Ditch the coffee and energy drinks—your energy problems begin and end with what you eat. The human body is a finely-tuned dynamo, and you get out what you put in. Certain natural foods boost your energy levels naturally with no need for stimulants or hokey Instagram fads. Explore the benefits of the five best foods for energy in this guide.
Your body needs lots of different vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and proteins to operate effectively. Plus, fats and complex carbs allow you to use and store energy efficiently. The only way to give your body what it requires to operate at its peak is to start with proper nutrition. These five foods will go a long way toward giving you the energy you’re looking for:
Rich in potassium and other essential minerals, bananas also contain pectin, a form of fibre.
All types of apples are great sources of beneficial phytochemicals, vitamin C, and fibre.
These large-pitted, creamy fruits contain lots of healthy fats your body needs to process energy.
By stabilising your blood sugar and boosting your immune system, goji berries help your body regulate energy effectively and avoid slowdowns.
With plenty of dietary fibre and essential micronutrients, sweet potatoes (yams) boost your gut health, which improves many other aspects of your health and well-being.
Since they provide healthy carbs, vitamin B6, and the essential mineral potassium, bananas are considered effective energy food for athletes. Even for people who are less active, bananas optimise your system and help you process other foods more effectively.
Part of the appeal of bananas as an energy food is their convenience. It’s easy to peel a banana, eat the fleshy fruit, and discard the rind on the go. You can also blend bananas into smoothies or cut them up into containers, and dried bananas present an even wider field of snacking possibilities.
As the ultimate disposable food, the lasting power of bananas doesn’t get enough attention. In their dehydrated form, bananas can stay edible for six months to a year, which means you don’t have to throw that slightly spotty bunch in the trash right away.
Try cutting your bananas into thin slices and tossing them on top of a salad. You’d be surprised how well this fruit works for accentuating bitter or tangy dishes.
The secret behind the majority of so-called “energy bars” is processed sugar, which harms your body and can lead to serious diseases. An average apple contains 13 grams of sugar in the form of natural glucose, which your body processes without a rush or crash. Plus, apples are great sources of B vitamins and vitamin C.
Apples don’t have inconvenient peels, but they can be sticky and messy. Dried apples present a clear alternative, and you can also enjoy apples in purees and 100%-fruit bars.
It’s common knowledge that apples contain fibre and natural sugars, but this fruit’s vitamin content doesn’t get enough credit. Apples are, however, celebrated everywhere as a convenient energy food—as proof, there are apples on every Starbucks counter in the world.
Apples may not blend well into smoothies, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use them with other dishes. As a traditional addition to salads, you can also enjoy dried apple slices on their own or with trail mix.
It’s natural to maximise complex carbs and protein as you search for maximum energy. Healthy fats, however, provide approximately 50% of your body’s energy, and few healthy fat sources are richer than avocados.
Don’t try snacking on a whole avocado since it won’t go well. Instead, these rich, creamy fruits are best enjoyed as salad toppers, sandwich fillers, or smoothie thickeners.
Fats, in general, are woefully overlooked when it comes to energy. These essential macronutrients got a bad name due to popular misconceptions, but you need to eat plenty of natural, healthy fats to stay sharp and energetic.
Avocado plays a big role in sushi. Pick up some seaweed rolls, dust off the rice cooker, and make some dragon rolls like a Tokyo native.
Studies show that goji berries increase energy, and it’s believed that these energising effects are the result of phytochemicals like polysaccharides, zeaxanthin, and beta carotene.
Goji berries are almost always sold dried, and it’s just as easy to snack on a bag of these small, tangy berries as it is to eat an apple or a banana. Goji berries are great to eat first thing in the morning for their unique, zesty flavour.
Western science has overlooked the benefits of goji berries for centuries. It’s only recently that the benefits of this Asian “super-food” have come to life.
Due to their intense flavour and sticky texture, goji berries can be hard to add to dishes. Lightly sprinkled on top of salads, however, goji berries make for the perfect antioxidant garnish.
Sweet potatoes promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria. Western science overlooked the importance of gut health for years, but it’s finally becoming apparent just how much the bacteria balance in your stomach, intestines, and colon can affect your energy levels.
Hard when raw and soft when cooked, sweet potatoes are commonly pre-cooked and added to meals. While it would be hard to snack on a raw sweet potato on the go, cooked yams are easy to add to practically any dish.
While sweet potatoes are widely recognised as great sources of fibre, this root’s antioxidant properties don’t get enough credit. It’s by fighting oxidative stress in your gut that sweet potatoes improve your digestive health, though.
Go the traditionally sweet route and bake your sweet potatoes into some vegan, gluten-free bread. It’ll be simple and yummy to snack on these homemade baked goods at work, at home, or on the road.