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Nutrition4Energy: Top 10 things to eat to instantly increase energy level

March 02, 2016 Yael Greenberg

The lack of energy can come from obvious reasons such as lack of sleep or exercise. In other cases, it is more subtle - stemming from a diet lacking in essential nutrients.

It never hurts to diversify your diet to include food that will provide your body with extra energy you may need, especially if you're a new parent, an athlete, recovering from an illness or injury or are in the middle of a critical project at work.

So here are top 10 foods you should eat daily or weekly to recharge your batteries:

Water

Let's face it. Number 1 reason you're probably lacking energy is because you are dehydrated. 2/3 of the US adults don't drink enough water. If you don't drink water, you can't properly absorb nutrients. So drink up. 

Pickled vegetables like Kimchi

Fermented veggies are high in probiotics, which makes your gut digest food more efficiently. Therefore, since the body has to work less to digest, you're left with more energy. To learn more about the wonders of natural probiotics such as Kimchi or Kombucha, read this: Add Probiotics To Your Diet To Keep Thin

Asparagus

B vitamins are some of those responsible for you feeling energy after eating foods high in B-vitamins. Spirulina is a huge source of B complex with just 10 grams containing over 20% of your daily value for those vitamins. To get the remaining 80%, eat foods like asparagus or okra. 

Sweet potato

This is my favorite because it satisfied cravings for a sweet tooth AND gives a somewhat lasting energy boost. The energy here comes from carbs, complex carbs. Simple carbohydrates, such as pasta, break down fast into glucose for quick energy and turn into fat stores that can cause weight gain when unused. Complex carbs break down into glycogen and are stored in the liver or muscles to be used as fuel for exercise. Also, sweet potato is a good source of dietary fiber, which has a balancing effect on blood sugar for a sustained source of energy. Quick tip: dehydrate them into chips and take them with you when running long-distance or even to the gym for a quick energy boost.

Spinach and other leafy greens

Popeye was right. OK, fine, spinach is full of iron that we already talked about. But that's not all. Some preliminary research shows that spinach might make your muscles more efficient during a workout.

Almonds and other nuts

Almonds are little powerhouses of energy - they make a perfect healthy snack for delivering high energy in a small serving. Almonds also pack in other nutritional benefits such as high fiber content. They do have a high calorie and (good) fat content, and so make sure to plan your serving according to your fitness goals. 

Turmeric and ginger

Turmeric is pretty much a panacea. It can be used as a remedy for so many health conditions, it's been deemed a miracle spice for centuries. Turmeric speeds things up in the body, aiding in digestion, boosting metabolism, and increasing sweat production. Using the spice in cooking can add energy-boosting properties to your food. Ginger comes from the same plant family as turmeric and has similar properties. Both cab be used as a root and as powder. Both can be juiced or added to shakes, as well as to curries and other dishes. 

Cinnamon

Doesn't just the smell of cinnamon pick you up when you're fatigued?  This power spice contains a blood glucose regulator called methylhydroxychalcone polymer. Scientists at the USDA Agricultural Research Service have discovered that cinnamon can change the way your body processes sugar. Instead of storing excess sugar, cinnamon causes the body to release it as energy. Source: Discovery Source Journal

Natural peanut butter

Natural peanut butter contains no additives - it's 100% peanuts. This one is a bit obvious as an energy booster given that it's made from nuts, but I wanted to include it in because it's so versatile. There's so much more you can make with it than peanut butter sandwiches. You can use it in shakes, cakes, bake sweet potato with it and get creative with natural peanut butter. But my favorite? When I'm feeling low on energy, I just scoop a tablespoon of this goodness and eat it up. 

Brown rice

Last but not least, this food is rich in manganese. Just one cup of brown rice will provide you with 88% of the daily value for this nutrient, which helps produce energy from protein and carbohydrates.

Think about eating more of these foods to help you create a sustainable energy boost for your body. 

 



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