Top 5 Energy-Boosting Foods

Written by Nikki Croes

Have you ever driven down the highway with the top down? Warm breeze blowing in your hair while the radio blasts your favorite song. You feel so free, so happy, so energized! Then out of the blue, you feel like you’re coming to a stop. The gas pedal doesn’t seem to be working and you go from convertible cool to roadside geek.

Of course your first reaction is to yell at your car and pound the steering wheel, until you notice the gas gauge is shouting, “EMPTY”—and has been doing so for the past 10 miles.

Well, food is to your body what gas is to your car. It’s your fuel. No food, no energy. But just filling up on “whatever you can find” will only get you so far.

Donuts for breakfast, processed meats for lunch and greasy take-outs for dinner won’t give you the strength and power you need to have lasting, vital energy. Our bodies require high-quality proteins, fats and carbs, as well as vitamins and minerals to run at maximum efficiency. Unfortunately, these essential nutrients are often missing in the packaged, fried and sugar-filled foods many diets are loaded with today.

The good news is that whether you’re chronically fatigued or occasionally sluggish, switching to a diet full of healthy, whole foods can significantly help you maintain your energy levels. Cleaning up your diet detoxifies your organs, improves your immune system and brightens your appearance—bye, bye dark circles!

Top 5 Energy-Boosting Foods:

1. Quinoa

Quinoa is member of the goosefoot family, and is technically a seed, though it is often referred to as a grain. Quinoa is quick cooking (15-20 minutes) and makes the perfect base for salads, side dishes and morning porridge. As quinoa is gluten-free, protein-rich and easy to digest, it’s considered an ideal endurance food.

2. Kale

The Mother of all dark, leafy greens, kale is a hearty vegetable that’s chock full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. It also contains chlorophyll, which enables plants to receive energy from the sun. When you eat kale (and other dark green veggies) you absorb and assimilate this natural, vital energy.

3. Almonds

High in healthy fats and protein, as well as vitamin E, magnesium and potassium, almonds (especially raw almonds) are great for snacking. They also add crunch and flavor to salads, cereals and porridge. Pre- or post- workout, almonds provide the satiation and nutrition you need to keep you going!

4. Apples

Research has suggested that an apple can be more effective in providing a boost of energy than a cup of coffee! That’s because apples contain natural sugars. When eaten in their whole form, apples also contain fiber, which slows down the absorption of sugar, providing a slow, sustainable release of energy.

5. Lemons

Toxins are everywhere and a toxic overload can cause fatigue, acne and serious illnesses. But lemons can help you kick those babies to the curb and reclaim your energy—and your health. Renowned for their healing powers, lemons flush toxins, alkalize the blood and support the immune system and liver.

Ready to learn how to fight inflammation and address autoimmune disease through the power of food? Join our 5-Day Inflammation Video Summit with mindbodygreen’s top doctors.

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