Weekly Wellness: List of foods for all-day energy
COLUMBIA - If you follow this segment with any frequency, then you know that I am a coffee-lover. I absolutely love everything about it. So, by no means am I encouraging anyone to give up their java-fix. However, with that said, this week's focus is on a list of foods that could replace that second (or third or fourth) cup of coffee (or fizzy soda).
When you start to feel that late-afternoon energy lull, don't reach for sugar. Here is a list of foods that are proven to help you recharge (and they're healthy to boot!)
- Quinoa: This nutrient-packed superfood is rich in magnesium, which is beneficial for naturally increasing energy levels. Also high in fiber, protein, folate, iron, and calcium, the complex carb will keep you fuller longer and won't make you want to take a nap.
- Chia Seeds: These powerful super seeds are packed with energy-boosting nutrients, including fiber, omega-3s, and protein. And with 11 grams of fiber in only two tablespoons, chia seeds will help keep your hunger at bay.
- Honey: If you're craving something sweet, add raw honey to your diet. The viscous sweetener is low on the glycemic index and will give you sustained energy throughout the day without spiking your blood sugar levels.
- Spinach: This leafy green superfood is high in iron, which transports oxygen throughout the body and is fundamental in energy production in your cells. It's also an excellent source of other energizing powerhouses, such as fiber, magnesium, and folate.
- Blueberries: Packed full of fiber, antioxidants, and manganese (which helps turn carbs and fats into energy), blueberries are a fantastic source of fuel. (And it's linked to brain function and mental focus!)
- Almonds: Healthy monounsaturated fats and B2 vitamins in almonds should perk you right up. Keep a bag in your desk drawer or top your salads with the powerful nut when you need a quick and reliable energy fix.
- Salmon: This oily pink fish contains a long list of energy-converting properties including riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, and protein.
- Avocados: Avocados are an awesome source of healthy fats, protein, and carbs that provide a long-lasting boost throughout the day. They also boast a high concentration of B vitamins and magnesium.
- Beans: Low in fat and high in fiber, beans can help to stabilize your blood sugar levels, while the magnesium and iron go to work to produce energy. Beans are also an excellent source of protein for both meat-eaters and vegetarians.
- Oranges: Oranges are rich in riboflavin, a key component in oxygen-based energy production. And because the tangy fruit is high in vitamin C, folate, and potassium, you'll get a steady boost throughout the day. (But make sure you EAT them, not drink them.)
- Bananas: Complex carbs, fiber, potassium, vitamin B6 – bananas have nearly everything you need for all-day fuel. The dense fruit is an excellent addition to your morning smoothie routine, or makes an ideal snack.
- Whole Grains: Because whole grains are high in fiber and absorbed slowly by the body, they give you a steady stream of time-released energy for hours. Oatmeal, whole grain cereal, and brown rice are all solid options.
- Beets: Beets help transport oxygen throughout your body for prime energy production. They are also excellent sources of fiber, folate, and vitamin C, giving you lasting energy throughout the day.
- Eggs: Eggs are considered a complete protein, meaning they possess all nine essential amino acids. What does this mean? Steady and sustained energy throughout the day. They also contain energizing B vitamins, making them the ultimate morning fuel.
- Wheatgrass: Wheatgrass is a powerhouse in a shot glass. Just a one-ounce swig is enough to give you a surge of energy that will last all day.