There’s no question that food plays an important role in our day to day lives. It tastes good, keeps us healthy and connects us to people around us. But another significant role food plays is helping us to stay energized. Here are some ideas of energy-boosting foods to keep in your diet.
Staying hydrated is an important way of also staying energized. While it’s not technically a “food,” drinking plenty of water throughout your day will help you to feel less drained. Some studies suggest that dehydration reduces energy and slows metabolism so the next time you start feel tired in the middle of your day, start by drinking a tall glass of cold water.
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Iron is an important nutrient that provides lasting energy as it delivers oxygen to our cells. Women in particular are at risk of not getting enough iron which can cause fatigue and impair endurance. Foods that are rich in iron include spinach, beans, lentils and red meat.
Many nuts, while high in calories, are a quick and excellent source energy. Cashews, almonds and hazelnuts are all rich in protein and magnesium, a mineral that plays a major role in converting sugar to energy. Peanuts and peanut butter are full of healthy fats, protein and fiber that help to keep blood-sugar levels stable.
Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of energy but choosing whole grains like whole-wheat bread, brown rice, and cereal is beneficial because they are less processed and contain less sugar. Additionally, your body absorbs whole grains more slowly, keeping your blood sugar and energy levels stable for a longer period of time.
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Sometimes, foods or nutrients don’t directly give you energy but they help you to feel more energized. This is the case with fiber. Fiber helps to remove solid wastes from your body. If high levels of waste and metabolic byproducts build up in your body, they may contribute to fatigue, a feeling of low energy. Fiber-rich foods include peas, lentils, beans and broccoli.
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