Now days the food industry markets convenience over health and with the hustle and bustle of society, that’s often the option that is the most appealing. However, that option isn’t always the healthiest option and can leave you drowsy halfway through your day… Below are 4 foods that will boost your energy in a healthy way and keep you rockin’ throughout your whole day!
Larabars (the original version, at least) are great for when you’re on the go, because they’re naturally sweetened by an important bodybuilding fruit—dates. Dates not only provide the chewy, sweet backbone for these simple bars, but will also supply quick-acting energy to a fatigued body. Additionally, dates are an excellent source of potassium—gram-for-gram they contain nearly double the potassium of a banana.
Potassium plays an extremely important role in energy metabolism and muscle contraction. Larabars can be found at grocery stores nationwide—or better yet, make your own. Blend dates, nuts, and the unsweetened dried fruit of your choice in a food processor, and then form the mixture into bar-shaped pieces, letting it chill in the fridge.
Loaded with an array of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, a green smoothie can provide a kick-start to your morning—something that a cup o’ Joe can’t compete with. Simply blend some of nature’s best green energy-boosters: dark, leafy greens, frozen fruit, and a zero- or low-calorie liquid of your choosing.
Dark, leafy greens are rich in iron—a mineral that helps red blood cells deliver oxygen throughout the body, making it essential for energy production. Adding vitamin C-rich citrus fruits, like papaya and mango, can also help boost energy levels, while at the same time masking the often bitter taste of the greens. Vitamin C helps maintain proper functioning of the adrenal gland, which regulates hormones involved in stress and energy levels. Additionally, your body needs Vitamin C to help properly absorb the iron from the dark, leafy greens.
When assembled correctly, trail mix can serve as a portable, lightweight snack made up of energy-dense ingredients, like nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and dark chocolate. Instead of buying pre-packaged versions, purchase energy-boosting ingredients separately, and combine them yourself. Nuts in trail mix often contain magnesium, a vital nutrient for your body vital for the breakdown of glucose into energy. (That’s why a magnesium deficiency can result in low energy levels.)
Pumpkin seeds are one of the richest sources of magnesium, as are nuts like almonds, which also supply protein and fiber to better stabilize blood sugar levels and regulate energy. Eating nuts in combination with unsweetened, dried fruits, like mangoes or apricots, makes trail mix the ideal treat for quick-acting, long-lasting energy. And if you need to satisfy your sweet tooth, top the trail mix off with some dark chocolate chips for a little extra energy.
Fatty fish, like salmon, are one of the best natural sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. In addition to improving heart health, omega-3s boost levels of EPA and DHA in the brain, and therefore help increase energy and focus.
Salmon is also an excellent source of tyrosine—an amino acid that functions as a precursor in the production of the body’s “fight or flight” hormones: norepinephrine, epinephrine, and dopamine. These hormones can influence mood, energy, and alertness. Lastly, salmon provides vitamin B12, a vitamin capable of boosting energy levels. A cooked serving of Atlantic salmon provides over half of the daily recommended amount of vitamin B12.