HEALTHY LIVING

Tired? 11 Natural Foods to Raise Energy

Your body is meant to be full of energy, not running on fumes. However, all the shelves lined with energy drinks and bars and the coffee shops on every corner, it’s clear that is not most of us are feeling on most days. But it shouldn’t be that way and these aren’t the best foods to raise energy!

If you are fueling your body right, you don’t have to be hijacking it for a short-term energy burst with substances that will degrade your long-term health.

However, we all have those days where the candle has been burned at both ends in the always-connected, fast-paced world we live in. I don’t think I need to tell you how bad this is for your long-term health to maintain a lifestyle that is always that intense, however, when these energy slumps hit due to circumstances out of your control, stress, poor sleep, poor food choices, and so on, there are many natural drinks and foods to raise your energy.

Boosting your energy doesn’t include grabbing for an energy drink, the nearest candy bowl, or downing a dozen cups of coffee though. Those are short-term fixes that create long-term problems.

While caffeine and sugar will give you a quick energy rush, this is also followed by a massive energy crash. So, if you’re searching for sustained energy, look for foods that not only give you energy without the crash, but will also enhance your health. Here is a list of my go-to foods to eat and drink to beat fatigue so that next time you can skip the sugar and caffeine!

1. WATER

There is no better way to enhance your energy than by drinking quality water. In fact, drinking enough water is the simplest way to regain your energy! I break it all down for you here. So fill up your blue water bottle up stat!

2. CHIA SEEDS

Talk about something small but mighty. The gel-forming action and fiber of chia seeds slows down carbohydrate-to-sugar digestion, which stabilizes your blood sugar, provides slow releasing energy, reduces cravings, and helps you feel full longer. Chia seeds are such a great way to get an energy boost without a crash. Check out my favorite chia seed pudding recipe here.

3. GREEN TEA

When you drink green tea, your body is being loaded with polyphenols such as flavonoids and catechins, which function as powerful antioxidants with super disease-preventing properties, including a decreased risk of cancer, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, infection, cardiovascular disease, and more. This is what makes green tea is a great source of energy. And while it does contain caffeine, green tea also contains an amino acid called L-theanine that promotes relaxation and prevents the typical energy spike and crash that can happen with coffee. Check out this recipe for a delicious pick-me-up to try!

Green tea freshly picked before it is dried.

4. YERBA MATE

Yerba Mate is a multi-tasking powerhouse! In one drink you get the strength of coffee, the health benefits of tea, and the euphoria of chocolate. Yes, please!

Yerba mate (yer-bah mah-tay) comes from the South American rainforest holly tree (Ilex paraguariensis) and is naturally energizing with caffeine, theophylline, and theobromine, which are all stimulants that can help boost energy.

In studies, the mate tree leaves have 24 vitamins and minerals, 15 amino acids, and abundant antioxidants. In fact, The Pasteur Institute and the Paris Scientific society in 1964 concluded that yerba mate contains “practically all of the vitamins necessary to sustain life.”

Yerba mate’s caffeine content falls somewhere between green tea and coffee, but it also has a low tannin content so it isn’t bitter like coffee can be.

Yerba mate can be better than coffee for energy

5. APPLE CIDER VINEGAR

I know drinking some apple cider vinegar doesn’t come to mind for many of us, but it boosts immunity, helps with digestive issues by balancing stomach acid, and energizes you. Drink 1-2 tablespoons mixed into with a glass of water for an energizing pick-me up that also has acetic acid, potassium, magnesium, B vitamins, and vitamin C to support healthy skin, digestion and immunity health. Winning on several fronts!

Note: Drink it with a straw to protect your teeth from the acid.

6. KIMCHI

Believe it or not, digesting food takes energy from your body. Foods like kimchi, that are full of natural probiotics, help your body digest food more efficiently and save you energy! That’s a huge win if you’re already low on energy before you start eating.

Kimchi is full of the probiotic strain lactobacillus plantarum, which studies show increases the production of immunoglobulin A (IgA), an antibody that plays a critical role in immunity.

Eating raw sauerkraut and kimchi helps your body have less work for digesting food, giving you energy to crush your day! Add to your lunch salad for a digestion boost. Start with just a teaspoon and work your way up to a tablespoon.

7. RAW LOCAL HONEY

Raw local honey is made-up of natural sugars, water, and minerals, vitamins, pollen and is even about 2% protein. Because of this, it’s not surprising that honey is considered the “perfect” fuel for running. Its energy is easily absorbed in the form of liver glycogen, which makes it great for an energy booster, including using it as a pre- and post-exercise energy source. To add a daily boost of honey’s nutritional and medicinal benefits to your diet, try stirring 1-2 tablespoons of raw, organic honey into warm water with vinegar or into a cup of tea.

Note: To experience the health and medicinal benefits of honey, you must be using raw (unprocessed and unfiltered), organic honey because the quality and type of honey you use will greatly determine its nutritional or medicinal effectiveness.

8. QUINOA

I love quinoa. Not only is it an everyday superfood filled with nutrients, but it’s a great choice for sustained energy throughout the day as well. Quinoa is grown in South America and it has the highest levels of protein of all grains. A fun superfood fact: the Incas considered quinoa sacred and respected its amazing powers as a superfood, believing that it gave them extra stamina and endurance. A bowl of quinoa will release energy slowly and is an excellent way of improving your energy levels. This ancient grain is about 60 percent carbs and also low-glycemic, which means you won’t experience dramatic spikes in blood sugar levels.

Quinoa is a great food for energy

9. REISHI MUSHROOMS

Adaptogens are one of your best friends for fighting stress. Instead of doing one thing, adaptogens are like a free building block for your body to respond to successfully stress in the moment and keep inflammation levels low and energy up. Reishi mushrooms are an adaptogen with antioxidant abilities that boost your body’s response to stress and defenses against cancer, autoimmune diseases, heart disease, allergies, infections are more.

RELATED READING: 5 HEALTHY BENEFITS OF EDIBLE MUSHROOMS

10. BARÙKAS

Baru nuts, or as I like to call them, Barùkas! are naturally delicious, slender nuts that grow in the miracle fruit of the Barù tree on the Amazonian savanna. The exotic flavor of this supernut has been described as a mix of almond and peanut – only better! I’ve tried a lot of crazy things and I was hooked at first bite!

This flavorful nut packs a low-calorie, flavorful cocktail of micronutrients for your long-term health, but it also has all the protein, fiber, and good fats you need for slow digestion and long-lasting energy. This is the perfect snack to keep you going!

Eat barùkas by the handful, crush them on salads and smoothie bowls, or make nut butters and milk.

Note: Barùkas not only are good for you, they are also good for small farmers and the environment! 

11. SPROUTS (BEAN, BROCCOLI, ALFALFA)

I love putting sprouts on salads. You know how you see the boundless energy of kids running around? That’s how I view sprouts. They are “young greens” with all the boundless energy needed to grow a plant! They are full of glucoraphanin, which helps protect against chemical cancer-causing agents, have antioxidant vitamin C content, and have the chlorophyll content. This creates a hostile environment that harmful bacteria doesn’t like while revving up your oxygen and immune system levels.

RELATED READING: SIMPLE WAYS TO EAT SPROUTS 

Nature has given us so many options to boost our energy naturally! The next time you are feeling low on energy, remember to grab for some of these amazing energizing foods instead of the sugar crash waiting to happen.

Live Your SuperLife!

Darin

 

RESOURCES

Ware Megan. Medical News Today. Green tea: Health benefits, side effects, and research

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/269538.php

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Med-Health http://www.med-health.net/Quinoa-Glycemic-Index.html

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Herbal Medicine: Bimolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition. Benzie IFF, Wachtel-Galor S, editors. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press/Taylor & Francis; 2011.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92757/#ch9_sec9

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