6 Energy-Boosting, Guilt-Free Foods
Posted: Apr 24, 2018
It's easy to reach for something sweet or caffeinated when you need a burst of energy. But research has proven that's not the best way to sustain your energy levels. Energy-boosting foods include those that are rich in nutrients like healthy fats, proteins, and complex, unprocessed carbohydrates. Before you reach for another cup of coffee or a candy bar, consider making some healthy swaps for one of these energy-boosting, guilt-free foods:
1. Sweet potatoes
While sweet potato recipes make great paleo side dishes, the sweet potato can also be a snack time star. From using sweet potato slices as a toast to air-frying these tubers as chips, there are many different ways to keep the sweet potato interesting. Choose your favorite flavor profile and get to spice things up. But keep in mind you'll get the same energy benefits from a plain sweet potato, too. So it doesn't need to be complicated.
2. Macadamia nuts
High in healthy fats, the macadamia nut is a great snack to reach for when you need some quick power. Just a small handful can provide you with the nutrition you need to power through that afternoon slump. Not a fan of macadamia nuts? That's ok. Most nuts will satisfy your energy needs. Almonds and walnuts are good alternatives. You can also try different seeds like sunflower and chia.
Avocados are not just trendy; they're a great addition to a healthy diet. You can spread avocado on toast, make guacamole, or enjoy half right from the skin with a little salt. Avocados are full of good fats, fiber, and potassium. Avocados also have vitamin C and vitamin K, among other nutrients.
Omega-3 fatty acids are plentiful in salmon, which makes salmon great for brain health. People of any age, including children, can enjoy the mind-healthy benefits of salmon. And there are so many ways to eat salmon, too. You can enjoy smoked salmon on a whole grain bagel. Make a salmon salad for lunch. Roast salmon in the oven with pesto and serve with a green veggie. There's no wrong way to eat salmon. Your brain will thank you.
5. Chia seeds
High in fiber, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids, chia seeds provide healthy energy and can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. Some people choose to mix chia seeds into a protein shakes. Other people make energy-packed puddings with nut milk, chia seeds, unsweetened cocoa, and a pinch of cinnamon. If you mix chia seeds with a liquid and leave it overnight in the fridge, the chia seeds congeal and make a pudding-like texture. It can curb a craving for dessert and the fiber keeps you full for hours.
Although goji berries are popular on superfood lists, any berry will do. A small cup of berries provides lots of vitamin C, fiber, and satisfies a sweet tooth without processed sugar. Blueberries and strawberries are delicious on their own. Or you can pair your berries with Greek yogurt or peanut butter for some extra energy. Adding coconut aminos into your diet also helps boost your energy.
Remember that a quick fix like caffeine or processed sugar may provide an instant energy boost, but ultimately your body will crash from these short-term solutions. By changing your diet in favor of healthy, long-term energy savers, you'll leave the crash behind. It can take your body time to adjust to diet changes. And you may not feel that instant reward from a handful of nuts that a candy bar would give you. But you also won't experience the negative effects. Healthy, energy-boosting foods are good for your body and mind. And these swaps can be good for your waistline, too.
Damien Justus writes in the business, home improvement and real estate spaces, and is very passionate about health, cooking, diet plans and anything that has to do with staying fit.