When we’re feeling run down and tired, many of us reach for a cup of coffee to make it through the day. While coffee beans are a natural way to get an energy boost, coffee’s caffeine kick is really just providing temporary relief from fatigue by stimulating your central nervous system rather than getting to the root of the problem.
Aside from getting the recommended seven to nine hours sleep a night, the food you eat on a regular basis plays a big role in keeping you feeling energized and alert.
Here’s the low-down on natural energy boosting foods you should try to incorporate into your diet.
Ginger might not be the first thing that springs to mind when you think of an energy boosting food. Isn’t it supposed to calm you down and help you get some sleep? Well actually, although ginger is a relaxant, its energy boosting properties come from the fact that it improves circulation and counteracts feelings of fatigue. Plus, research shows that ginger actually aids concentration and mental alertness. It’s also been shown to help keep blood glucose levels stable, thus adding a pinch of ginger to your meals can help you avoid a post-meal energy crash.
Quinoa is a seed that acts a bit like a grain and has an appealing nutty taste. One of the things that makes quinoa such a naturally energizing food is that it is a complete protein and so if you are vegetarian or vegan eating quinoa will ensure you get all of the necessary amino acids required for good health and energy. As well as being packed with protein, quinoa also contains high amounts of fiber, phosphorus, magnesium, riboflavin, and iron - meaning you get a long-lasting dose of energy from just a half cup.
This one is a no-brainer: drinking more water will make you feel and look better! While it’s not strictly food, drinking more water makes the list because it’s such an easy and natural way to stay energized is to drink water and lots of it. Often, when you are feeling tired and irritated, it’s down to a lack of fluids. But soda and juice won’t hydrate and boost your energy as efficiently as water. Plus there are so many other benefits, from boosting your immune system to flushing out toxins to improving your complexion.
Making the switch to whole grains is a great way to boost your energy. Whole grains are complex carbohydrates, meaning they take time to digest and raise your blood sugar gradually. So, unlike white rice, pasta or white bread, they won’t cause you to have sugar spikes and energy crashes. While it might seem like making a switch to whole grains is difficult, there are so many choices!
Some options readily available in your local grocery store include barley, brown rice, oatmeal, popcorn, wild rice and whole-wheat bread, pasta or crackers.