When most people think about food that provides an energy boost, what come to mind is coffee, energy bars and energy drinks. These are okay if you want a quick burst of energy, but they often lead to a crash later on. They’re also not exactly healthy, especially if you use them constantly just to get yourself through a work day.
Instead of drinking several cups of coffee or cans of Red Bull and dealing with the inevitable crash, try some of these healthier alternatives. You’ll feel a lot better for it, and you will still have the energy to get to the end of your day.
Cinnamon and Honey
The sweet combination of cinnamon and honey actually has a lot of health benefits, not the least of which is the energy boost it can give you. The beauty of these healthy foods is that all of them can be made in your kitchen, without any outside help. Cinnamon is an excellent source of calcium, iron, vitamin C, vitamin K and fiber, while honey is a good source of glucose and fructose. Having a cup of cinnamon and honey tea every day is a great way to wake up and stay mentally alert throughout your day. A paste made from cinnamon and honey is also great when it is spread on toast instead of peanut butter or jelly.
Almonds are a great source of vitamin E, magnesium and protein, making them a great pick-me-up if you need a small energy boost in the middle of the day. About one handful of almonds should be enough to stave off your hunger and give you the energy you need to keep going until it’s time for dinner.
Chocolate probably isn’t what comes to mind when someone thinks of a healthy snack, but dark chocolate is actually loaded with theobromine and caffeine, both of which give you a powerful energy boost.
When it is eaten in moderation, dark chocolate can give you the energy boost you need without the crash that comes later with most sources of caffeine. The darker chocolate is, the less sugar and more energy-boosting potential it will have. Very dark chocolate is pretty bitter though, so be careful if you’re used to eating lots of milk chocolate candy.
Salmon has always been known as a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which can elevate your mood and even relieve symptoms of depression. It’s also much more lean than beef or pork, and it can be prepared in any number of ways. Baked salmon can be ready in just 20 minutes, and grilled salmon is great with lemon butter. No matter how you want to prepare it, salmon can make a tasty and healthy dinner.
Leafy greens such as spinach and lettuce are full of iron. Iron deficiency is one of the most common causes of chronic fatigue, so eating a salad with spinach instead of a greasy burger for lunch could help boost your energy levels. Iron also promotes red blood cell circulation, which can improve your concentration and help you feel more alert overall.
While it probably shouldn’t be loaded down with melted butter and salt, popcorn is a great low-calorie snack food for kids and adults. It’s very high in fiber and carbohydrates, both of which will boost energy levels.
These are just some of the many foods that you can eat to boost your energy levels. All of these foods are easy to work into your diet either as light snacks or in meals, so feel free to give them a try if you’ve been feeling sluggish during the day. As always, take everything in moderation, and don’t be afraid to speak to your doctor if you have any concerns about your health.