By: Sarah Beth Hawkins
We all know that food is what fuels our bodies. But how our bodies function also depends on what kind of food we use to fuel them. For example, if you’re feeling sluggish and tired not just in the mornings but throughout the day, sometimes it’s instinctual to reach for a cold soda or another cup of coffee. But we have a better solution you may want to try—food, the very thing our bodies need for fuel in the first place. Go figure!
There are plenty of foods that provide energy and unlike coffee or soda, you can avoid the inevitable slump when the caffeine starts to wear off. Food may be the best and most natural way to get an energy boost to power through your day. Here is a list of the best foods for energy.
The Best Foods to Fuel Your Body Naturally
- Bananas – Full of natural sugars, carbohydrates, potassium and vitamin B6. They also have plenty of fiber, which slows down the digestion of sugar (x, x).
- Avocados – Have plenty of protein, fiber, carbohydrates and healthy fats. They are also a good source of B-complex vitamins that provide energy (x).
- Goji berries – Packed with nutrients, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. They’re a good source of fiber and make a nice addition to trail mix (x).
- Strawberries – Have minerals, vitamin C, folate and phenols (essential antioxidants) (x).
- Fatty fish – Fatty cold water fish, such as sardines and tuna, are high in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B12, which are great for brain health and inflammation, which may cause fatigue (x).
- Eggs – Have a ton of protein, which provides a good, steady source of energy throughout the day (x).
- Sweet potatoes – Great sources of carbohydrates, which provide energy. They are also high in fiber, which may slow digestion, maintaining energy longer (x).
- Dark leafy greens – Full of protein, antioxidants and other nutrients like iron, calcium, folic acid, magnesium, potassium and vitamins C, A, E and K (x).
- Dark chocolate – Less sugar than milk chocolate, so it doesn’t provide energy as immediately. But it does have antioxidants, so it may help the heart pump more blood and oxygen to the body for more energy (x).
- Oatmeal – Rich in fiber, which makes the body feel full for longer. Oats are also rich in B vitamins, iron and manganese (x).
- Brown rice – Unlike white rice, brown rice retains its husk, which helps the body digest carbohydrates more slowly. It has a low glycemic index and maintains steadier energy levels (x).
- Soybeans – A great option for plant-based protein with vitamins like magnesium, iron, zinc and calcium (x).
Next time you feel the energy draining from your body, put down the coffee and reach for a healthy, energy-boosting snack instead. There are a wide variety of options. If any of these don’t quite work for you, there are plenty more to choose from. Ask your doctor about the best options for your health and your needs.