When our energy levels become low, too many times, we instinctively reach for a cup of coffee or a handful of chips, hoping to get a quick boost of energy. However, consuming too much caffeine can have the opposite effect, while simple carbohydrates, like sweet beverages and chips, can cause you to see a spike in your blood sugar before quickly crashing, leaving you even more tired than before. Here are six healthy foods that will help you maintain your energy levels so you can power through the afternoon.
Almonds contain magnesium and B vitamins that help to convert food into energy. When you have low magnesium levels, you become tired more quickly, while insufficient levels of B vitamins can lead to a decrease in concentration, irritability, and fatigue. To get an instant boost in energy, eat one ounce of almonds.
Whole-grain carbohydrates are snacks with staying power, thanks in part to the fiber that helps to prevent blood-sugar crashes. Popcorn is a better alternative to chips because not only is it a whole-grain snack, but it is low in calories as well.
While peanut butter is a calorie dense food, a little goes a long way in providing you energy. It contains healthy fats, fiber, and protein that can help stave off hunger and maintain your blood sugar levels. Be sure to avoid brands that have added sugar and stick to two tablespoons per serving.
Bananas are filled with potassium, fiber, and vitamin B6, nutrients that promote muscle function and sustained energy. They are especially significant as a pre- or post-workout snack. Create an even more energizing combo by pairing a banana with a cup of yogurt or a glass of low-fat milk. Consider eating a banana in the morning to fuel your body for the better part of the morning.
Add an extra energy-boost to your salad by using nutrient-rich kale rather than iceberg lettuce. Kale contains the amino acid L-tyrosine, which can help give you a mental lift, as well as antioxidants and fiber that help fill you up and help keep your blood sugar stable. If you’re not big into eating salad, you can also sauté kale for a side dish, chop it into soups, or toss it with whole-wheat pasta.
Oatmeal is high in fiber, which will provide you with lasting energy. Having oatmeal for breakfast will help power you through the entire morning thanks to taking a long time to digest.
Eating the right foods throughout the day can help you maintain your energy levels and keep you going until it’s time for bed.
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