With most of us living hectic lives and juggling busy schedules, feeling low on energy has become commonplace for most of us. An entire industry has sprung up to capitalize on the lack of energy so many of us feel, offering a plethora of caffeinated energy drinks, supplements, and even caffeine-spiked bars and snacks.
If the mid-day energy slump is a regular occurrence for you, you’re certainly not alone, but just know there are healthier and more natural ways to boost your energy levels than reaching for that sugary drink or artificial-ingredient packed energy shot. If your preferred response is loading up on more “natural” fixes like another cup of coffee or a sugary treat, not only are you loading up on empty calories, these quick-fixes will just spike your blood sugar levels and ultimately leave you crashing harder an hour or so later.
Luckily, Mother Nature provides many natural ways we can boost our energy levels, just by including these wholesome foods into our daily diet. By snacking smarter you’ll give your body a sustained source of energy, without loading up on excess sugar or artificial additives, so you can tackle your day without needing that second or third cup of joe.
There’s truly no more convenient or cheap “fast food” than a banana. You can toss one into your bag or lunchbox for an anytime-snack that will give you a burst of energy thanks to their hefty dose of fiber, potassium, and vitamin B6. They make a great pre or post workout snack when you need a quick hit of energy, but can also be a great breakfast fruit or mid-afternoon snack.
Healthy carbs should never be feared, and in fact deserve a place in your daily diet for a host of reasons. Chief among these is the fact that healthy, complex carbs like old-fashioned rolled oats (make sure you grab this type, vs the more processed “instant” type which are lacking many of their nutrients) are the main source of fuel and energy our bodies rely on. If you’ve ever tried to cut carbs, you know how real the “carb brain fog” is. Loading up on oats for breakfast or for a snack will keep you full and energized thanks to the fiber and carb content, meaning no mid-morning crash.
Quinoa is a staple in almost every list of healthy foods to include in your diet, for many reasons, but you may not have realized it’s an amazing energy-booster. Technically a seed, though it’s cooked and eaten like a grain, quinoa is not only a complex carbohydrate, meaning no blood sugar spike and crash, like you’d get from eating a carb like white bread or donuts, quinoa is also a complete protein source. Try it in the place of a grain like rice or toss it on a salad for a rich, satisfying lunch.
Also a mainstay on almost any list of top health foods, blueberries are a perfect energy boosting fruit thanks to their slow-digesting fiber. Throw them on top of yogurt or oatmeal or into a smoothie for an ideal snack that will keep you full and satisfied.
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