As we wave goodbye to the sun-drenched days of summer and welcome the crisp embrace of autumn, it’s not unusual to find ourselves grappling with a drop in energy. The secret to recharging our batteries lies in the very essence of life: food. Yes, what we consume can be a game-changer in how we feel. And we’re not just talking about any food- we’re diving into a world where each bite is a step towards invigoration, from the zing of fish to the indulgent rush of chocolate. The key players in this energizing symphony? Iron, fiber, carbohydrates, and other ingredients turn your meals into power stations.
Here are some of the top foods our team uses for energy:
Move over, apples – bananas are the real MVPs in the fruit world. These portable powerhouses are brimming with vitamins, aiding everything from digestion to blood pressure regulation. Bananas have twice as many carbohydrates, five times as much Vitamin A and iron, and three times as much phosphorus as apples. Plus, they’re loaded with potassium, fiber, and natural sugars. Critical for turning the food we eat into the energy we need.
Spinach (or other Dark Leafy Green)
Love or loathe them, dark leafy green like spinach are your ticket to an all-natural energy high. Spinach is considered a superfood that helps combat fatigue and increases mental and physical endurance through its high contents of vitamins A, C and K, magnesium, iron and manganese. But it’s not just about the energy boost – spinach also sharpens your alertness, thanks to tyrosine. Add it to sandwiches, toss it in salads, and watch as it works wonders on your eyesight, stress levels, and blood pressure. So, channel your inner “Popeye” and get in your greens!
The unsung hero of snack time, trail mix brings together nuts like peanuts, almonds, walnuts, and cashews. These tiny titans are rich in unsaturated fats, omega-3s, protein, vitamin E, l-arginine, and fiber. These nutrients provide a delicious defense against heart disease, inflammation, and blood sugar spikes. Seeds, which are oftentimes also included in trail mix, offer many of the same benefits.
Dried fruit in trail mix may also provide nutritional benefits but be wary of added sugars such as chocolate chips, M&M’s and other items typically found in some mixes. This already nutrient and calorie-dense food can easily become harmful to the body if overconsumed.
For that midday slump, nothing beats a piece of dark chocolate. Dark chocolate has the highest cocoa amount of any chocolate type, making it a perfect choice for a mid-day boost. Cocoa is rich with beneficial antioxidants that can increasing blood flow in the body. This increased blood flow aids in the delivery of oxygen in the brain and body, helping curb mental fatigue and improve mood. Throw it in a trail mix or set aside a bar at your desk to have on hand for those times your brains needs a little TLC.
The darling of the foodie world, avocados are more than just a trendy toast topper. They’re a powerhouse of good fats and folates, stabilizing blood sugar and enhancing nutrient delivery to your brain. Most of the calories from avocados comes from good fat (omega-3 fatty acids) These healthy fats keep you full and slows the breakdown of carbohydrates, which helps to keep sugar levels in the blood stable. This heart-healthy food is fantastic for decreasing fatigue. Folate in avocados helps to prevent the build-up of homocysteine. Homocysteine is an essential an amino acid in your blood that can impair circulation and delivery of nutrients to the brain. Here’s to keeping the avocado craze alive and kicking.
Green Tea and Matcha Tea, both gently caffeinated, offer a milder energy lift compared to coffee, sidestepping the jittery buzz. Originating from the Camellia sinensis plant, these teas differ in preparation, but Matcha is made differently to create a fine green powder out of the leaves. What makes them stand out? The abundance of antioxidants in both teas. These compounds are proven to enhance mental sharpness, rev up your metabolism, and even elevate dopamine levels in your brain, contributing to a sense of well-being and focus.
It goes without saying that water is essential for boosting energy levels, along with its numerous other health benefits. Considering that 60% of our body is water, staying hydrated is vital. Lack of water can lead to fatigue as it hampers oxygen flow to the brain, forcing the heart to work overtime to oxygenate the body. This can leave you feeling more exhausted and less focused. So, make hydration a daily priority – always carry a reusable water bottle with you to ensure you’re always well-hydrated.