Top 12 Foods High in Energy to Keep You Going Through the DayWritten by Daisy Whitbread, MScNOne of the best ways to have a healthy lifestyle and maintain a good weight is to eat food which sustains your energy levels throughout the day. The following list gives you 12 common foods which have been chosen for their ability to provide the body with energy. Some of the foods provide slow-releasing energy from healthy carbohydrates, which are the body's main energy source. Others contain a range of important vitamins and minerals involved in cellular energy production processes in the body. Good quality protein sources are also included as these are needed for maintaining body tissues, including muscle.
One of the best sources of slow-releasing energy from low GI complex carbohydrates, to keep you going all morning. Also a great source of B-vitamins, which are needed to convert food into energy. How to cook oatmeal.
High in iron, magnesium, and potassium. Iron transports oxygen needed for energy production. Magnesium plays a vital role in energy production, and together with potassium, is important for nerve and muscle function.
#3: Sweet Potatoes
Another fantastic source of complex carbohydrates, along with iron, magnesium, and vitamin C. Vitamin C is needed for transporting fats into the cells of the body for energy production.
Provide complete protein, (protein containing all the essential amino acids), B-vitamins, healthy fats, and some vitamin D. They also provide choline, the precursor for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which activates skeletal muscle.
Provide natural sugars, which are quickly absorbed into the blood stream for an instant pick me up (but without the 'sugar crash' you get after eating refined sugars). Fruits are also high in fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants.
#6: Green Tea
Contains a small amount of caffeine for an energy boost, but without the 'jittery' side effects of stronger caffeine drinks, such as coffee. Further green tea may also help lower cholesterol.
Energy dense due to their high content of healthy fats. Also high in vitamins and minerals. Soaking nuts in water overnight 'activates' them (starts the germination or sprouting process) increasing the nutrient value even more and making them easier to digest.
High in protein, B-vitamins, copper, and phosphorous. Copper and phosphorous are involved in converting food into energy and releasing it into cells so it's available for use by the body.
#9: Oily Fish
Such as Salmon, sardines and mackerel are an excellent source of complete protein, B vitamins, essential fats and vitamin D. A lack of vitamin D can cause lack of energy, muscle fatigue and low mood.
#10: Pumpkin Seeds
An excellent source of protein, healthy fats and minerals involved in energy production - including manganese, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc. Zinc is needed for the production of hormones in the body that affect energy and mood. It is also important for muscle recovery after exercise.
#11: Natural Yogurt
Contain live bacteria with many health benefits including regulating the immune system, improving digestion (so that more energy-giving nutrients are absorbed) and possibly even improving mood, according to new research.
Dehydration is one of the fastest ways to feel your physical and mental energy levels drop. Even mild dehydration of 1-2% can affect mood, energy levels, and ability to concentrate. Drink 8 glasses per day to keep your energy levels up.
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- Maintain Good Blood Sugar Levels - The energy from a well-balanced meal can last for up to 4 hours, so ideally you don't want to go longer than this without eating. This means having 3 meals and 2 to 3 snacks spread out evenly over the day.
- Avoid High Sugar Foods - High sugar foods can cause a spike in your blood sugar which causes your body to release too much insulin. The surplus insulin then creates a dip in blood sugar levels known as a "sugar crash".
- Choose the right combination of foods for your meals - The best combination for sustained energy that will last the full 4 hours is low GI carbohydrates combined with protein. Low GI carbohydrates release their energy slowly and gradually into the bloodstream. They include sweet potatoes and whole-grains such as oats, brown rice, and whole-wheat bread. Beans and lentils are great as they contain low GI carbohydrates and protein packaged conveniently together. Other good sources of protein include fish, chicken, lean meat, tofu, yogurt, nuts, and seeds.
- Include some healthy sources of fat - Fats such as olive oil, nuts, and oily fish, will help you feel full and keep you from over-snacking.
- Avoid too much caffeine - Too much caffeine actually depletes energy levels in the long term.