We've all been there: those mornings or afternoons when you feel zapped of any energy and all you want to do is curl up in a ball and take a nap. When you feel as though you've stared at the computer screen for so long that nothing makes sense anymore.
Keeping up your energy throughout the day can be a challenge. But how and what you eat can make a big difference!
Here are nine foods that can help boost your energy and keep you on your toes:
- Almonds, hazelnuts and walnuts: These nuts contain magnesium, which is important in converting sugar into energy. They also are rich in protein and healthy monounsaturated fats, so they help keep you full for longer and help to normalize blood sugar. In fact, walnuts are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids.
- Salmon: Speaking of omega-3 fatty acids, salmon is a superstar fish because it’s highest in this healthy fat. One of the many benefits to these healthy fats is that they keep your thyroid working properly and your hormones in balance. Fatty acids also lower your leptin levels, which allows your body to burn calories rather than store them as fat.
- Leafy greens: Leafy greens are not only packed with fiber to help keep you full and satisfied, but they also have folate – a key nutrient in energy production.
- Beans: Beans are loaded with fiber – there are 15 grams in one cup of cooked black beans. More fiber means less hunger and more lasting energy.
- Quinoa: This is quite a trendy grain right now, but for a great reason: it’s not only packed with fiber, it’s also a great source of protein – it’s a double threat.
- Whey: Scientists are finding that whey—the liquid component of milk—provides signals to the body that affect both short and long-term food intake regulation. What this means is it helps with satiety, keeping you feeling full for longer. Studies are also finding that people who consume dairy products (yogurt, cottage cheese, milk) gain more muscle and lose more fat mass when trying to lose weight.
- Spices: Capsaicin, the "hot" ingredient in jalapenos, red pepper flakes and cayenne, speeds up your heart rate, which increases your metabolism temporarily by up to 25 percent for up to three hours after consumption. It also helps to suppress appetite.
- Whole grains: Unprocessed whole grains such as millet, bulgur, barley and buckwheat contain B vitamins that are essential to energy conversion in the body.
- Ice water: Research shows that for 10 minutes after drinking ice water, your metabolism is boosted by as much as 30 percent. Drinking water that is cold burns a few more calories since your body uses its energy to warm it up. Plus, if you’re properly hydrated, you won’t mistake thirst for hunger which actually happens quite often.
For more tips on how to boost your energy, check out this Patch blog post: Six Tips to Having More Energy.
Remember: Eating healthfully doesn't have to mean giving up taste or the love of food.