High energy foods
Our lives today are all so busy, whether we are at work or home there always is a job to be done. Sometimes it seems there isn’t an hour in the day that’s not accounted for. No wonder we sometimes feel there is no time to cook healthy energy foods, and it would be quicker to reach for some easy ready made not so healthy foods.
Many of us hit that “4 o’clock slump” and it’s so easy to reach for the caffeine or a chocolate bar but we’d be so much better off to reach for an energy food that would wake you and be more healthy for you. Add a generous handful of these high energy foods to your lunch box or, swap those energy zapping snacks for naturally stimulating goodness and you’ll feel more awake and much more focussed during the day. Also after a few days you’ll find yourself free of the sugar cravings and you or mind, body and waistline will improve.
The brain needs essential fatty acids to build new brain cells and stay alert. Salmon, mackerel and sardines are packed with these brain-boosting omega fats. Add some fresh, flaked salmon to your lunchtime salad to aid concentration throughout the afternoon.
Apricots, bananas, melon, prunes and kiwi are all rich in potassium and are a really good snack. The mineral helps the body break down good carbohydrate in to muscle fuel, and keeps the nervous system in optimum condition. Blend in to a delicious smoothie to get your five-a-day.
Oats not only help with cholesterol but also combine complex carbs with B vitamins to provide instant energy, combat stress and improve skintone. Make sure you buy oats in their purest form though, oatmeal often contains lots of stamina-depleting, unhealthy additives such as sugar.
A handful of nuts before a workout is great, almonds, walnuts and cashews are packed with energy-boosting goodness such as protein, fibre and healthy fats. Try spreading an oat cake with a little peanut butter and adding half a sliced banana before lacing up your trainers.
Simply steamed, broccoli is a great guilt-free dinner side dish idea that will give those energy levels a lift. It’s not only brimming with iron but also a good source of immune-boosting vitamin C.
Spinach is great to improve your iron levels, low levels can impact on your energy levels. A tasty spinach leaf salad in your lunchbox will work a treat.
Eggs are packed with good fat and they’re also a good source of energy-producing B Vitamins. A B vitamin dense diet has long been heralded as a natural way to lift mood, prevent memory loss and encourage the brain to fight off fatigue. Eggs for breakfast would be a good start to the day.
For a lunch that will fill up you up all day – and stop that late afternoon lull – eat clever. Need a lunch to fill you up for the rest of the afternoon try stocking up on lean protein such as chicken or turkey combined with good carbs like sweet potato, filling pulses or beans and plenty of vegetables. Tofu is a veggie-friendly high protein option.
Slow release carbs are one of the best natural energy providers, brown rice, wholewheat pasta and wholemeal bread are absorbed in to the bloodstream slowly to keep you going all day. The added fibre also balances energy levels, staving off that afternoon slump.
Whilst tea and coffee are relied upon the world over to wake us up and get us moving, water is the most important energy-booster of all. By not drinking enough water it will impact upon your concentration levels, as well as physical and mental energy. Keep a bottle of water with you at all times and keep sipping, you’ll be surprised how much you can get through.
So next time you’ve got that “4 o’clock slump” instead of that fattening sugary chocolate bar – have a think about making these few changes.