Most people could benefit from increased energy levels. Feeling slow or sluggish can affect our mental as well as physical health. It can also lower morale and affect our ability to function on a daily basis. Our diet plays a key role in maintaining balanced energy levels throughout the day. By treating our bodies to the right energy-boosting foods, we can surge our productivity and ensure we are ready and waiting for whatever the day may throw at us. Continue reading to find out what foods you should be eating to promote greater energy levels.
Bananas are one of the most popular fruits eaten worldwide. As well as tasting yummy, they also carry a number of health benefits. They are an excellent source of complex carbohydrates, potassium, and vitamin B6 which all contribute to an increase in daily energy. Complex carbohydrates are comprised of a series of sugar molecules that are bonded together to form one long chain. They are mainly found in fruits, vegetables, and grains and are transformed into glucose, or blood sugar, which is then converted into energy. Potassium is both a mineral and an electrolyte. It promotes the healthy functioning of your muscles and helps stabilize your heartbeat. When potassium reacts with water, it releases a series of positively charged ions. These ions conduct electricity which is then converted into energy. Vitamin B6 is required for the formation of red blood cells. These transport oxygen to each part of your body and help you stay energized throughout the day.
2. Sweet potato
Sweet potato is another key source of daily energy. They contain a large quantity of complex carbohydrates, fibre, and vitamin A which are gradually released into your body’s digestive system throughout the day to contribute to a steady increase in energy levels. The excess glycogen is then stored in your liver or muscles as an additional fuel source to be used when necessary. As exercise levels increase, glycogen is used up at a quicker rate. This then triggers a further need for carbohydrates. A high fibre content also helps you to feel fuller for longer.
Coffee is perhaps the first port of call for those looking for an extra energy boost. It contains high levels of caffeine which, when released into the bloodstream, triggers the release of adenosine. This organic compound can reduce tiredness and silence the nervous system. This then prompts the production of a hormone called epinephrine which stimulates several aspects of the body and brain. Whilst coffee succeeds in boosting energy levels, its consumption must be limited. Most health professionals recommend curbing your intake at 400mg of caffeine a day. This is the equivalent of 4 cups of brewed coffee or 2 energy drinks.
Eggs are another popular breakfast food eaten by millions of people all over the world for their energy-boosting properties. They contain large quantities of protein which is known for releasing a slow and sustained source of energy throughout the day. As well as this, they are also a key source of leucine. Leucine is a dietary amino acid that cannot be produced in the body. It must be obtained from external sources and is most commonly found in animal products. When ingested, it breaks down two molecules that can lead to an increase in energy levels. It can also stimulate the production of energy in cells which can boost alertness and productivity.
Beans are a great source of natural energy. From red beans and kidney beans to soybeans and black beans, they all provide high levels of carbohydrates, fibre and protein when consumed on a regular basis. They are digested slowly and steadily which maintains blood sugar, or glucose, levels in the body and stabilises your energy consumption throughout the day. They also benefit from containing a high dose of antioxidants to fight inflammation and disease. With over 400 types to choose from, there is no excuse not to get your energy from beans.
Nuts are another natural source of energy bursting with health-related properties. Although nuts tend to be higher in calories, this is a result of their high healthy fat content. They also contain high levels of protein and carbohydrates. When consumed on a regular basis, nuts can provide a concentrated source of energy. They are also packed with omega-3 and omega-6 which can lower blood pressure and reduce the likelihood of a stroke or heart attack. All nuts are a great source of energy but almonds, brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, pistachios and walnuts tend to release the most amount of energy.
A modern so-called superfood, beetroot is an excellent source of iron, folate, and antioxidants. They are popular amongst athletes for their slow energy-boosting abilities. They have also been proven to improve the efficiency of your body’s energy-producing cells which can lead to increased stamina over time. As well as providing a steady source of energy, beetroot may also improve blood flow to increase the function and appearance of skin, hair, and nails. Nitrates are also commonly found in beetroot. They are chemicals found in soil, air and water that can increase oxygen flow to tissues in the body.
8. Leafy green vegetables
Lettuce, spinach, and kale contribute to a healthy, balanced diet and can be a great source of energy. They are high in a wide range of energy-boosting compounds such as iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and vitamins A, C, E and K. As if this wasn’t enough, they are also bursting with fibre and folic acid to help you feel fuller for longer. They also contain antioxidants to reduce the risk of heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure and increase the appearance of your hair, nails, and skin. They are also low in calories which can promote weight loss.
Popcorn is a low-calorie snack that can provide us with a much-needed energy boost throughout the day. High in carbohydrates and fiber, it can release a steady stream of energy for hours to keep us full. It is also high in antioxidants to contribute to a healthy diet. Antioxidants may also help fight stress and reduce inflammation when consumed on a regular basis.
Apples are another popular fruit commonly consumed by millions of people all over the world. They are another great source of carbohydrates and fiber. A typical apple can contain over 14 grams of carbohydrates, 10 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of fiber. This provides a slow and steady release of energy to keep you alert all day long. Apples are also rich in antioxidants. This can slow the digestion of carbohydrates to trigger a gradual energy release over a prolonged period of time. Moisture levels in apples have also been proven to contribute to healthy skin and teeth.
Many foods we consume on a daily basis do not provide sufficient energy to keep us going throughout the day. This can leave us feeling sluggish and tired before it even hits noon. By incorporating a number of healthy, energy-boosting foods into our diet, we can increase our energy levels and reduce the risk of developing heart disease and obesity.