Let’s be honest. We all struggle with the daily slump. Everyday, at some point we hit a wall and begin to feel tired and rundown. The lack of energy can affect our daily activities and our production levels in our careers, workouts, and just life in general. The foods we eat play a big role in our energy levels, and though all foods provide us with energy certain foods are better than others as far as energy levels go. Certain foods contain nutrients that could help increase our energy levels, and improve overall focus throughout the day.
Below is a list of nutrient dense foods that have been proven to provide energy.
1. Bananas- A great source of complex carbs, potassium and B6 Vitamins, which are all nutrients that provide energy.
2. Fatty Fish- Fish like tuna, and salmon are good sources of protein, fatty acids, and B vitamins making them great, nutrient dense foods to include in your diet. A single serving of salmon or tuna has your recommended daily amount of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3’s have been shown to reduce inflammation which is a common cause of fatigue.
3. Brown Rice- Brown rice is very nutritious because it contains fiber, vitamins, and minerals. The fiber content in brown rice creates a low glycemic index. This means that it can help regulate blood sugar levels and promote stead energy levels throughout the day.
4. Sweet Potatoes- Besides being utterly delicious, sweet potatoes are an excellent source of energy for people who are looking for a little extra boost. One cup portion of sweet potatoes contains about 25g of complex carbs and 3g of fiber. Our body digests the high amounts of complex carbs and fiber slower which provides us with a steady supply of energy.
5. Eggs- Eggs are great because you can have them a variety of different ways so it’s hard to get sick of them. They contain high amounts of protein which can give you a steady and sustained source of energy.
6. Apples- Popular because of their taste, but apples actually contain a high amount of fiber and carbohydrates making them a good nutrition source. A medium sized apple contains around 14g of carbs, 10g of sugar, and up to 2.1g of fiber. The heavy content of natural sugar and fiber provides a slower and more sustained energy release.
7. Dark Chocolate- The cocoa content in dark chocolate is heavier than that in milk chocolate or regular chocolate. The antioxidants in cocoa have been known to have many health benefits like increasing blood flow throughout your body. When our blood flow is increased, it helps with the delivery of oxygen to our brain and muscles which improves their function.
8. Quinoa- This food has been gaining popularity the last few years due to the high protein, dietary fiber, and carbohydrates. In fact, this delicious food is considered a “super food” because of how nutritious it is. It is high in carbs, but has a low-glycemic index meaning that the carbs in it are absorbed slower and it will provide you with a sustained energy release.
9. Oatmeal- Oatmeal is a whole grain cereal that can provide high quality, long lasting energy. Oats are rich in B vitamins, iron and manganese. All of these vitamins and minerals help with energy production.
10. Yogurt- The carbs in yogurt are mainly in the form of simple sugars like lactose and galactose. When these sugars are broken down, they provide ready to use energy. In addition to the carbs, yogurt is high in protein which will help with the slow digestion of the carbs thereby slowing the release of sugars into the blood.
11. Hummus- This popular dip is made of chick-peas, sesame seed paste, oil and lemon. The chickpeas are high in complex carbs and fiber, which by now we have learned are really great sources of energy. The sesame seed paste, and oil in hummus are good sources of healthy fat, and help with the slow absorption of carbs and promotes normal blood sugar levels.
12. Edamame- This is relatively low in calories, but contains a good balance of protein, fat and carbs. Just one cup of edamame can contain upwards of 27g of protein, 21g of carbs, and 12g of fiber. Edamame contains high amounts of vitamins and minerals like folic acid that can help increase energy. Folic acid works with iron to promote energy and fight fatigue.
13. Avocados- Thanks to all of their amazing health benefits, avocados are considered a “super food.” They are rich in fiber, b vitamins, and healthy fats. A large percentage of the healthy fats in avocados are polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. This type of healthy fat has been shown to promote optimal blood fat levels and enhance the absorption of nutrients. They can also be stored in the body as a great source of energy.
14.Oranges- Oranges contain a high amount of vitamin C. Vitamin C is known to help our immune system, keeping us from getting sick. In addition to the Vitamin C, oranges contain antioxidant compounds that protect against oxidative stress. Oxidative stress can promote feelings of fatigue. Therefore, the antioxidant protection provided by compounds in oranges can help decrease fatigue.
15. Leafy Green Vegetables- Vegetables like kale and spinach are great sources of nutrients that provide energy. They are super high in iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and lots of different vitamins. Fatigue is one of the biggest signs of iron deficiency. Leafy green vegetables are a good way to replenish your bodies iron needs.