut into strips and bake them for a healthy meal or a snack that is sure to keep you alert through the day!
Spinach is rich in iron and eating a cup of this leafy green plant daily means giving your body all the iron it needs. Not getting enough iron can cause your body tissues to receive less oxygen than required, thereby causing constant fatigue.
To keep energy levels high, include spinach in soups, stews, pastas, muffins, and more!
Start eating healthy as soon as you can. If you can’t give up caffeine and sugary foods altogether, start small by replacing a cup of coffee or a treat with any one food from the list- you’re sure to experience a surge in your energy levels!