For the majority of us, the quality of our day depends on how productive we’ve been in the span of 24 hours. It goes without saying that our level of productivity heavily correlates with the energy produced by our bodies. Each of our day-to-day activities, whether simple or complex, requires an energy supply.
As biological beings, our body produces energy from a process called metabolism. Nutrients from the food we ingest get broken down to produce energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP).
With that said, it’s crucial to be intentional about what we consume. After all, we are what we eat. Here are our top 5 choices of food that boost your energy throughout the day.
One-half of an avocado contains nutritional values such as 2 g of protein, 14.7 g monounsaturated fats (a healthier form of fat), and 8.5 g carbohydrates. This triad of nutrition alone can give you a burst of energy to rock the day—but it doesn’t stop there! Avocados come with vitamins C, E, K, and B-6 too.
Although avocados have a high content of fats, this is beneficial in the sense that it’ll signal your brain to suppress your appetite. Consuming fat also slows the breakdown of carbohydrates, helping you to maintain a steady blood sugar level.
Bananas generally contain 72 to 135 calories which makes them a decent energy source. We all know how bananas are potassium-rich, but did you know that they’re also rich in soluble fibers too? The soluble fibers in bananas absorb water in your gut and consequently slow down digestion. This helps keep you “full” for a longer time, allowing you to control your diet whilst staying energized. Hence, if you’re craving a mid-day snack, grab a banana for a healthier option.
Chickpeas are a type of legume. A cup of chickpeas provides almost one-third of an adult’s daily protein needs—yes, you heard that right! Their high protein content makes them an excellent choice for those on vegetarian or vegan diets. Other than protein, chickpeas are rich in fiber, especially a type of soluble fiber called raffinose, as well as calcium.
In a randomized crossover study involving 15 healthy males, the consumption of 223 g of chickpeas resulted in a 47% reduction in blood glucose levels. Likewise, in a randomized crossover study with 12 healthy female participants, the consumption of 200 g (218 kcal) of chickpeas resulted in a 36% reduction in blood glucose. Therefore, incorporating chickpeas in your meals may also help to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by maintaining a consistently low blood glucose level.
A serving of salmon contains up to 200 calories. This species of fish has very low levels of saturated fat, approximately 2.5 g per 100 grams. It’s also one of the best sources of vitamin B12, which naturally helps to boost energy and prevent fatigue. Moreover, nutrients such as potassium, iron, and vitamin D are also shown to help our muscles to work efficiently, which results in increased energy levels. Salmon also comes with a generous amount of protein.
If you’re looking for something to munch on during your work, nuts are a great option. Almond, walnut, macadamia nuts, or cashews—it’s your choice! Each of these nuts is packed with healthy fats, omega 3s, fiber, good plant phenols, and many other health-promoting nutrients. Health experts recommend eating a handful of nuts on a daily basis. This is about 200 calories of energy.
“Healthy does NOT mean starving yourself EVER. Healthy means eating the right food in the right amount.” – Karen Salmansohn
There are various factors that come into play when we talking about staying energized. While eating healthy is one, exercising regularly, staying hydrated, and sleeping well play equally important roles. Maintaining your health is a long journey of self-discovery and reflection, but it’s undoubtedly one that’s worth taking!