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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

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Laura Barr

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

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Last Updated on December 2, 2019

10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

Plato knew that the body and mind are intimately linked. And in the late 1800s, the Mayo brothers, famous physicians, estimated that over half of all hospital beds are filled with people suffering from frustration, anxiety, worry and despair. Causes of worry are everywhere, in our relationships and our jobs, so it’s key we find ways to take charge of the stress.

In his classic book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, Dale Carnegie offers tools to ditch excessive worrying that help you make a worry-free environment for your private and professional life.

These are the top 10 tips to grab worry by the horns and wrestle it to the ground:

1. Make Your Decision and Never Look Back

Have you ever made a decision in life only to second-guess it afterwards? Of course you have! It’s hard not to wonder whether you’ve done the right thing and whether there might still be time to take another path.

But keep this in mind: you’ve already made your decision, so act decisively on it and dismiss all your anxiety about it.

Don’t stop to hesitate, to reconsider, or to retrace your steps. Once you’ve chosen a course of action, stick to it and never waver.

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2. Live for Today, Package Things up in “Day-Tight Compartments”

You know that feeling: tossing, turning and worrying over something that happened or something that might, well into the wee hours. To avoid this pointless worrying, you need “day-tight compartments”. Much as a ship has different watertight compartments, your own “day-tight” ones are a way to limit your attention to the present day.

The rule is simple: whatever happened in the past or might happen in the future must not intrude upon today. Everything else has to wait its turn for tomorrow’s box or stay stuck in the past.

3. Embrace the Worst-Case Scenario and Strategize to Offset It

If you’re worried about something, ask yourself: “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” Could you lose your job? Be jailed? Get killed?

Whatever the “worst” might be, it’s probably not so world-ending. You could probably even bounce back from it!

If, for example, you lose your job, you could always find another. Once you accept the worst-case scenario and get thinking about contingency plans, you’ll feel calmer.

4. Put a Lid on Your Worrying

Sometimes we stress endlessly about negative experiences when just walking away from them would serve us far better.

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To make squashing that worry easier, try this strategy, straight from stock traders: it’s called the “stop-loss” order, where shares are bought at a certain price, and then their price development is observed. If things go badly and the share price hits a certain point, they are sold off immediately. This stops the loss from increasing further.

In the same manner, you can put a stop-loss order on things that cause you stress and grief.

5. Fake It ‘Til You Make It – Happiness, That Is

We can’t directly influence how we feel, but we can nudge ourselves to change through how we think and act.

If you’re feeling sad or low, slap a big grin on your face and whistle a chipper tune. You’ll find it impossible to be blue when acting cheerful. But you don’t necessarily need to act outwardly happy; you can simply think happier thoughts instead.

Marcus Aurelius summed it up aptly:

“Our life is what our thoughts make it.”

6. Give for the Joy of Giving

When we perform acts of kindness, we often do so with the expectation of gratitude. But harboring such expectations will probably leave you disappointed.

One person well aware of this fact was the lawyer Samuel Leibowitz. Over the course of his career, Leibowitz saved 78 people from going to the electric chair. Guess how many thanked him? None.

So stop expecting gratitude when you’re kind to someone. Instead, take joy from the act yourself.

7. Dump Envy – Enjoy Being Uniquely You

Your genes are completely unique. Even if someone had the same parents as you, the likelihood of someone identical to you being born is just one in 300,000 billion.

Despite this amazing fact, many of us long to be someone else, thinking the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. But living your life this way is pointless. Embrace your uniqueness and get comfortable with who you really are: How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

8. Haters Will Hate — It Just Means You’re Doing It Right

When you’re criticized, it often means you’re accomplishing something noteworthy. In fact, let’s take it a step further and consider this: the more you’re criticized, the more influential and important a person you likely are.

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So the next time somebody talks you down, don’t let it get to you. Take it as a compliment!

9. Chill Out! Learn to Rest Before You Get Tired

Scientists agree that emotions are the most common cause of fatigue. And it works the other way around, too: fatigue produces more worries and negative emotions.

It should be clear, therefore, that you’ve got to relax regularly before you feel tired. Otherwise, worries and fatigue will accumulate on top of each other.

It’s impossible to worry when you are relaxed, and regular rest helps you maintain your ability to work effectively.

10. Get Organized and Enjoy Your Work

There are few greater sources of misery in life than having to work, day in, day out, in a job you despise. It would make sense then that you shouldn’t pick a job you hate, or even just dislike doing.

But say you already have a job. How can you make it more enjoyable and worry-free? One way is to stay organized: a desk full of unanswered mails and memos is sure to breed worries.

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Better yet, rethink about the job you’re doing: What to Do When You Hate Your Job but Want a Successful Career

More About Living a Fulfilling Life

Featured photo credit: Tyler Nix via unsplash.com

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