You’re going grocery shopping and want to pick up something to energize you in order to keep up with the pace of the busy week ahead. What are you stocking up on? Energy drinks? Protein bars? Caffeinated snacks? You see, the products you pick don’t have to scream “energy” to perk you up. In fact, you don’t even need to go to the processed food aisle for your supply of portable energy sources—there are plenty of amazing choices among whole foods that will give you a boost whenever you need it, without any artificial additives. They’re natural, they’re delicious, and they’re budget friendly. Here are some yummy energy boosters:
Almonds. These yummy nuts are packed with vitamins and minerals that help convert calories into fuel and are essential for the production of ATP (the molecule responsible for energy transportation between cells). A lack of these nutrients translates into a feeling of exhaustion, yet almost half of all Americans are deficient. The good news is, just a quarter cup of almonds will keep you going. Bored of having almonds as your go-to snack? Have toast or apple slices with some almond butter, or if you feel like cooking, substitute bread crumbs for almond flour made from ground nuts.
Raisins. Another convenient snacking option, raisins are actually a big hit among athletes thanks to their healthy dose of carbs and electrolytes. According to a study, the impact of raisins on the runners’ stamina was comparable to carb-based snacks specifically made for endurance support. Both groups were able to shave one minute off their race time in a five-kilometer run compared to those who only drank water. If you’re not a big fan of raisins, a great way to incorporate them into your menu is to add them to your cereal and yogurt.
Edamame. Soybeans are a rich source of a vitamins that take an active part in converting food into energy. Just one cup of beans is enough to get your daily norm of this nutrient along with other minerals for an extra boost. Sprinkle steamed edamame with chili powder and lime juice, or mix it with some cauliflower rice to turn it into a full-fledged meal.
Sardines. Iron-deficient? Have some sardines. These little fish are a great source of iron, which is crucial for endurance and energy and is a key player in oxygen delivery to the body. Why is this important? Your muscles need oxygen to stay strong and active, but if there’s not enough, you end up tired. Quick recipe to try: Chop canned sardines and toss them with cooked pasta and roasted cauliflower florets. Season with olive oil and red pepper flakes.
Strawberries. Vitamin C is commonly associated with citrus fruit, but did you know that strawberries are full of this vitamin? Vitamin C was found to help promote weight loss and it help our body absorb iron, which, as mentioned, is crucial in combating fatigue. You can get your daily dose of vitamin C in just one cup of strawberries, not to mention that it’s one of the most versatile energy boosters out there. You can add them to your cereal, you can pack them as a snack, or you can mix them with spinach for a nice afternoon salad.
Food can be a great source of energy, wellness, and pure joy. All you need to do is pick the right foods and find creative ways to serve them. Bon appetit!