Instead of reaching for a high-caloric soda or chocolate bar to ward off your lagging energy, try one of the health foods listed below. You'll experience a boost in energy without all of the sugar, additives and the ultimate crash of junk foods. Eating healthy, nutrient dense foods, exercising and managing your weight are the best ways to ensure enough energy to make it through your day.
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Oatmeal is great for breakfast, but can also be an energising snack. Packed with protein, oatmeal also contains vitamin E, zinc, iron and selenium. Oats are complex carbohydrates, which provide needed calories for energy use. Oatmeal is also high in soluble fibre. According to the American Heart Association, soluble fibre is thought to lower cholesterol (particularly the bad cholesterol LDL), reducing the risk of heart disease.
To experience all the benefits of oatmeal, stay away from instant. Most instant oatmeal contains a lot of sugar, a great way to experience a lag in energy. For a change, try steel cut oats otherwise known as Scottish oats.
Red and other dark skinned grapes are full of antioxidants and manganese. Manganese helps your body maintain normal blood sugar levels, which play an important role in marinating your energy level. Grapes are also a good source of thiamine, potassium, vitamins C and B6. As most people do not get enough water every day, grapes also help replenish depleted water levels.
Rich in energy giving nutrients, grapes are also handy and easy to eat. They are great for a quick, on-the-go snack. Try freezing them for a cool summer time treat.
Grape juice provides some of the same benefits as whole fruit, but many commercially packaged brands contain a lot of sugar, so be sure to read the label before consuming.
Ounce per ounce, almonds are the most nutrient-rich of all nuts. They are high in vitamin E as well as the mineral magnesium that is crucial for converting sugar into energy. Almonds are a good source of protein, great for sustained energy.
Almonds are usually available year round and are a great food to eat on the go. Try incorporating a few into your salad or yoghurt for an even better energy boost. Be sure to check the label before buying as some preparation methods, like dry roasting, often adds a lot of salt.
Squash is a great source of complex carbohydrates, which are easily converted to energy. Squash is also filled with vitamin B1 and C as well as folic acid and potassium. Winter squash such as butternut, acorn or pumpkin are also rich in vitamin B6. Summer squash---zucchini, yellow crookneck---although higher in water content, is still an excellent source of energy giving vitamins.
Available in a variety of types, squash is versatile food that can be cooked in a variety of ways. You can roast or grill and eat it plain or combine with other ingredients to make a casserole or bread.
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