Stop reaching for that coffee or energy sugary drink when you need a pick-me up! Here are six healthy foods that will keep you energized without the rollercoaster of spikes and dips that caffeine causes. The foods on this list aren’t energy-zapping at all. They’ll slowly release energy into your bloodstream for hours after you’ve eaten, and soon you won’t even want to reach for that coffee!
Start your day with a bowl of whole grains like oatmeal. You’re guaranteed not to feel peckish mid-morning. Oatmeal absorbs slower into the body and boosts your energy for a long time. Plus oats are full of B vitamins while help the body in energy metabolism. Throw in a handful of berries, and you’re all set for a caffeine-free morning.
When you get hungry in between meals, grab a handful of nuts. Almonds in particular are excellent for improving energy. An ounce of almonds contains 6 grams of proteins and 3.5 grams of fiber. It’s rich in magnesium, manganese, potassium and vitamin E. Magnesium is what you’re looking for, since it has a big role in the conversion of sugar to energy. Almonds are also great for boosting antioxidants and lowering blood pressure.
And while you’re looking at nuts and seeds that are great for energy, try chia seeds as well. These seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, just like almonds. They’re full of fibre too. You can feel it in their dense texture.
Salmon is a superfood, especially if it’s wild salmon. A steak of salmon for lunch will tide you through the afternoon and you’ll forget the afternoon slump even exists. It is rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids are essential for energy production, and they’re known to boost metabolism and mood. The protein in salmon will also increase the production of a chemical in the brain that improves focus. You’ll be healthier, happier and more alert if you add salmon to your diet.
Goji berries are China’s offering to superfoods. The Chinese have used it for centuries and enjoyed its medicinal benefits. The berries are rich in vitamin C and vitamin A, as well as zinc, iron, fiber, a load of antioxidants and other trace minerals. A handful of goji berries are a good alternative to sour plums and cranberries in your salads and cereals. If you like tart fruits, you can enjoy the antioxidative and mood-lifting benefits of these berries.
Spinach is rich in nitrates. A recent Swedish study found that these nitrates may help to increase the efficiency of energy-producing mitochondria in the cells of our bodies. There’s a lot more research required to confirm this. But Popeye’s favorite food has a lot going for it in the energy department. Make a smoothie with bananas and you’ll be fueled for hours.
If you like chocolate, you’ll love cacao. This is the purest, rawest form of chocolate. It contains 40 times more antioxidants than blueberries. It is also rich in magnesium, iron and calcium. It helps release happy hormones. If you can get your hands on raw cacao nibs or powder from fair trade, it will be free of the chemicals of regular cacao plus fair trade is good for the farmers. Simply blend into a smoothie or chew raw to enjoy.
Of course, this list can be much longer. Do you have a favorite pick-me up food that is healthy?
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