Summer is ending, the kids are back in school, and it seems we have no time and no energy to deal with everything. Now might be the perfect time to talk about foods that can increase our energy level and help us get through the day.
When we are dragging, our immediate response is to grab a cup of coffee, some chips, or cookies. Unfortunately, too much caffeine can give the opposite effect of what we want and expect. Eating too much sugar (or simple carbohydrates) will only give you a sugar rush and then a crash leaving us worse off than before we ate that fantastic chocolate chip cookie. In reality, what we need are foods that give us energy over time. These foods are rich in protein, fibre, and/or complex carbs. Here is a list of some fantastic foods that will help you feel energized throughout the day.
Almonds: The perfect snack that is full of magnesium and vitamin B, which helps to convert food into energy. One serving = 23 nuts.
Popcorn: Loaded with fibre, popcorn can help prevent a sugar crash. Avoid the flavoured microwavable kind and do not pour tons of butter and salt on it. Best to air pop it yourself and season it with herbs and spices such as cinnamon or chilli powder.
Peanut Butter: Peanut butter is high in calories but thankfully, a little can go a long way so you do not need to eat much of it. It is full of healthy fats, protein, and fibre so it can keep blood sugar level stable and stave off hunger. Try to avoid brands with added sugar and stick to 2 tablespoons per serving.
Salmon: Thanks to the high level of Omega 3 fatty acids found in salmon, salmon is brain food helping to decrease depression and boost moods.
Bananas: Bananas are full of fibre, vitamin B6, and potassium – three nutrients that promote sustained energy and muscle function.
Kale: Kale contains the amino acid L-tyrosine that may give you a mental boost as well as numerous antioxidants and fibre that help fill you up and keep your blood sugar stable.
Oatmeal: One of the best breakfasts out there. Oatmeal is high in fibre so it takes a while to digest and keeps your feeling fuller for a long time. It also releases its energy slowly so you will feel energized for the whole morning and keep your blood sugar stable.
Pistachios: Pistachios are a great combination of protein, fibre, and healthy fats, which makes them a great snacking food.
Hummus: Rich in protein and fibre, hummus can help stabilize blood sugar, take the edge off hunger, and boost your energy. Pairing it with cut up veggies makes it the perfect snack food.
Greek Yogurt: Greek yogurt can serve up twice the amount of protein than regular yogurt making it a great addition to breakfast, lunch or snacks. Add chopped nuts and/or berries and you have the perfect snack.