We know, we know. You are what you eat. But it's true. Your body runs off what you feed it. So when you're low on energy, you want to make sure that you're giving yourself the best food possible.
Try these energy-packed foods that boast nutrients to keep you going all day long. Here's what to have the next time you're dragging to help prevent that afternoon slump.
Iron-rich spinach is great if you need an energy boost. When you don't have enough iron, you have less oxygen flowing to the brain. And that can leave you tired. Add spinach to your morning smoothie or omelet. Eat a spinach salad at lunch to help prevent an afternoon energy slump. Try Spinach-Stuffed Chicken for dinner; double it to serve a crowd. Make a side salad for a complete meal.
They may be small but they pack a might punch. Chia seeds hold the proper ratios of fats, protein and fiber. That way you'll get an energy boost minus the crash. Sprinkle some into your morning smoothie. Or add some to your yogurt. A great breakfast substitute, this Blueberry Banana Oatmeal Chia Smoothie is packed with protein and fiber to keep you satisfied until lunchtime. Plus it contains antioxidants and heart-healthy omega-3s to boost your health.
Avocados boast fiber (which helps maintain steady energy levels) and healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. They provide more energy than most produce because they're digested slower than simple carbs. And they can be stored in the body and used as an energy source. This nutritional powerhouse also offers protein and potassium. Avocados are versatile enough to be incorporated into any meal. Use them in your omelet, as a salad topper, sandwich filler or as the main ingredient in guacamole. Drink your avocados, too—they give smoothies a creamy consistency. Sip on this Cucumber Avocado Smoothie that will replenish needed nutrients at breakfast, lunch or post workout. The healthy fats and protein in the avocado and yogurt will keep you feeling full for hours.
Excuse our pun but beets can't be beat when it comes to offering fuel. They hold naturally occurring nitrates and antioxidants, which are thought to promote blood flow. And that gives oxygen to your brain and muscles. This luscious puree has a nutty earthiness from the white beans. It includes deep ruby-red beets and their bold, slightly bitter greens, whose flavor is reminiscent of kale.
Nuts are a great food to help beat fatigue. Consuming various types will help boost energy and offer you healthy nutrients. Aim to eat ones that are raw and unsalted. Almonds boast fiber, protein and heart-healthy fats plus minerals and vitamins like copper, riboflavin and magnesium. Manganese and copper help keep energy flowing through the body. And riboflavin helps with energy production. Walnuts contain omega-3 fatty acids to keep you satisfied and help your heart, too. This Harvest Rice Dish boasts energizing slivered almonds.
Yes, oatmeal can be a component of a hearty breakfast, with filling fiber and protein. But it also stabilizes blood sugar. Choose plain versions instead of instant packets. Steel-cut oats or old-fashioned oats are a safe bet as they aren't filled with extra sugar. Add in milk, a little honey and mixed berries for a healthy energy boost. Dress up your morning oatmeal with some fluffy egg whites and nutrient-packed toppings courtesy of this Egg-White Whipped Vanilla Oatmeal.
Sweet potatoes are high in slowly digesting fiber, energy-rich complex carbs, beta-carotene (vitamin A) and vitamin C. They also bear manganese, which helps break down nutrients to produce energy. (Pineapples, nuts and oatmeal are also strong sources of manganese). Your body digests the potatoes' fiber and complex carbs slowly, giving you a steady energy supply. Sweet Potato Hummus is a light, healthy snack is bursting with flavor, spice and color. Because of its high protein content, the recipe will help control your appetite and mood. Pair it with Herb-Infused Ranch-Style Sweet Potato Chips for the perfect blend of protein and carbs.