10 Foods for a Natural Energy Boost
Healthy Energy Sources
Energy when you need it
Whether you are an elite trained athlete or just an every day Joe, there are always going to be days when you just don't have it. You put your foot on the gas and go nowhere. The energy required to push you through those ruggedly intense workouts or even just to make it through your eight hour work day is just not there. Halfway through your day or workout routine you have hit that vaunted wall and really just want to lay down and take a nap. Many of us will choose to get amped up on those pre-work out drinks, high sugar content energy drinks or one of the oldest energy favorites, that morning cup of coffee. While all these stimulants/drinks can be good and may work wonders for some of us in providing a big kick of energy throughout the day, however there are people such as myself that do not really like the hyped up, wired feeling of the stronger stimulants. So then what are your alternatives you ask? You can easily equip yourself with some sustainable energy through the day directly from your daily diet/eating habits. This is a list of foods that will naturally supply you with the energy needed and can be consumed on a regular basis.
Multi colors of Tea Leaves
Black Or Green Tea
Behind the almighty water, Tea is the second most commonly consumed beverage on the planet. There are many different varieties of teas, such as herbal, green, black, white, read and oolong. Besides furnishing you with the desired energy you want, tea also comes with many other health benefits like anti-cancer properties, hindrance of blood clotting, aids in decreasing cholesterol and research has shown that green tea can help you fight off colds/flu. Teas antioxidant potential is comparable to many fruits and vegetables. Dependent upon how much the tea leaves are processed will determine their color. The more processing that they go through, the darker the leaves will become. Like coffee, tea does have caffeine content. A cup of tea will have anywhere from 35 to 70 mg of caffeine, which is considerably lower than the 130+ you would get from the same cup of coffee. A brewed cup of tea (with out the sugar or creams of course) has no calories versus those store bought ice teas that on average have approximately 90+ calories. Your getting energy, multiple health benefits and zero calories, what else do you want from a beverage?
Organic Green Tea Powder
Bowl of Spinach
When I was young and use to watch the cartoon Popeye the Sailor man, I use to think that my mom was kidding when she said eating spinach would make you big and strong. Popeye was absolutely right, spinach is one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet. Rich with B vitamins that assist in providing energy, spinach also is packed with vitamin A, C, D, E, potassium, anti-inflammatory compounds, anti cancer agents, omega 3 fatty acids, carotenoids. The benefits of eating spinach are uncanny, the fiber content aids in the digestion process, inhibits constipation, and assists in maintaining low blood sugar. The flavonoids fight cancer causing cells, powerful antioxidants combat high blood pressure, osteoporosis and atherosclerosis, defends your eyes from cataracts, vitamin A promotes healthy skin, the vitamin K strengthens your nervous system and brain function and this is just naming a few of the benefits. In other words, eat your spinach people.
Your Eating Habits Fuel the Body
Ginger is a herb that has been around since ancient times and was used for cooking and medications way back then. Some of the many health benefits to ginger besides giving you energy to go are that it relaxes the stomach, diminishing the nausea feeling, morning sickness and menstrual cramps. The ginger root extract assists in the reduction of bad cholesterol and enhances circulation/blood flow throughout the body, which helps those that suffer from high blood pressure. One of the best known benefits of ginger is it's ability to aid in the digestion process, breaking down proteins, hindering indigestion and abdominal cramping. Research has also shown that ginger root contains anti-inflammatory properties that will alleviate arthritis, can be used as treatment for ulcers and has immunity boosting capabilities that fight off cold and flu symptoms.
Natures Way Ginger Root
Predominantly grown in South America, Africa, and Asia, cocoa beans originate from the plant Theobroma cacao, which when translated means "Food of the Gods". With all the abundance of health benefits that cocoa beans have, this is a very fitting translation. Cocoa beans contain polyphenols that have displayed improvement to the cardiovascular system and heart health. Also enriched with magnesium which increases heart strength and diminishes the risk of blood clots. Cocoa beans are one of the best sources of antioxidants, containing almost 4 times the amount of antioxidants as green tea. Antioxidants help preserve against cell damage, lessens the risk of several cancers and supports the regulation of cholesterol levels. A cup of cocoa can provide you with the same amount of energy as a cup of coffee, but without the crash afterwards because it does not contain all the stimulants that coffee has.
Organic Cacao Beans
Avocado and Leaves
Usually when you ask someone why they are not eating healthy you will normally get one of two responses. You will hear they do not eat healthy because of the taste or that eating healthier is more expensive. The avocado dismisses both of these lame excuses. Many people are unaware that the avocado is actually a fruit. While most fruit predominantly consist of carbohydrate, the avocado is highly concentrated in fat, approximately 75% of it's calories come from good fat. Bananas have always been known for their high potassium content, the avocado contains more potassium then the banana, which aids in lowering blood pressure, reducing the risk of strokes, heart attacks and kidney failure. Fiber is another nutrient that the avocado is enriched with. Fiber is a major contributing factor in diminishing blood sugar spikes, lowers the possibility of many diseases and aids in weight loss. Besides furnishing you with energy to go, the avocado can also support the lowering of your cholesterol, sooth arthritis symptoms and the antioxidants assists in improving eye health by lessening the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.
Where does your Energy come from?
There are many people under the impression that the yam and sweet potato are one in the same and use the names interchangeably, however they are actually two different vegetables. Ironically the yam can grow much larger, is comprised of more nature sugars and has a significantly higher moisture content than that of the sweet potato. Although both of these vegetables are good for you, the sweet potato has a higher concentration of nutrients than that of yams. Both will deliver a good amount of energy, aid in the digestion process (sweet potato supply you with 7 grams of fiber per serving, Yams 5.5), assists in normal heart rate and invigorates muscles with the high potassium content, and the pair have an abundance of vitamin which enhances skin, bones, teeth and eye health.
Food Equals Energy
If you didn't know already, chia seeds are one of the healthiest foods out there. They are a whole grain food which means they are grown organically and not genetically modified and do not contain gluten. Chia seeds come with an abundance of fiber, Omega 3 fatty acids, protein, antioxidants and several other micronutrients. Approximately 45% fiber by weight puts them at the top of the list of sources of fiber. The high protein and fiber content not only provide you with sustainable energy, but can also assist in weight loss. The omega 3's are food for the brain. Some studies have shown that chia seeds aid in the prevention of hypertension, protect the body from free radicals and cancers, lower cholesterol and inflammation and help in the regulation of blood sugar. Easy to consume, you can drink them whole with a glass of water.
Unless your a regular fruit connoisseur, you probably are not aware of the healthy benefits to the common peach. Besides acting as a high powered energy source, the peach has approximately 65 calories and none of which come from fat. Loaded with vitamin C, the peach can help strengthen your immune system and protect your skin from wrinkles. The potassium and fiber lessen the risk of ulcers and other kidney related afflictions. This super fruit comes with a plethora of antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties, other vitamins and minerals that support eye health, digestion, hinder macular degeneration and constipation and notably diminish the risk of heart disease.
The Wonder Food
Although it is commonly referred too as one of the worlds most nutritious and healthiest foods, I personally had never even tried spirulina until recently. It has long been used as a nutritional supplement but it is really more of a complete food. Spirulina furnishes you with energy and simultaneously acts as a detoxifier. So after your ruggedly intense workout sessions and your bodies tissues begin to release toxins, the chlorophyll contained in this super food disposes of all these waste products, while cleaning your blood, liver and kidneys. Research has shown that spirulina also contributes to the lowering of cholesterol and blood pressure, bolsters the immune system, aids in support a healthy pH balance, lessens allergies, and has displayed conclusive evidence of having a positive effect on type 2 diabetes patients. It really doesn't taste that great in my opinion, but is well worth the sacrifice of a little bad taste in your mouth.
A cup of Wheatgrass
Wheat grass falls into that same super food category as that of spirulina. It has just as many health related benefits as well and an equally awful taste. Similar to spirulina, wheat grass is enriched with chlorophyll that eradicates the toxins in the body, vitalizes your metabolism, stamina and an excellent source of energy. Wheat grass impedes the aging of cells, prompts the relief of gastrointestinal issues and diarrhea, cleanses the colon and lower bowel and assists in combating tumors and several cancers. Studies have also shown that wheat grass promotes tight skin, improves facial complexion, soothes sunburned skin and if you have friends that suffer from bad breath, give them a tall glass of wheat grass, it freshens the breath and fights halitosis.
Other Health and Fitness related Links
- 10 Healthy Super Foods that Naturally Burn Fat
Losing excessive weight isn't an easy process for most people, but you can help yourself by adding these healthy foods to your shopping list to make the journey a little bit easier.
- 10 Good Fats you should be eating for Health and Weight Loss
Although they are the root cause of many diseases such as Diabetes and Heart Disease, I think fats still get a bad rap. This list of good fats will assist you in weight loss and better overall health.