The summer sun is bright and full of energy but where is yours? If you’ve lost your energy somewhere between your hectic summertime schedule and nightly trips to the ice cream shop, we’re here to help!
Keeping up your energy has much to do with the food you eat every day. And not all foods are created equal when it comes to boosting energy. The best nutrients to fuel your body and sustain energy are the ones that combine protein, fiber and nutritious carbohydrates: Proteins are important for every function in our body, from feeding cells, organs and muscles and accommodating movement, to chemical reactions and strong metabolisms and immune systems. Fiber takes a long time to digest, which helps the body stay satiated for longer. And healthy carbs like whole grain bread, brown rice and oatmeal are packed with amazing nutrients like vitamins and minerals that give us energy while also keeping us full longer.
Which foods are power-packed with the best nutrients to sustain your energy? Here’s our list of the 10 best foods to boost your energy:
1) Greek Yogurt: With triple the protein as regular yogurt, Greek yogurt can offer as much protein as a small serving of meat. It’s a simple and delicious breakfast or afternoon snack, especially when you top it with granola or fresh fruit. Look for brands without added sugar or new 100 calorie serving cups.
2) Nuts: Small but mighty, nuts have protein, fiber and unsaturated fat that will fill your stomach and keep you energized for hours. Take your pick – walnuts, pecans, peanuts, almonds, macadamia – just a handful goes a long way.
3) Fish: There’s a lot of hype about omega-3 fatty acids found in fish…and it’s all true. They are great for your heart and brain, which gives you energy to be active and think more clearly. Salmon, tuna and mackerel are among the fish with the highest omega-3 content.
4) Bananas: As a leading source of potassium and B vitamins, bananas help regulate blood sugar, which keeps our bodies full and energized. Plus they are super portable and easy to eat anytime, anywhere.
5) Beans: Raw cooked or puréed in dips, beans can easily put some pep in your step because they are full of fiber and protein. Incorporating beans without eating them straight up is easy: add them to salads or soups, or scoop hummus or black bean dip onto whole grain chips.
6) Popcorn: Surprisingly, this movie-time snack is packed with fiber that helps stabilize blood sugar. Go for air-popped varieties and skip the butter to avoid unnecessary fat.
7) Avocado: Technically a fruit, this green giant of a superfood can help you feel satisfied for hours because they have lots of good fats and fiber. Avocados make excellent salad toppers or can be a creamy energy-boosting spread on your morning toast.
8) Ginger Tea: Back away from the latte and go for tea instead. Ginger tea is a great choice because it is chock full of antioxidants and other vitamins and minerals that our bodies crave. But other herbal teas can also do the trick so find the one you like and drink up.
9) Dark Chocolate: Yes, we’re telling you to eat chocolate! True dark chocolate has great antioxidants that invigorate the body and brain. Although you should eat it in moderation, we recommend getting your dark chocolate fix daily.
10) Water: We all need it to survive: Our cells need water to carry nutrients throughout our bodies. Even slight dehydration can zap your energy and cause fatigue. Staying hydrated is especially important in heat or while exercising. Remember, natural fruit juices, milk and water-based fruits and veggies can count towards your water intake as well.