What are the best foods to eat for energy? That cupcake or frappuccino might be tempting, but you know better than that. An energy boost based on sugar alone will lead to a crash that feels worse than low energy.
And this can make you unable to perform well at the workplace, in the baseball field, or even while going about everyday errands like shopping. And if you’re eating less in order to lose weight, your energy levels might get too low for you to accomplish much at all.
Does this sound familiar? What you need is some smart food to boost your stamina. Making small changes to your diet will help you ditch the wrong choices along the way.
There are healthy, energy-rich foods that pack a nutritional punch as well, and choosing them can give you a boost that won’t bring you down. Do you need to know what are the best foods to eat for energy? Of course, you do.
Food for Energy
When you’re feeling run down or tired all the time, it might be time to visit the doctor. No matter what the verdict is, though, changing your eating habits for the better is always the right path to good health.
Small, frequent meals
It might seem the opposite of a healthy eating habit, but it’s highly recommended. Eating three meals a day is the usual advice, but it’s not always the best. In fact, it’s usually better for your metabolism to eat every few hours.
So, it’s wise to set a timer and focus on small, healthy meals throughout the day instead of a few large ones.
Follow the cues
Your body knows what it wants, but we often mistake the signs or ignore them altogether. Both are dangerous habits, so we need to work on hearing what our body is telling us.
Eating when you’re hungry, stopping when you’re not, and having just enough to erase the hunger are the keys to curbing cravings and avoiding overeating.
The portions that we consume are usually too large, especially when we order fast food. One meal should be small enough to have you a bit peckish again in a few hours. Therefore, you should try to stay within the extremes of stomach-rumbling hunger pangs and being uncomfortably full.
Balance the plate
Make sure every meal you consume has a healthy mixture of fruits, vegetables, dairy, healthy fats, lean protein, and whole grains. The fruits and vegetables should ideally be quite high in fiber.
While not every food group is necessary every single time, these will help you sustain your energy from one phase of the day to the next. So when you’re wondering what are the best foods to eat for energy, you should choose those that are high in fiber.
Many people are afraid of snacking, considering it to be an unhealthy habit and one that leads to weight gain. That is true only if you don’t make sure your snacks are actually fulfilling the goal of boosting your energy.
Snacks can even be high in calories, such as nuts, but still, be instrumental in both weight loss and increased energy levels. Of course, the more energy you have, the more calories you’ll be able to burn.
Ideally, grab a snack that’s rich in protein and fiber. Combine fiber-rich foods like apples, carrots, and berries with cheese or yogurt, for example.
Remember, snacking is not meant to fill your stomach, but simply tide you over for the time being. Stock up on the best foods to eat for energy in order to have a healthy snacking schedule.
Remove all junk food
What are the best foods to eat for energy? Not candy, chips, or soda, that’s for sure. Junk food may taste great, but it’s nutrition-poor, so you’ll be hungry again in no time, no matter how many calories you’ve consumed.
A sugar rush leads to a crash, leaving you more drained than before. Instead, you should look into having a black cup of coffee, eating an apple to wake yourself up, and slaking your thirst with water.
You might miss your unhealthy snacks for a few days, but the immediate rise in energy will hopefully make this worthwhile.
So, What Are the Best Foods to Eat for Energy?
The food options below all contain vitamins and nutrients that will enhance your energy levels. By incorporating these into your daily routine, you can cut out the foods that bring you down.
Spinach and other leafy greens
Spinach, along with most leafy green vegetables, is among the great sources of nutrition that provide a sustainable energy boost. Kale is another example.
The reason behind this recommendation is that these vegetables have high levels of potassium, magnesium, iron, calcium, and vitamins K, A, E, and C. All too often, your fatigue might be the result of a vitamin or nutrient deficiency.
Making sure you regularly have these veggies could be one way of combating such situations.
What’s more, leafy greens also contain essential fibers, antioxidants, and folic acid. All of these have some great health benefits. Their intake may enhance the production of nitric oxide. It will help your blood vessels to widen, hence enhancing blood flow and making you feel less lethargic.
When you’re craving something sweet, some applesauce (without sugar, with peel) might hit the spot. Apples are an excellent source of healthy carbohydrates and digestive fiber.
Since they contain natural sugar plus fiber, apples work like a time-release capsule of energy, buoying you up throughout the day. They also have a high amount of antioxidants.
The fiber slows down the digestion system, helping to spread out energy over several hours. It’s recommended to consume apples whole instead of juiced or pureed.
It’s also very important to purchase organic apples whenever possible. Farm workers have suffered various symptoms and illnesses following pesticide exposure. Though your exposure to pesticides through your food will be lower, it can still be significant. Buying some or all of your foods organic is the best way to go.
A handful of nuts makes for a quick, convenient, and healthy snack at any time of the day. They’re packed with calories but also contain essential nutrients.
Cashews, walnuts, and almonds are among the best foods to eat for energy. They have healthy carbs, healthy fats, and a load of proteins.
Our bodies need omega-3 fatty acids, which they can’t easily produce on their own. Many nuts contain these as well as omega-6 fatty acids plus antioxidants that can steadily sustain energy for the whole day.
Other minerals and vitamins in these yummy nutrition bites include iron, vitamin E, B vitamins, and manganese. In the right amounts, these enhance energy production along with minimizing tiredness.
While many people might shun bananas for their high sugar content, they’re one of the best carbohydrate sources you can find. For vegans and vegetarians, these could even become a substitute for eggs in cakes and other recipes. However, we suggest you eat them as they are on a regular basis.
Bananas are one of the best foods to eat for energy due to their potassium and vitamin B6 content. If you’re going on a long cycling tour, for instance, a banana is a much better choice than a carbohydrate drink loaded with preservatives. If you have one before any sort of endurance training, you’ll see the difference yourself.
Your candy cravings don’t have to stay in the dark forever. If you must have something chocolatey, let it be dark chocolate. It is a great choice for increased energy, improved mood, and enhanced blood flow. Dark chocolate even aids in weight loss
Cocoa found in dark chocolate has several antioxidants that can protect the body’s cells while lowering blood pressure. There’s also caffeine and theobromine, which will improve your overall mental energy. However, there’s quite a bit of fat in dark chocolate, so you should make sure to limit your intake.
Yogurt might have some natural sugar, but it’s the simple kind like galactose and lactose. These sugars easily break down to provide energy to your body without the extra calories. That is why yogurt is a delicious and fulfilling snack to keep you energized at all times.
There’s also quite a bit of protein in yogurt, which helps to digest carbohydrates. Otherwise, the rush of sugar from carbs could slow us down. Finally, you also get a good dose of vitamins B12 and B2, thus enhancing cellular function. This helps in creating the ATP molecule, which is the fuel for cells.
We may find our energy lagging without the proper amount of vitamin B12. Beef liver is one of the best sources of this and is among the best foods to eat for energy. You get a load of protein for body fuel. Of course, not everyone wants to eat liver. If this is the case, you may get a healthy dose of vitamin B12 from eggs, fish, and poultry.
Fish is another great option for daily meals and a delicious one too. Again, though, you should choose the kind of fish wisely. Fried options are not a good choice unless you go for air-frying. The type of fish also matters as the fatty versions are actually better. These include salmon plus tuna, which are great sources of B vitamins, fatty acids, and protein.
Just a single serving of fatty fish will get you a high dose of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B12. Our bodies can’t produce sufficient amounts of these on their own, so we have to make sure we get them from other sources.
The right amount of fatty acids will minimize inflammation, which is usually a cause of tiredness, fatigue, and several illnesses. Vitamin B12 is necessary for helping ironwork its magic and produce the right number of red blood cells.
Low fat, high protein salmon is among the best kinds of fish for weight loss. However, you don’t want to eat farmed salmon. These varieties are kept captive, fed chicken, and don’t taste like the real thing.
In fact, they also have less vitamin D and a lot of contaminants inside them. Thus, they lose their benefit and may actually be harmful to our health
The contaminants include pesticides and insecticides of the chemical variety, especially DDT. That can be a direct cause of memory impairment and cancer. Therefore, it’s a great idea to go for wild-caught fish to restore your energy levels.
While answering, “What are the best foods to eat for energy,” we bet you’ll think of potatoes as a no-no! But think about sweet potatoes. On the bright side, sweet potatoes are great if you want a filling and energetic boost to your meals.
There’s a lot of vitamin A inside just one sweet potato, more than four times the recommended daily intake.
You also get a decent amount of fiber, healthy carbs, fiber, and manganese in sweet potatoes. The complex carbs and fiber make the body digest them slowly, providing you with energy at a steady pace.
Oatmeal is a popular and quick breakfast food, which also gives us long-lasting energy. It’s a whole grain hot cereal, which contains beta-glucan. It is a soluble fiber that has a gel-like texture when mixed with water. With this in your digestive system, your blood will be better able to absorb and utilize glucose for energy.
Other than the texture, oatmeal also contains B vitamins, manganese, and iron. A warm bowl of oatmeal with some honey in the morning can help in controlled energy release during the rest of the day.
Coming Closer to the Best Energy Diet
When you know the answer to the question, “what are the best foods to eat for energy,” you’re actually getting closer to a more productive lifestyle. In order to achieve this goal, though, you should also make sure that you’re consuming organic foods as much as possible.
That should be a serious consideration along with consuming foods that provide the maximum energy.
Some may think that organic foods are too costly, but the cost of consistently low energy can be even worse. Organic foods are free of additives, chemical fertilizers, and dangerous pesticides. Even after washing and cooking, there might be trace elements left in conventional foods that could damage our health. It’s especially important for us to go organic in terms of the best foods to eat for energy.
Organic foods also have more antioxidants and retain more proteins, vitamins, and minerals. While you may want to purchase mostly conventional foods to stay within your budget, keep it organic for the sweet potatoes, leafy greens, fatty fish, and other items mentioned above.
Now that you know how to boost your energy with certain foods, you’ll be able to guide your loved ones when they ask you what are the best foods to eat for energy.
All you need to do is make a list of those energy foods, set a budget, and try your hardest to incorporate the above items in your daily meals. You’ll soon be thanking yourself for the amazing boost in your output, mood, and quality of life.