Being exhausted may be one of the worst feelings. But the great news is you can do something about it with what you eat. The right foods can boost energy by supplying calories, pushing your body to burn those calories, and triggering feel-good brain chemicals. For an afternoon pick-me-up, consider the following foods.
1. Cashews, almonds, hazelnuts: These nuts are rich in protein, fiber and good-for-you-fat to fill you up and sustain energy. They also contain magnesium, a mineral playing a key role in converting sugar into energy.
2. Smart carbs: They get a bad rap, but research shows carbohydrates are vital to boosting energy and mood. The key is to avoid sweets, which cause blood sugar levels to spike and then plummet (making you feel tired and cranky). Pick complex carbs like whole grains (whole wheat bread and brown rice, for example) since your body absorbs them more slowly, keeping your blood sugar and energy levels stable.
3. Green tea: Loaded with antioxidants and catechins, green tea has been used as a “natural” medicine for thousands of years. Originating in China, this beverage can help reduce the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes and is believed to help enhance your mood. Drink up!
4. Salmon: This succulent fish is rich in omega 3 fatty acids, which may protect against depression and be good for the heart. Research has also shown that salmon can improve overall brain health.
5. Supplements: Vitamin supplements may help to increase energy levels and are a great way to boost an already balanced, nutritious diet. Supplements including omega-3s, vitamin D, CoQ10, vitamin C and B-vitamins can aid in fighting fatigue. Also, Max Muscle Nutrition’s highly popular Emerge will not only give you a boost of energy, but also suppress appetite, enhance mood, and help you burn fat!
6. Dark, leafy greens: There’s a reason why your mother always told you to eat your greens! Experts say they are the No. 1 food you can eat regularly to improve your health. That’s because they’re chock full of fiber, vitamins, and minerals that may help protect you from heart disease, diabetes and, in some cases, cancer. Pick from kale, spinach, collards and Swiss chard – all of which are also good sources of omega 3s.
7. Avocado: The good-for-you-fat, also known as oleic acid, in avocados can help lower cholesterol and keep insulin levels steady, helping you concentrate better.
8. Dark berries: Not only are they delicious, dark berries (like blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries) are also loaded with cell-protective antioxidants and fiber, which can control your blood sugar levels to avoid a dip in energy.