Articles by Natural Health Author Jaime A. Heidel
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Boost Your Energy Levels With These Life-Sustaining Foods
by Jaime A. Heidel
(The Best Years in Life) If you're often tired and sluggish, and you don't know why, it could be your diet. In my last article, I talked about the importance of avoiding energy-draining foods. In this one, I'll give you a list of foods that will not only boost your energy, but fuel your body with the nutrients it needs to stay healthy, vibrant, and filled with life.
Wild-caught salmon is a rich source of protein and healthy fat that will keep you feeling full and energized throughout your day. Salmon is also an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are critical to circulation, brain activity, and energy production.
Instead of heading to the vending machine for a candy bar when your energy levels dip, eat some nuts and seeds. Almonds, hazelnuts, and cashews are high in magnesium, a mineral that plays an important role in converting sugar to energy. Nuts are also loaded with fiber to keep your blood sugar levels stable in between meals.
Furthermore, sunflower and pumpkin seeds are a good source of protein and can be combined with nuts, fruit, and dark chocolate for a tasty do-it-yourself trail mix.
The dark chocolate will bring out the flavor of the nuts and fruit while satisfying your body's need for healthy fat. It's also a good source of iron and magnesium. Just be sure that the dark chocolate you choose is organic and at least 70 percent cacao.
Eggs are a versatile and nutritious food packed with protein, iron, and B vitamins, the latter of which help your body convert food into energy. Have some fried eggs, slice up hard-boiled eggs for a savory salad topper, or enjoy an egg salad sandwich on organic, whole-grain bread.
If you're lactose intolerant, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that aged cheeses like cheddar, Swiss, and Parmesan contain little to no lactose. Cheese is a protein-rich snack that helps keep you full between meals. Be careful to avoid “cheese products” that come sliced in those square packages, though. The best kind of cheese is 100 percent natural and unadulterated.
Kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas, black beans, and other beans and legumes are excellent sources of protein and fiber. Since the fiber takes longer to digest, it helps extend the energy boost provided by any carbohydrates you consume with it. Beans are also rich in magnesium, a mineral that activates the cell enzymes that produce energy.
Hummus is a protein-packed dip that helps balance blood sugar levels, which will help you fight those urges to snack on empty-calorie foods. Use broccoli, celery, or carrots to scoop the hummus, and you've got a healthy, filling snack that will keep you going for hours!
Craving something sweet? Greek yogurt is the perfect mixture of protein, carbohydrates, fat, and sugar that will give you an energy boost while satisfying your sweet tooth. When choosing a yogurt, be sure to look for a brand that contains no food dyes or artificial sweeteners.
A banana is a portable powerhouse of energy. This fruit is rich in potassium and B vitamins, which provide your body with a sustained release of energy throughout the day. Enjoy a banana alone, mixed in yogurt , or cut up and dipped into some almond butter.
The next time you feel a crash coming on, reach for one of these healthy foods. Unlike coffee and energy drinks, which only give you a temporary boost, these foods will help support a healthy mind and body for years to come.
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