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Published on September 17, 2019

13 Best Energy Boosting Foods to Help You Stay Sharp All Day

13 Best Energy Boosting Foods to Help You Stay Sharp All Day

Do you find you need a “pick-me-up” in the middle of the day? Or maybe your energy wanes just before it’s time to leave work?

Many of us feel fatigued at a certain point during the day – maybe you didn’t go to bed early enough, or maybe you’re a new parent and just not getting enough sleep through the night because your baby is up. You could be having trouble sleeping and possibly need to look at your sleeping habits…

What if there were some foods that could help increase your energy and are actually healthy for you?

Before we get in to the actual foods that can give you a boost of energy, let’s talk briefly about how to eat for optimal energy. People that stay energetic through the day do a few key things:

  • To maintain blood sugar levels and energy evenly throughout the day, it’s best to snack every 2 -3 hours
  • Having a balanced mix of the macro-nutrients — protein, fat and carbohydrate, helps to ensure a slow, steady release of energy throughout the day
  • Including a wide variety of fruits and vegetables helps to ensure we get required vitamins and nutrients from these amazing foods!

In addition to eating healthy, balanced meals and snacks spaced throughout the day, there are many foods that can help give a more immediate boost. Although oftentimes when we are tired, we crave “junk” foods, these will do a much better job of boosting stamina without the terrible sugar crash soon after. Let’s take a look at the Fast Energy Foods:

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1. Caffeine

This common morning “happiness-in-a-mug” as coffee or some teas not only promotes central nervous system stimulation thus, boosting brain function; it is also a major source of antioxidants and may possibly promote a decreased risk of type 2 diabetes and liver disease.

Caffeine is said to affect some neurotransmitters that could improve mood, reaction time, learning and vigilance.

2. Mint Leaves

The Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition says peppermint is thought to increase ventilation and brain oxygen concentration, which can lead to an increase in energy – so this is an excellent pick me up mid day to get you through the afternoon.[1]

3. Ginger

Ginger is said to reduce fatigue by improving blood circulation and blood sugar levels. This deliciously fragrant food may also offer help to migraine sufferers – comparable even to the drug sumatriptan and with less side effects.[2]

Adding certain foods to your diet on a regular basis can help increase your overall energy on the long term basis. Not only do they provide many health benefits in one, they directly or indirectly increase your energy. Here’re some Long Term Energy Foods:

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4. Quinoa

Discovered by the Incas and thought to increase the stamina of their warriors – this grain has been touted as the super grain of the future.

Quinoa is the most protein rich grain available as well as a complete protein containing all 9 essential amino acids needed by the body. Quinoa contains iron among other things that can help boost brain function as the brain takes in about 20 % of our blood oxygen. It also contains Riboflavin (vitamin b2) which improves energy metabolism within the brain and muscle cells thus, helping create proper energy production in cells.

5. Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate contains caffeine as well as theobromine which both help to boost energy levels – the darker the chocolate, the less sugar and more energy boosting potential it has. You can have your chocolate and eat it too!

6. Yogurt

Yogurt has a high amount of protein which can help you feel full for longer, so hunger will not distract you from concentration. The fat content in Greek yogurt also tends to be more satisfying as if you’d eaten a decadent dessert!

7. Berries

One study found that black currants can improve the symptoms of computer eye strain – a common cause of fatigue in the workday. Goji berries are known to have high concentrations of melatonin which can improve sleep thus giving us more energy during the day.

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Berries are also said to stave off cardiovascular disease and some cancers. The healthy natural sugar in these sweet treats help offer a quick boost in your day.

8. Lentils

Lentils are excellent at stabilizing blood sugar and thus, giving you a slow burning source of energy to last long periods. They also help increase your iron stores which can help boost energy as well.

9. Walnuts

These nuts contain healthy fats, fibre and protein which prevents energy crashes and keeps your energy more level throughout the day.

10. Cherries

Cherries are another excellent source of melatonin, which can help you to get a better night’s sleep to keep you fresh through the day.[3]

11. Dried Fruits

Dried fruits are an excellent source of quick, usable energy that provides many essential nutrients including Vitamin A, B-6, C and D.

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12. Salmon

Salmon fish contain omega fatty acids which are said to improve brain function and reduce fatigue – also providing vitamin b and protein which can help sustain energy throughout the day.

13. Green Tea

This type of tea contains some caffeine which we know boosts energy. This warm gem has also been associated with a 30 % reduction in breast cancer risk!

Learn more about the benefits of green tea here: 11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

The Bottom Line

So many of the foods we eat can help boost our energy. Whether they are carbohydrate dense for readily available energy, or packed with fiber and protein for a slower energy release, they can help increase power and stamina.

As a bonus, a lot of these foods also contain significant amounts of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, which have been shown to play a role in the production of energy within your cells; and they all provide many other health benefits.

Incorporating these foods into a varied diet will definitely help increase energy levels throughout the day and help to stave off that mid to late day slump!

Featured photo credit: THE 5TH via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Laura Barr

Laura is a registered clinical massage therapist & certified fitness consultant specializing in holistic nutrition, injury & weight management.

13 Best Energy Boosting Foods to Help You Stay Sharp All Day 25 Healthy Habits for a Fitter Body and Happier Mind What’s the Best Nap Length for the Biggest Brain Benefit? 8 Essential Vitamins And Minerals to Help You Sleep Better

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Last Updated on March 25, 2020

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

When it comes to living long, genes aren’t everything. Research has revealed a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make that could help to extend your life, and some of them may surprise you.

So, how to live longer? Here are 21 ways to help you live a long life

1. Exercise

It’s no secret that physical activity is good for you. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight and lowers your blood pressure, both of which contribute to heart health and a reduced risk of heart disease–the top worldwide cause of death.

2. Drink in Moderation

I know you’re probably picturing a glass of red wine right now, but recent research suggests that indulging in one to three glasses of any type of alcohol every day may help to increase longevity.[1] Studies have found that heavy drinkers as well as abstainers seem to have a higher risk of early mortality than moderate drinkers.

3. Reduce Stress in Your Life

Stress causes your body to release a hormone called cortisol. At high levels, this hormone can increase blood pressure and cause storage of abdominal fat, both of which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

4. Watch Less Television

A 2008 study found that people who watch six hours of television per day will likely die an average of 4.8 years earlier than those who don’t.[2] It also found that, after the age of 25, every hour of television watched decreases life expectancy by 22 minutes.

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Television promotes inactivity and disengagement from the world, both of which can shorten your lifespan.

5. Eat Less Red Meat

Red meat consumption is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.[3] Swapping out your steaks for healthy proteins, like fish, may help to increase longevity.

If you can’t stand the idea of a steak-free life, reducing your consumption to less than two to three servings a week can still incur health benefits.

6. Don’t Smoke

This isn’t exactly a revelation. As you probably well know, smoking significantly increases your risk of cancer.

7. Socialize

Studies suggest that having social relationships promotes longevity.[4] Although scientists are unsure of the reasons behind this, they speculate that socializing leads to increased self esteem as well as peer pressure to maintain health.

8. Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of heart disease[5] and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease.[6] Salmon and walnuts are two of the best sources of Omega-3s.

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9. Be Optimistic

Studies suggest that optimists are at a lower risk for heart disease and, generally, live longer than pessimists.[7] Researchers speculate that optimists have a healthier approach to life in general–exercising more, socializing, and actively seeking out medical advice. Thus, their risk of early mortality is lower.

10. Own a Pet

Having a furry-friend leads to decreased stress, increased immunity, and a lessened risk of heart disease.[8] Depending on the type of pet, they can also motivate you to be more active.

11. Drink Coffee

Studies have found a link between coffee consumption and longer life.[9] Although the reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, coffee’s high levels of antioxidants may play a role. Remember, though, drowning your cup of joe in sugar and whipped cream could counter whatever health benefits it may hold.

12. Eat Less

Japan has the longest average lifespan in the world, and the longest lived of the Japanese–the natives of the Ryukyu Islands–stop eating when they’re 80% full. Limiting your calorie intake means lower overall stress on the body.

13. Meditate

Meditation leads to stress reduction and lowered blood pressure.[10] Research suggests that it could also increase the activity of an enzyme associated with longevity.[11]

Taking as little as 15 minutes a day to find your zen can have significant health benefits, and may even extend your life.

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How to meditate? Here’re 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

14. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Being overweight puts stress on your cardiovascular system, increasing your risk of heart disease.[12] It may also increase the risk of cancer.[13] Maintaining a healthy weight is important for heart health and living a long and healthy life.

15. Laugh Often

Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, in your body. High levels of these hormones can weaken your immune system.

16. Don’t Spend Too Much Time in the Sun

Too much time in the sun can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. However, sun exposure is an excellent way to increase levels of vitamin D, so soaking up a few rays–perhaps for around 15 minutes a day–can be healthy. The key is moderation.

17. Cook Your Own Food

When you eat at restaurants, you surrender control over your diet. Even salads tend to have a large number of additives, from sugar to saturated fats. Eating at home will enable you to monitor your food intake and ensure a healthy diet.

Take a look at these 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go and start to cook your own food.

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18. Eat Mushrooms

Mushrooms are a central ingredient in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GOMBS disease fighting diet. They boost the immune system and may even reduce the risk of cancer.[14]

19. Floss

Flossing helps to stave off gum disease, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer.[15]

20. Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants

Antioxidants fight against the harmful effects of free-radicals, toxins which can cause cell damage and an increased risk of disease when they accumulate in the body. Berries, green tea and broccoli are three excellent sources of antioxidants.

Find out more antiosidants-rich foods here: 13 Delicious Antioxidant Foods That Are Great for Your Health

21. Have Sex

Getting down and dirty two to three times a week can have significant health benefits. Sex burns calories, decreases stress, improves sleep, and may even protect against heart disease.[16] It’s an easy and effective way to get exercise–so love long and prosper!

More Health Tips

Featured photo credit: Sweethearts/Patrick via flickr.com

Reference

[1] Wiley Online Library: Late‐Life Alcohol Consumption and 20‐Year Mortality
[2] BMJ Journals: Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: a life table analysis
[3] Arch Intern Med.: Red Meat Consumption and Mortality
[4] PLOS Medicine: Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review
[5] JAMA: Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women
[6] NCBI: Effects of Omega‐3 Fatty Acids on Cognitive Function with Aging, Dementia, and Neurological Diseases: Summary
[7] Mayo Clinic Proc: Prediction of all-cause mortality by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Optimism-Pessimism Scale scores: study of a college sample during a 40-year follow-up period.
[8] Med Hypotheses.: Pet ownership protects against the risks and consequences of coronary heart disease.
[9] The New England Journal of Medicine: Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality
[10] American Journal of Hypertension: Blood Pressure Response to Transcendental Meditation: A Meta-analysis
[11] Science Direct: Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators
[12] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[13] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[14] African Journal of Biotechnology: Anti-cancer effect of polysaccharides isolated from higher basidiomycetes mushrooms
[15] Science Direct: Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and cancer risk in male health professionals: a prospective cohort study
[16] AHA Journals: Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular Disease

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