10 Energy boosting foods

Oats – Oats are high in calcium, potassium and magnesium, as well as energy boosting B vitamins. Magnesium plays a key role in converting the food we eat into energy, and a shortage of magnesium in your diet could leave you lacking in energy. Oats are also low on the Glycemic Index so they give your body a steady release of energy. Try muesli, porridge, or oatcakes for a healthy breakfast or snack.

Nuts – Packed full of protein, vitamins and minerals as well as good fats, nuts are a great snack when you’re lacking in energy. Almonds contain energy boosting minerals magnesium and calcium. Walnuts are rich in potassium, zinc and energy boosting iron, while peanuts are a good source of vitamin B6, which aids the body to use and store energy from protein and carbohydrates in food. Whichever you choose, be careful not to overdo it as nuts have a high calorie and fat content – a small handful or two tablespoons is an ideal portion.

Fruits – Full of vitamin C, antioxidants, and fibre, fruit is the perfect energy boosting snack. Vitamin C is crucial for the production of carnitine, a molecule that helps your body burn fat for energy. Being deficient in Vitamin C will not only leave you feeling lethargic but can also cause your body to store in your muscles the fat it is not burning. Oranges and other citrus fruits are packed with Vitamin C; bananas are also a great choice as they are a rich source of carbohydrate – the body’s preferred energy fuel, and full of potassium an element essential for the body’s growth and maintenance. There’s no such thing as a bad fruit, so eat an assortment for a varied diet and for maximum nutrients.

Vegetables – Iron is an important mineral for energy. Choose broccoli, spinach, asparagus, and sprouts, all high energy foods full of key vitamins and minerals your body requires. Sweet potatoes are also a great choice as they are high in carbohydrates as well as Vitamins A and C.

Whole grains – Swapping white rice, bread, and pasta for their wholegrain counterparts will help stabilize your blood sugar levels. Refined carbohydrates contain very little fiber and are heavily processed, whereas unrefined carbohydrates are rich in fiber which slows the rate at which the sugar from carbohydrates is released, reducing the sudden spike and crash of blood sugar and energy levels. Fiber also expands in your stomach, leaving you feeling fuller for longer. Brown rice and whole-wheat breads are good sources of Pantothenic acid (better known as vitamin B5) which helps the body extract energy-giving nutrients from food.

Fish – Fish is a great source of protein,vitamins, and minerals. Oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, trout, herring, fresh tuna, and sardines are all high in vitamins B6, Niacin (B3) and B12, which are important in converting food into energy. Fish is also rich in magnesium, another key mineral for energy production. Oily fish also contain omega-3 healthy fats, which are good for your heart.

Lean red meat – Red meat sometimes gets bad press but eating lean red meat can help your body top off its protein and iron levels – both of which are vital for energy. Low iron levels can lead to iron deficiency anemia, the main symptoms of which are tiredness, lethargy and general lack of energy. Meat is also one of the main sources of Vitamin B12, which is key in releasing energy from the food we eat.

Beans and lentils release energy slowly and are full of fiber, which slows digestion and provides a more steady supply of energy. Kidney beans, lentils, and baked beans are rich in iron, an important mineral for maintaining energy levels.

Eggs – One of the few foods to be called a complete protein, eggs contain all 9 essential amino acids – the building blocks of protein in your body. These amino acids are vital for building new muscles and repairing tissue damage. As a rich source of protein, eggs are great for an energy boost, and you’ll feel fuller for longer as they provide a slower release of energy.

Garlic – Eating lots of garlic might not make you popular on account of its odor, but its health benefits have been known for centuries. This powerful herb can help to reduce fatigue and boost energy levels. It has also been linked to improved heart health and regulating blood sugar levels – and it adds great flavor to dishes!

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