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Last Updated on January 18, 2021

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? In these instances, energy foods can be a great solution.

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. 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 into the actual energy-boosting foods that can help, let’s talk briefly about how to eat for optimal energy. People that stay energetic throughout 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, fats, and carbohydrates—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

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 we often crave junk foods when we’re tired, these will do a much better job of boosting stamina without the terrible sugar crash soon after. Let’s take a look at the best energy foods:

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1. Caffeine

Coffee (and some teas) not only promotes central nervous system stimulation and boosts brain function, but it is also a great source of antioxidants and may possibly promote a decreased risk of type 2 diabetes and liver disease[1].

Caffeine is said to affect some neurotransmitters that could improve mood, reaction time, learning and vigilance, making it a great energy-boosting food for our list.

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. That makes this an excellent energy food. Add some mint leaves to hot water for a drink that will get you through the afternoon.[2]

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.[3]

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, and one of the best energy-boosting foods for long-term health.

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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, helping create proper energy production in cells.

5. Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine, which both help to boost energy levels – the darker the chocolate, the less sugar and more energy boosting potential it has. The next time you’re feeling a little lethargic, take a little chocolate break with this energy food.

6. Yogurt

Yogurt has a high amount of protein, which can help you feel full for longer, so hunger will not distract you from your daily tasks. The fat content in Greek yogurt also tends to be more satisfying. Add in some fresh fruit for an antioxidant boost as well!

7. Berries

Berries are full of antioxidants and vitamins. Specifically, Goji berries are known to have high concentrations of melatonin, which can improve sleep and give you more energy during the day.

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, making them some of the best energy-boosting foods.

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8. Lentils

Lentils are excellent at stabilizing blood sugar and, therefore, offer you a slow burning source of energy to keep you feeling full throughout the day. They also help increase your iron stores, which can help boost energy[4].

9. Walnuts

These nuts contain healthy fats, fiber, and protein, which prevents energy crashes and keeps your energy more level throughout the day. A handful of walnuts as a mid-day snack is a great idea if you’re looking to add energy foods to your routine.

10. Cherries

Cherries are also good sources of melatonin, which can help you to get a better night’s sleep to keep you fresh through the day.[5] They have also been shown to reduce inflammation, which can cause fatigue in the long-term. 

11. Dried Fruits

Dried fruits are an excellent source of quick, usable energy that provide many essential nutrients, including Vitamin A, B-6, C, and D. If you’re looking for energy-boosting foods, a small bag of dried fruit can give you the push you need to finish all of your projects.

12. Salmon

Salmon contains Omega-3 fatty acids, which are said to improve brain function and reduce fatigue while also providing vitamin B and protein, which can help sustain energy throughout the day. Omega-3’s are also great at reducing inflammation in the body, which helps reduce sleepiness.

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13. Green Tea

This type of tea contains some caffeine, which we know boosts energy. This warm gem has also been associated with a reduction in breast cancer risk[6].

Learn more about the benefits of green tea here.

The Bottom Line

So many of the foods we eat can help boost our energy. Whether they include complex carbohydrates 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.

Incorporating these energy-boosting 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.

More Tips on Increasing Energy

Featured photo credit: THE 5TH via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Harvard Health Publishing: The latest scoop on the health benefits of coffee
[2] Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition: The effects of peppermint on exercise performance
[3] Phytotherapy Research: Comparison between the efficacy of ginger and sumatriptan in the ablative treatment of the common migraine.
[4] Harvard T.H. Chan: Lentils
[5] Medical Daily: Cherry Health Benefits
[6] World Journal of Clinical Oncology: Green tea compounds in breast cancer prevention and treatment

More by this author

Laura Barr

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

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Published on April 16, 2021

Guided Meditation For Increased Energy: How And Why It Works

Guided Meditation For Increased Energy: How And Why It Works

Are daily stressors draining your vital energy levels? Do you know deep down that meditation could help you out, but on some level, you repeatedly tell yourself that you don’t have the time or know-how to meditate? If so, you could do with some help, and you’re going to get to know all about guided meditation for energy to sort you out.

By the end of this article, you will have the tools in your possession to get started and know all about the amazing benefits to start feeling like your best self.

Your Life Is Energy

If you didn’t know it already, everything in the universe around you is energy. Everything you are perceiving, feeling, touching, or tasting right now are all vibrations of energy at its core.

Life energy—or Prana as it is also referred to in yogic philosophy—is flowing through you at all times, keeping you alive. When this energy is in tune, it aligns your body, mind, and soul to work in harmony.

Unfortunately, growing up, most people aren’t taught or shown how to efficiently align these three elements. This can lead to energy leaks in your state of being.

Your daily stream of unconscious thoughts, for example, is one element that uses up a vital part of life’s crucial energy flowing through you. How much energy you deplete then really depends on what you’re thinking about most of the day.

Say you’re thinking positive thoughts. You won’t be very likely to want to resist such pleasantness. Your energy levels, therefore, would most likely stay well connected to the source of life supplying you.

Having said that, given the human mind’s negative bias and your natural tendency to avoid pain, most of what you think unconsciously will automatically be distorted towards negative thoughts, negative emotions, and stress. These negative states will cause you to resist the life energy flowing through you causing you to feel depleted.

Just like a dam, every time you engage and persist in negativity and negative emotions, you’re building on and strengthening the barrier blocking your life force from flowing freely. In fact, every time you engage in an anger burst, it can deplete your immune system for up to 5 hours.[1]

Many stress-related health issues nowadays often arise because of depleted and blocked energy levels and uncontrolled thought processes. Luckily, guided meditation can be a powerful tool to reverse all of that and even empower you towards significant lifestyle changes.

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What You Stand to Gain

Guided meditation for energy isn’t complicated to define. It’s the process of instilling a state of deep peace within yourself, all the while training your attention and awareness. This is generally done by following the guidance of a trained practitioner.

Just like any new appliance you purchase, you’re most likely going to have to glance at the instructions manual to get it running. Well, the same can apply to meditation.

Meditation isn’t at all a complex practice. However, if you’ve never tried it out before, a guide can help get you started by directing your stream of thoughts and focus. The guide will act as your instructions manual to help accustom you to your new meditation practice.

Guided meditation for energy has many outstanding benefits to your mental and physical well-being. In fact, adopting a regular guided meditation practice can give you the following benefits:

1. Still Your Mind

When was the last time you counted zero thoughts floating through your head? Wouldn’t it be great to reach such a point and enjoy moments of peace, deep relaxation, and silence regularly after a guided meditation session?

2. Sharper Focus and Cognitive Abilities

As you become more conscious, you’ll notice increased capabilities within yourself to act more often, rather than react to the circumstances in your life. This will also allow you to focus more on the solutions rather than on the problems in your environment.

3. Reduce Feelings of Anxiety and Depression

Given most anxious and depressive feelings arise out of cognitive distortions, a regular guided meditation practice for energy can help you get acquainted with your higher self—your soul.

From this place of consciousness, you will find it easier to sit peacefully above your thoughts, untouched by whatever commotion is going on down under. Through conscious awareness, you’ll also find it easier to reflect and rationalize on any limiting beliefs.

4. Lowers Your Heart Rate and Blood Pressure

As you relax your body and focus on deep relaxing breaths, you are activating the parasympathetic nervous system in your body. As you do so, this allows your heart rate to decrease and your blood pressure to drop as your blood vessels begin to open up.

5. Help Heal Health Issues

Yes, when given the chance, your body does have the ability to heal itself in certain circumstances. Life energy is also healing energy when you allow it to flow freely undisturbed throughout your being.[2]

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Guided meditation for energy allows your bodily processes to conserve and generate more energy for healing than they otherwise would be able to in a stressed-out and depleted state.

6. Help Create and Influence Your Desired Future

That’s right, the thoughts you are focusing on every day are highly influencing your reality. Remember that everything around you is energy and is also created out of energy! Therefore, your thoughts are nothing more than a frequency of energy!

Guided meditation will often require you to use positive mental imagery for visualization. As you become increasingly capable of visualizing and feeling positive emotions in the process, the emotional frequency vibrations you will begin to emit from within yourself will become much stronger. This higher energy frequency can then influence and attract more positive future circumstances in your life.

You can check out the Law of Attraction if you’re interested in knowing more on how to start visualizing actual life goals you wish to manifest in your own life.[3]

7. Improve Sleep Quality

Guided meditation for energy looks to hack into your deeper brain waves to instill a state of deep relaxation within you. The more relaxed you feel and the stiller your mind, then the easier you’ll find it to fall and remain asleep.

Even better, as your practice becomes a regular habit, you’ll notice you actually won’t need all that much sleep to wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on a new day—simply because as you live more from a state of ease, your body will need less rest to conserve its energy and operate efficiently.

8. Cultivate Gratitude and Compassion

Love, gratitude, and compassion for yourself are often hard to come by in today’s ego-driven and chaotic world. A regular guided meditation practice can help grow these positive emotions towards yourself and others. As you begin to transcend your ego, you won’t want to turn back once you’ve experienced a taster of selflessness and all the bundle of positive emotions it comes with.

9. Foster Spiritual Growth

All the above benefits are great, though this one is by far the most valuable. It doesn’t matter if you’re religious or not, spirituality is all about connecting to the creating source of life—be it God, spirit, universe, energy, or whatever you believe created all the magnificence around us. Regular guided meditation sessions will deepen your connection with your spiritual self and can help make you feel more connected to the people and world around you.

In yogic philosophy, meditation is one of the tools of self-discovery to connect Atman with Brahman. This refers to the process of connecting an Individual soul with the eternal consciousness of the universe.

Through regular guided meditation, you can transcend the ego and come to realize that you and everything around you is one and connected! No words can best describe this realization. It really is an experience you must feel for yourself.

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The Guided Meditation Process

You might be wondering, what’s the guided meditation process like?

Well, guided meditation is often the required stepping stone you’ll take before you feel comfortable progressing towards unguided meditation. If you never wish to progress to unguided meditation, that’s absolutely fine, too. You can still perfectly achieve most—if not all—of the above benefits with the help of a guide.

First off make yourself comfortable and follow these steps:

1. Pick a Guided Meditation of Your Choice

Nowadays, there are many helpful guided meditations over the internet or through mobile applications. Many of these apps or websites offer you focused meditations on many specific objectives you’re after.

For example, if you’re suffering from stress or insomnia, you will find ample guided meditations of varying length durations to pick from on those specific subjects. You can check out YouTube or any meditation apps such as Headspace to get yourself started.

Now, it’s important that you choose a guide with a soothing and comfortable voice. After all, that voice will be the one guiding you to the deepest relaxation experience within yourself, and you want to ensure their voice makes you feel good.

2. Find a Comfortable Seated Position and Close Your Eyes

To meditate, you don’t necessarily have to sit cross-legged or chant any mantras. Simply, find yourself in a comfortable armchair or seated position, ensuring your back is upright.

Next, close your eyes and try placing your attention on your breath. Follow your breath in and out to begin grounding yourself in the present moment. After a few deep breaths, begin your guided meditation.

3. Focus on the Voice Guiding You and Attentively Follow Its Instructions

Your objective is to mindfully let your thoughts and emotions come and go without giving in to the urge to react to them. This is a challenging task to maintain even for many established meditators, let alone for beginners.

That’s where guided meditation comes in handy. The guide in the meditation will act as a positive distraction for you to place your focus and attention on. The process is often carried out through visualization instructions, all the while helping you anchor your focus on the rhythm of your breath.

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4. Go in With an Open Mind and Fully Surrender

You may come to realize that many guided meditation stories will often narrate fantasy stories not based on reality. That’s absolutely fine! Go with the flow. Your job is not to judge what does or doesn’t make sense in any narration. Your job is to fully surrender to the voice guiding you, and let it take you to the undiscovered parts of your mind and imagination.

Don’t worry about a thing, most guides are trained practitioners and know exactly what they’re doing to help you out.

5. Don’t Rush Back to Your Senses

Guided meditations for energy can take you into deep states of relaxation and imagination. You may feel detached from your bodily sensations in the process, and that’s a great thing to feel. Once your guide brings you back to your body, make sure to take a couple of moments to yourself before getting back to reality.

Takeaway

Once you experience the deeper dimensions of your consciousness and higher energy levels, you’ll find it hard to want to go back and remain in a depleted state of stress. So, why not treat yourself to the positive experiences of guided meditation for energy daily?

Just 15 minutes a day of guided meditation is more than enough to unlock all the amazing benefits listed above. The best times to schedule your new habit would be first thing in the morning upon awakening or right before bedtime.

Like most self-development tools, guided meditation is a lifelong process, so do not expect to notice all of the benefits at once. However, with patience and persistence in your practice, your life journey will take on a new positive direction and you won’t want to look back.

So, how about you get started right now?

More About Guided Meditation

Featured photo credit: Erik Brolin via unsplash.com

Reference

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