Whether you’re slowing down during the afternoon, or need a quick energy boost in the morning to face the onslaught of furious activity or just looking for more natural foods to introduce in your diet… there’s no denying that there are certain natural foods which specifically help us in a way. Below is a list of 10 foods; this list was specifically designed to help you “hack” your energy levels.
Spinach has earned the legacy of being called one of the greatest “superfoods” you can eat. Here’s a taste of just why that is:
180 grams of spinach will give you 181% of your vitamin K needs. Per bunch of spinach has 638% of vitamin A, 1800+mg potassium, 7g protein, and 159% of our vitamin C daily doses.
Clearly, spinach is “the real deal.” But, it’s also loaded with a bunch of B vitamins which, no surprise here, provide us with a lot of energy. (Tony Robbins comes to mind, especially when he talks about transforming our lives.) The best part about spinach is that its preparation is versatile: it can be used on salads, sandwich toppings, pizza, put into smoothies, boiled for a minute (and then put on potatoes),
You’ve undoubtedly heard of the “avocado storm” currently sweeping the trending nation for the past few years. Bar-none, avocado has more percentage of healthy fats vs. almost all plant-based foods out there. They’re also super rich in potassium, have 9.8g of fiber per cup and are stuffed with vitamin B-6.
- One cup of sliced avocado has 33% of your daily fat content.
- Avocados are rich in potassium.
- Avocados have 9.8g of fiber per cup.
- Over 20% of your daily dose of vitamin C and B-6 comes from one cup of avocado.
More importantly, avocado boosts your metabolism, providing you a quick burst of natural, sustaining energy. There are many ways to prepare avocados – like wraps and tacos, and they’re also widely available in many parts of the world – meaning there’s no shortage of avocados.
Since we know that protein is relatively the reason behind our extensive energy boosts, it’s good to know that just one cup of lentils gives you a whopping 18g of protein – and 7mg of iron.
Plus, lentils are extremely to add to any soup you’re preparing. If you have lentils, tomatoes, spinach, herbs, and carrots – then you’re on your way to a nutritious, delicious (and frankly, quite filling) soup. Aside from soups, lentils can also be added to any smoothies you’re preparing.
If you love making salads, you’ll love chickpeas. Simply roast them and throw them on top of salads (as a crouton substitute) or turn them into hummus. The next time you see chickpeas in the grocery store, grab them without a second thought. Here’s why: each cup of chickpeas will get you 15g of protein – and we know by now that protein is a great way to “hack” your energy levels. If you want to add a little additional flavor, consider splashing them with a bit of cinnamon and brown sugar.
Not only do mushrooms prevent breast cancer (thanks to its source of selenium – which is an anti-oxidant), they’re high in fiber and protein and are a tremendous source of potassium. For their energy properties, though, you can thank the fact that mushrooms are significant sources of vitamin B (namely B2, B5, B6, and B12).
Here are mushrooms you should keep an eye for next time you’re shopping:
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6. Lemon Water
The benefits of lemon water are almost too numerous to mention. For starters, lemons are rife with vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, iron, and B-complex vitamins.
Let’s start with vitamin C, which boosts our immune system. Lemons are full of this valuable nutrient. Lemons also flush out nasty toxins from our body (when our enzyme functions are enhanced, thus stimulating our liver). Not to mention the fact that hot lemon water actually gets rid of coffee cravings. (Try it one morning for yourself if you don’t believe me.)
Least of all, the biggest reason to introduce lemon water into your day (I have a litre of the concoction each day) is: when it meets your digestive tract, you can say hello to a natural boost of harmless energy. Plus, you’ll also be effectively reducing your depression levels and curbing your anxiety. There is literally nothing bad that comes from drinking lemon water (whether it’s hot or cold is personal preference.) If you enjoy eating sour candies, you will enjoy drinking lemon water as well.
To start reaping these benefits now….
- Buy a bottle of mixed lemonade (or juice your own lemons if you have the time and willpower)
- Pour a tbsp. of lemonade into a tall glass
- Fill glass up with water
Black beans, kidney beans, lima beans and baked beans all have more than 10g of protein per cup. This means that (any legumes) are perfect for ensuring you maximise your energy levels during the day. Legumes can be added to casseroles or soups as a main dish, or served solely as a side dish. There is no wrong way to prepare legumes.
8. Guava Strawberry Banana Smoothie
Enough cannot literally be said about bananas. Here’s why: they are high in potassium and proven to lower blood pressure, reducing heart attacks and chances of stroke. They also protect against type 2 diabetes, fortify our nervous system, regulate blood sugar levels, prevent muscle cramps during workouts (if even 15 minutes before), among many more benefits.
Strawberries do their part by reducing arthritis and more. Just as important to this smoothie is guava, as it helps us lose weight, make our skin look younger, as well as lowering blood glucose levels in our bodies. Surprisingly, they’ve been proven to have 4x more vitamin C than oranges. Not to mention that guavas are packed with protein (and make your taste buds smile).
To make an energy-boosting smoothie:
- Gather a 1/2 cup of guava
- 6 large strawberries
- 2 cups of spinach
- 1 (or 2) bananas
- 1 cup of almond milk
Blend all the ingredients together until smooth, and enjoy.
Quinoa (20g of protein per cup) has become a staple amongst the “organic-only” crowd, and with good reason. Not only is Quinoa a balanced source of healthy carbs, it’s plentiful in B vitamins (thus converting all those carbs into body fuel). Quinoa takes no longer than 15 minutes to fully cook – so make a porridge out of them while you get ready in the morning.
10. Green Tea
Green tea has a lot of healthy caffeine – making it a perfect substitute for coffee when you need that caffeine boost without the harsh comedown/crash. The reason for this is due to L-theanine, which is an amino acid that makes us feel relaxed, without making us lose our caffeinated “edge”.
There is absolutely no reason not to include these foods in our everyday meals, as they are quite literally responsible for making us the healthiest versions of us possible. Least of all because they contain significant amounts of protein and vitamin B which, as we’ve learned, do their part to make us feel energetic and ready to tackle more tasks during the day without being so taxing.
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