Let’s be honest. Most of us really are our own worst enemies. When we think of energy boosting foods, many of us picture a chocolate bar and can of fizzing drink.
We’re rushed off our feet. Busy, busy busy. We neglect our health and pretend we can sail through life on a handful of hours sleep each night. And when the absolutely minimum we can do is to make sure we eat well, we grab a sugary snack and pop open a can of energy drink.
No wonder our immune systems are in revolt half the time!
So do yourself a favour and swap out the empty calories for nutrient-rich energy boosting foods that do your body good and give you the get up and go that you need to live life to the full.
There was a period back there when the humble egg wasn’t considered great for your health – cholesterol anyone? But not anymore. Yes, they contain cholesterol, but it’s the good kind.
Eggs are incredibly good for us. Their protein profile alone is excellent as they give us all 9 essential amino acids that we can’t make ourselves and have to get from protein in our diets. They are arguably Mother Nature’s protein powder.
Eggs are also rich in Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D and a dose of Iron. And then there’s Lutein and Zeaxanthin – 2 powerful antioxidants which help to clear harmful free radicals from your body.
Best of all, eggs are one of the most versatile and convenient foods in the pantry. They can be poached, fried or boil, added to an omelette with mushrooms, capsicum and cheese, scrambled with chillies and herbs for a spicy breakfast or matched with whole grain toast and avocado for a healthy lunch.
And eggs are also cheap. This puts them right at the top of our list of energy boosting foods.
This superfood is suddenly everywhere and quite rightly so as it is a complete protein – very rare in the plant world – giving us all 9 of the amino acids that our own bodies can’t make.
Not only that, but quinoa is low in fat, high in dietary fibre and provides an impressive array of Minerals and Vitamins along with large quantities of powerful plant antioxidants.
This ancient grain is also naturally gluten free.
Get some energy boosting quinoa into your diet by adding the cooked grain to salads, use quinoa flakes instead of oats in porridge and adding quinoa flour to bake goods.
Please see our article for a more in-depth breakdown of the wonders of quinoa.
Please see here for prices and further information on quinoa.
Fruits, in general, are good for you – though some people have issues with their high levels of natural sugars. And blueberries certainly pack a nutrient-rich punch for their size.
These delicious little berries are full of valuable antioxidants, along with an impressive range of Vitamins and Minerals.
They are high in sugar, but this is coupled with plenty of fibre, which slows the release of those sugars into your bloodstream and keeps the energy that you get from them entering your body in a steady flow rather than it spiking.
Blueberries are perfect to sprinkle over porridge, pancakes or cereal in the morning and make a great snack to nibble on when you are on the go.
Top Tip: Try mixing a handful of blueberries with a handful of walnuts and eating them when your energy dips mid-afternoon. The walnuts will add some useful protein which will assist in a stable flow of energy to your body. After all, the best energy boosting foods are those which give you a sufficient charge to get you through to your next meal.
Boy, do we go through a lot of bananas in our house!
Bananas are on our list of energy boosting foods as they are both good for you and so convenient – I mean they even come in their own packaging!
It is the high levels of natural sugars found in bananas that give you a charge when you are feeling a little flat. Unlike the sugars in a commercial snack, the ones in bananas are released into your bloodstream more slowly, which gives you more sustained energy.
They also provide Vitamins B6 and C, Potassium, protein and fibre. Fibre is useful for controlling blood sugar levels as well as helping to keep our digestive system in good nick by cleaning out toxins.
Apart from simply peeling a banana and eating it, try freezing ripe bananas (a banana is never too black to be thrown away in my home!) and using as a base for things like our Best Protein Shake or one of our four Yummy Protein Bowls or our High Protein Banana Bread or even our incredibly easy to make Banana Oat Protein Pancakes.
It’s only fair to warn you that I am a huge fan of chia seeds. Of all the so-called superfoods on the market, I use these the most. And not just because they tick the boxes as energy boosting foods.
Rich in antioxidants, Vitamins, Minerals, both soluble and insoluble fibre, Omega-3 fatty acids and that hard-to-find plant-based complete protein, these tiny little seeds have got to be one of the best energy boosting foods that we’ve yet to discover.
For more on how amazing Chia Seeds are, please see our article.
To get the most out of chia seeds, soak them in some way. I like to either add them to oat milk (any milk you like will work) and leave them to swell overnight along with some oats for our Protein Powder Overnight Oats breakfast. Or I mix them with water to make a chia gel that I can then add to smoothies or our Brilliant Buckwheat Protein Pancakes.
But don’t just take my word for it, you can read more about the nutritional marvel that the humble Chia Seed, here.
So next time you are feeling a little flat, don’t immediately reach for a packet of biscuits. Choose energy boosting foods which provide a stable, controlled release of energy – and hopefully a few other nutrients as well.
For prices and more information on chia seeds, please see here.