I brainstormed up a new idea for a mini-series on the blog about the best foods to eat for _________. This week’s edition is near and dear to my heart. ENERGY. It’s something I am usually full of and am frustrated that I don’t have as much as I used to. I’m sure it will come back eventually though 🙂
In the meantime, I’m following these tips to maximize the energy levels I do have.
For maximum energy…
- Drink Enough Water – Dehydration, even just slight dehydration, causes your body to run more sluggishly, therefore dropping your energy levels. Start off with a glass of water in the morning to stay ahead of thirst and keep it going through out the day.
- Make sure your Iron Levels are Adequate – Even though many people are anemic, iron is often an overlooked nutrient, especially among people that limit their red meat consumption. Make sure you’re getting enough by eating oysters, beans, dark leafy greens, lentils and egg yolks, or perhaps try adding blackstrap molasses into your diet. Also, cooking with cast iron will cause your body to absorb some of the nutrient, too!
- Skip Simple Carbs (Sugars) & Combo Your Macronutrients – Instead of syrup, opt for peanut butter on your whole wheat pancakes. Simple sugars don’t do anything for sustained energy because they give you a quick surge, followed by a crash. Also, eating a combo of fat, protein and carbs at each meal (example, eating your fruit with cottage cheese) will help stabilize blood sugars and provide you with longer lasting energy.
- Don’t Skip Meals – Does anyone still do this? Hope not. Eat breakfast. Then continue to eat through the day.
- MOVE – It may sound counter-intuitive, but getting up and moving your body is likely to provide more of a energy surge than a nap.
And now, some of the best foods you can eat for energy…
- Lentils – full of iron, fiber (with slows the release of glucose into your bloodstream providing longer lasting energy), B vitamins and a wonderful source of both protein and carbs.
- Almonds – Full of magnesium, vitamin E, vitamin 12, a combo of healthy fats and protein. Great for mental energy!
- Spinach – High in folate, vitamin B6 and a wonderful veggie source of iron.
- Quinoa – A complete veggie protein (which is rare!) that is high in fiber, iron and calcium.
- Omega 3 Eggs – Fabulous source of protein, B vitamins, choline, healthy omega-threes and iron. What a way to start the day!
What is your best tip for maximum energy?