There are of course a number of different foods that energize you, some healthier than others. Being a healthy blog we will only be focusing on those foods that are healthy and provide you with energy you need.
It is worth mentioning that whilst there are some good individual energizing foods out there. Eating a balanced diet with both protein and carbohydrates throughout the day will help keep your energy levels stable. Skipping meals, drinking lots of caffeinated drinks and not getting enough sleep will make you feel physically drained, so bear this in mind when thinking about your energy levels.
One of my top energizing foods is green tea. It has many health benefits in fact, but in terms of energy, it provides you with a buzz without the energy drop that you would have after a cup of coffee.
Green tea contains a smaller amount of caffeine compared to coffee, but the added antioxidants it contains makes it a clear winner over coffee.
The caffeine in green tea has an amino acid called L-Theanine which works in harmony with caffeine to energize you.
Some people don’t like the taste of green tea, but with so many variations of green tea available now, it is worth trying a few of the combined flavours to try and find one you like.
Chia seeds have gained in popularity in recent years, and are a very versatile seed.
Dating back to the Mayan and Aztec era, they have been around for a long time, but only recently people have started to use them more regularly.
One ounce (about 2 tablespoons) contains 139 calories, 4 grams of protein, 9 grams fat, 12 grams carbohydrates and 11 grams of fiber, plus vitamins and minerals.
Some claim that Chia seeds also help with weight loss, although there is little evidence to support this.
Certainly, you will benefit in terms of energy from the carbohydrate and protein content of Chia seeds, and the antioxidant qualities are as high if not higher than that of blueberries.
Eggs have had some bad press in the the past, with many people only eating a small amount due to the negative effects on cholesterol that eggs were said to have.
However, we no know that eggs are bad for us, and actually have many health benefits, which is fortunate for me, since my mother used to feed me up with scrambled egg every morning.
Eggs are definitely a super food in my opinion, rich in protein, good fats, iron, zinc, B vitamins, iodine and vitamin A. They are a powerhouse of nutrients, supplying you with sustained energy. What better way to start your day.
Like Chia seeds this is another food that has gained in popularity. Some of the bigger retailers have caught on to this and you can now buy quinoa frozen and added to rice, in supermarkets, instead of in its raw form at your local health food shop.
Quinoa is a great alternative to a rice, or cous cous because its more nutritious and gluten free so great for Coeliacs.
Quinoa is also very versatile, and works well as an accompaniment, but can also be added to soups, sauces and stir fry’s by adding bulk or used as a thickener. It can even be used in sweet dishes as well as savoury due to its bland flavour.
It’s a great source of energy since it contains both protein and carbohydrate, magnesium, zinc, calcium and iron.
Beans are also a good source of energy, they are low GI food, which means they keep your blood sugar levels stable for sustained every and provide both carbohydrate and protein including beneficial vitamins and minerals.
Having a variety of different beans also means you will benefits from the different nutrients the different beans contain.
They are also a good source of fibre so especially good for a sluggish digestive system.
Nuts contain both carbohydrates and protein, good fats and a number of different vitamins and minerals depending on which types of nuts you eat.
They are a great snack, to kerb hunger cravings, and a much better option to grabbing a biscuit when you are feeling hungry and tired.
Do stick to the unsalted version though. You can also add nuts to smoothies, add them to salads, and other main dishes both sweet and savoury.
Eating mixed nuts will enable you to benefit from the different nutrients different nuts contain.
Dark chocolate can provide you with some energy, due to the caffeine it contains. But dark chocolate is packed with antioxidants and magnesium. The magnesium will help calm you down if you are feeling stressed, but you shouldn’t eat too much of it, especially if you are sensitive to caffeine. A couple of squares a day with a small handful of nuts, with help to sustain your energy levels throughout the day.
Not to be underestimated, plain old water is so important to a number of functions within the body. In terms of energy, if we don’t consume enough of it, we feel tired and lethargic. Sometimes, when we feel hungry, it is often our body just wanting water because we are dehydrated.
Aiming for around 2 litres a day will help with your energy requirements, and stop you from becoming dehydrated.