If you want to eat food for an energy boost, then you’re talking calories. That means you better find a way to use that energy, or you’ll probably end up gaining weight. If you’re falling asleep at your desk during the day, it doesn’t mean you need more energy-rich foods – rather it means you need to eat foods that release their energy more slowly, so you don’t get sugar spikes and slumps throughout the day.
There are a number of foods, however, that are high in energy but low in fat. Before exercising, or as an afternoon snack they can really make your day.
Best energy enhancing foods to eat when you need a little more oomph in your day:
Nuts for energy
Nuts are powerhouses of nutrition and they are easy to have with you at all times.
When you are feeling a bit peckish have a handful of almonds or chestnuts and fuel up. You can also add them to all kinds of healthy recipes, this is a great way to make a dish not only taste better but give you the maximum amount of energy as well. Also keep in mind that peanut butter is an excellent source of protein and energy.
A bowl of muesli makes a great mid-morning snack – it’s full of proteins and complex carbohydrates that your body can use for sustained energy.
There are two things you need to know about chocolate: yes, dark chocolate is good for you and no that doesn’t mean you can live off it, no matter how tempting that may sound. Not all chocolate is the same and the vast majority that we get when we buy candy bars is not the kind of chocolate that is going to do your body any good. Rather it’s just the kind that is going to make losing weight hard. Check out our table of calories in popular chocolates to find some good ones.
Look for dark chocolate that is about 70% dark and you are eating a food filled with anti oxidants and that will give you a healthy boost of energy as well. You can even combine it in a trail mix with some fruits and nuts like those mentioned above.
Dark chocolate can also improve your mood as well as lower your anxiety levels. Studies have shown that eating approximately an ounce of dark chocolate per day can have a soothing and calming effect that you could notice within two weeks. This makes it not only tasty but great for those who suffer from general anxiety.
A Nicoise Salad
Believe it or not, this Mediterranean meal is a perfect high-energy, low fat lunch. The tuna is a great source of protein, as are some of the dark green vegetables, which give you vital minerals as well.
The egg and pine nuts, if you add them, are also great sources of protein, amino acids and Omega-3 oils – powerful antioxidants.
Here are some other foods you may want to consider adding to your diet if you feel like you need to increase your energy levels:
- Avocado (beware: high fat content)
- Lean chicken
- Brightly-colored fruits and vegetables