If you feel tired or can’t keep your eyes open during the day, it might be time for you to rethink your meals and diet as a whole. Rather than popping those sugary, fat-filled energy drinks or pouring another cup of coffee, add these nutrient-rich foods that make you feel storing and keep you going throughout the day.
According to the registered dietitians and nutrition experts, you need foods rich in protein and complex carbs for all-day energy. The goal is to have a stable blood sugar level while also avoiding those drastic dips and spikes that’ll leave you feeling sluggish and weak. So, keep your energy levels up by stocking up on some of these powerful foods:
- Fatty fish
Fatty fish such as tuna and salmon are good sources of fatty acids, B vitamins, and proteins, making them superfoods to include in your daily diet. A serving of tuna or salmon provides the recommended daily amount of vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acids.
Several studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation, one of the common causes of fatigue.
Interestingly, some studies determined that including omega-3 supplements in your diet could decrease fatigue, especially in people battling cancer and those recovering from it (cancer).
Vitamin B12 combines well with folate to produce red blood cells and enhance iron’s functionality in your body. When the iron and red blood cells are working at optimal levels, they can increase energy and reduce fatigue.
- Brown rice
Brown rice is also packed with lots of nutrients. Unlike white rice, it is less processed and often retains most of its nutritional values in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Fifty grams (one=half cup) of brown rice contains two grams of fiber and provides you with a large portion of your RDI (recommended daily intake) of manganese. This potent mineral helps the enzymes break down both carbs and proteins to provide you with the needed energy.
Thanks to its fiber content, brown rice has a minimal glycemic index content. Thus, it could help regulate your blood sugar levels and enhance your energy levels.
Bananas are undoubtedly one of the best foods to eat when you need more energy. They are an ideal source of potassium, vitamin B6, and complex carbs, all of which act as energy boosters.
What’s the first food that comes to your mind when you wake in the morning? For so many, a cup of coffee will do! It contains lots of caffeine. The caffeine passes through your bloodstream into your brain and instantly inhibits adenosine characteristics, a neurotransmitter that calms the central nervous system.
Even though it only offers two calories per cup, the stimulatory effects can make you feel focused and alert throughout the day.
We recommend staying below 400mg of caffeine, and it is not healthy to consume more than that in a day isn’t healthy.
- Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes aren’t just delicious; they are a rich nutritious energy source for people looking for that extra boost. A cup (100g) of sweet potatoes could pack more than 25 grams of complex carbohydrates, a jaw-dropping 564% of the RDI for vitamin A,3.1 grams of fiber, and 25% the RDI for manganese.
Thanks to its complex carb and fiber content, your entire body digests them slowly, which provides you with a healthy dose of energy.
Eggs aren’t only satisfying but are also full of energy that acts as fuel when taken. They are a rich source of protein, which will give you a sustained source of energy.
Additionally, the most abundant amino acid found in eggs is known as leucine. It helps to stimulate energy production in different ways.
Leucine also helps cells take in more blood sugar, increase the breakdown of fat, and stimulate energy production to produce energy.
Moreover, eggs are rich in B vitamins. These vitamins help the enzymes perform their roles while breaking down food for energy.
- Steel-cut oats
Steel-cut oats are known to spike blood sugar levels compared to rolled oats and come with many health benefits thanks to how they are processed – rather than cooking them; the whole grain is passed through sharp blades that cut them into thin slices. It helps the oat retain more protein and fiber. It also provides a dense texture, giving you that satisfying feeling.
When you need a go-to snack for a quick pick-me-up to get a boost of energy, look no further than almonds. Almonds are full of fiber, heart-friendly fats, and fiber to keep you feeling full all day. They also contain minerals such as copper, magnesium, manganese, and riboflavin to enhance energy production.
Our list wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t add this to it – one thing all organisms on earth can’t do without for sure. It is needed in many cellular functions, with the inclusion of energy production. If you don’t drink enough of it, dehydration will set in, a condition that slows down all bodily functions. When you’re dehydrated, you’ll feel tired and sluggish.
Drinking enough water will give you the needed energy boost, and it’ll also help you fight fatigue.
Get rid of dehydration by drinking enough water; don’t wait until you are thirsty. Drink it regularly, especially throughout the day.
- Goji berries
They have been used in the Chinese medicine industry for thousands of years, thanks to their different benefits. Besides having vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, goji berries are a rich source of fiber.
Studies have also suggested that this fruit could provide you with antioxidant protection. These berries are also rich in fiber. An ounce (28 grams) serving of goji berries provide you with 2 grams of fiber. It could also help slow down the digestion process and release energy at a slow pace – meaning you have enough energy to last the whole day.
They are easy to eat when mixed with smoothies, yogurt, sauces, and baked goods (that’s if you don’t want to eat them raw).
- Cottage cheese
A cup or serving of cottage cheese contains at least twenty-five grams of protein. According to a study published in the Appetite journal, the cheese’s satiating effects are quite similar to the satiating effects of eggs. Its no-cook form means you have more protein to work with within your diet.
- Whole wheat bread with Ricotta
Add more spice to your meal by combining fiber and protein to feel fuller for a long time; try whole wheat bread with Ricotta and sliced fruit. Ricotta has fourteen grams of protein in ½ cup. Plus, the entire wheat bread fiber makes you feel full and keeps your blood sugar level very stable.
if you need all-day energy, look no further than matcha. It has a significant amount of caffeine and an excellent alternative for people who put terrible things (creamers!). Take a teaspoonful of chef-grade matcha powder, stir and pour into warmed unsweetened cashew milk.
Quinoa is a seed known for its high carb, dietary fiber, and protein content, coupled with its many vitamins and minerals. Although it is packed with carbs, it comes with a low glycemic index – it indicates that the carbs are absorbed slower and can always provide you with enough energy.
In addition to that, quinoa is rich in folate, magnesium, and manganese.
- Green tea
Famous for its many health benefits, green tea also has many antioxidants, helping prevent inflammation and oxidative stress.
Like its distant cousin, coffee, green tea contains relatively high caffeine, which spikes our energy levels. But green tea also contains a compound known as L-theanine.
L-theanine moderates caffeine’s effects like the jitters and anxiety; it also gives you a consistent energy boost.
Being a good source of carbs and fiber, no wonder they are among the most popular fruits in the world. Even the slowest size is packed with a significant amount of carbs and fiber. For instance, a medium-sized apple has fourteen grams of carbs, more than two grams of fiber, and ten grams of sugar.
Due to their rich sugar and fiber contents, apples can provide you with a healthy dose of energy. Furthermore, they have high antioxidant content. Studies have shown that antioxidants slow the digestion of carbs, thus releasing sustained energy. We also recommend eating apples whole as the skin has a lot of fiber.
Beans are a great source of natural energy. Though there are different types of them, their nutrient profiles are the same. They are also a rich source of carbs, protein, and fiber.
Beans are digested slowly – it helps stabilize blood sugar levels and provide sustainable energy. They contain antioxidants that help fight inflammation.
Black-eyed peas, kidney beans, and black beans are some of the most famous types of beans. Both black-eyed peas and black beans are good sources of iron, magnesium, and folic acid, all of which are involved in energy production – these minerals (iron, magnesium, and folic acid) aid energy delivery to the entire cells in the body.
We all need long-lasting energy, and where else would you get it than this whole-grain cereal. Oatmeal contains beta-glucan, a soluble fiber that turns jelly when mixed with water. The presence of this jelly-like substance in the digestive system helps to delay stomach emptying and the absorption of glucose straight into the bloodstream.
They are known for packing a rich vitamin C content. Orange will provide you with about 106% of the RDI for vitamin C.
Oranges also contain different antioxidant compounds which help to protect against oxidative stress. Studies have also shown that oxidative stress could trigger feelings of fatigue. A survey carried out on thirteen women who took 17 ounces of orange juice did one hour of aerobic training three times per week for three months experienced a drastic decrease in muscle fatigue coupled with improved physical performance.
Here is an excellent snack for an energy-filled day. The carbs in this snack are in the form of simple sugars, including galactose and lactose. When these simple sugars are broken down, they can provide you with enough energy fuel to keep you recharged throughout the day. Yogurt is also packed with a healthy amount of protein, which helps slow down the digestion of carbs, thus slowing sugar release into your bloodstream.
Seeds such as pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, and chia seeds could also help with an energy boost. These seeds are richly packed with plant-based omega-3 fatty acids. Having a low level of omega-3 fatty acids leads to tiredness and fatigue.
Moreover, these seeds are a good source of protein and fiber. The presence of fiber in these seeds means you’ll experience poor digestion. As a result, you’ll get a sustained and steady release of energy.
If you need a fruit that gives a healthy dose of energy, strawberries should be on that list. These berries provide fiber, sugars, and carbs that can increase your energy levels. A cup of strawberries provides 3 grams of fiber, 13 grams of carbs, and 100% RDI for vitamin C.
Strawberries will not only help fight inflammation; the antioxidants present in the fruits will give you enough energy to last the whole day.
With sesame seed paste (also referred to as tahini), lemon, chickpeas, and oil, you can make your hummus. The combo of these ingredients makes this food an ideal source of energy. The chickpea in this food contains many fiber and complex carbs, which the body can use to steady energy flow.
Also, the oil and sesame seed paste contains a healthy amount of fats. All of these ingredients help slow down the body’s absorption of carbs.
A rich source of iron, this vegetable is essential for an energy boost. When your body lacks iron, the oxygen that flows to the brain reduces drastically, leaving you feeling tired. To avoid that, add some spinach to your daily diet, and you’ll be fine. If salad isn’t your “thing,” then add a few of it to your smoothie.
One of the main reasons why people suffer from diet-related fatigue is due to iron-deficiency anemia. The importance of iron in our body can never be overemphasized. To produce red blood cells responsible for carrying oxygen around the body, you need enough iron. Iron also helps the body with the required energy. Thus, if you don’t consume enough of it, you’ll become tired and weak.
According to medical professionals, edamame plants are rich in protein; the nutrient keeps you energetic and make you feel full. It also has the perfect combo of carbs, fat, and protein to keep the blood sugar stable while also giving you a boost of energy.
Maca is a Peruvian plant that grows in the heart of the Andes. The plant looks like a rough stone, the size of a walnut. Maca has lots of positive effects on both energy and mood. Studies have also shown that it can enhance continued workouts because it increases the bloodstream’s glucose level. It is also rich in Phytonutrients, amino acids, and a host of different vitamins and minerals. The native Peruvian plant functions as an adaptogen, thus improving adrenal function to increase energy.
There are more than 27 foods to try out – these foods will give you a healthy boost of energy, which we all shouldn’t lack. Whether they are packed with fiber and protein for a slower and sustainable release of energy or carbs for readily available energy, all of these foods will increase your stamina and power.
Most of these foods also contain significant amounts of nutrients, including antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
So, what are your thoughts on this? Do you love the list? Are there new foods you’d love to try out? Feel free to share with us.