In today's hectic lifestyle, it can feel impossible to achieve those recommended eight hours of sleep. Sleep deprivation catches up to us all, however, and it can be difficult to find energy-granting options that are healthy as well. Luckily, many foods boost energy naturally, offering a mid-day pick-me-up that will not derail a healthy diet.
Eggs are rich in vitamin B, which is crucial when it comes to converting food to energy for the body to use. Eggs are also rich in leucine, an amino acid that helps build and maintain muscle mass. These strength benefits have a positive correlation with energy increases.
Most people know the caffeine in coffee offers a boost in energy. The stimulant may also aid in weight loss and improve metabolism when consumed in moderation on a regular basis. Healthy additions such as skim milk can deliver more protein and a bit of carbohydrate for a bit more brain power. Keep in mind that adding sugar might boost energy even more, but is more likely to result in a crash.
Soybeans contain B-complex vitamins that play a major role in mental and physical energy; they are responsible for quickly converting carbohydrates into energy. Add phosphorous and copper to the mix, and it's little wonder edamame is a popular energizing option. The young beans also offer protein and fiber.
Fibers aren't just good for digestion and healthy functioning of the intestines. Fiber-rich grains release glucose into the blood in a measured and healthful manner, preventing sudden bursts of energy that will not last. Whole grains are also rich in vitamins that improve the immune system.
Nuts are abundant in protein and carbohydrates. This combination slows the digestion of carbs to improve fuel conversion. Fatty oils provide longer lasting energy and are especially effective during lengthy periods of physical or mental activity. The nutritional benefits in nuts are concentrated, which makes it easy to get their benefits without consuming enough to exceed caloric goals.
Dried fruit quickly breaks down into glucose. Such a quick breakdown is good for emergency energy bursts when you need them the most, though, unlike grains and other energy boosters on this list, the energy increase will not last as long. When combined with nuts, however, dried fruit can be part of a healthful mix that energizes the body throughout the day. Keep in mind that because dried fruit is very concentrated, it also contains a lot of sugar.
Guarana is a standard ingredient in many energy drinks. The seeds of this plant contain up about twice the caffeine in coffee, but it is not quite as readily available in stores. Theophylline and theobromine can reduce the bursts of caffeine released, which provides a more steady energy flow throughout the day. Many people use guarana before working out.
Quinoa is a widely celebrated superfood that is rich in nutrients and also gluten-free, making it an excellent energy source. The seed contains plenty of amino acids, which are quick to reach the muscles and repair muscle fibers. The high-quality carbs in quinoa break down slowly, which ensures energy lasts throughout the day.
Pumpkin seeds deliver a sudden burst of energy that begins promptly. High in healthy carbs, protein, and fats, the seeds have plenty to offer to balance out a healthy diet. Manganese, zinc, and phosphorous, also present, further increase energy. This inexpensive and easy-to-find snack food is a great addition to a busy day.
Goji berries have been a staple of Chinese medicine for thousands of years. In addition to delivering natural energy, the berries also release healthy hormones throughout the body and help with cell oxygenation. Goji is in many natural medications that improve mood and battle stress and can even give the libido a boost.
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