Did you know that magnesium helps your body convert sugar to energy? Nuts like cashews, hazelnuts, pecans and almonds are loaded with magnesium. As an added benefit, nuts are high in fiber so they keep you full between meals. Sometimes they’re just that little boost you need to keep hunger at bay, and the fiber keeps your blood sugar levels steady as well.
Most of us get our energy from carbohydrates, but you want to make sure you’re getting the right kind of carbs. You want to eat natural complex carbs rather than carbs high in refined sugars and flours. Whole grain breads and crackers are a great source of complex carbs that can keep your blood sugar steady after a meal. After all, you want to prevent the peaks and valleys in blood sugar, because it’s those valleys that make you sluggish!
You don’t want that afternoon energy crash, but that’s what you’ll get if you eat sugary snacks or foods that are heavily processed. You can easily incorporate whole grains into all three meals as well as your daily snacks. Oatmeal and high fiber cereals are good breakfast choices, whole grain sandwich breads are great for lunch, and whole grain pastas or dinner rolls make a great supper choice. Throughout the day, make choices like whole grain granola or crackers to keep your energy up and your tummy from growling.
Who doesn’t love an excuse to eat chocolate? This is a great choice for a lunch or dinner dessert or a snack between meals. It has to be dark chocolate though—70 percent or higher cacao. Milk chocolate is too high in sugar. Dark chocolate, on the other hand, has no sugar and also contains theobromine, a natural energy-boosting and mood-boosting stimulant.
You can never go wrong with fresh fruit as part of a meal or as a snack. Fruit is loaded with fiber to keep blood sugar levels steady, and its natural sugar provides a quick boost of energy when you’re sluggish and dragging.
It’s easy to incorporate fruit at every meal. For breakfast, have it as a side to your eggs, or make a fruit and protein smoothie. Have fruit as a side dish or dessert for lunch and dinner. Keep an apple or pear on your desk for a quick between-meal snack, or add fruit to yogurt for a nice treat. Blueberries help with focus and strawberries are high in vitamin C which helps convert fat into energy. Pineapple is loaded with iodine to help your body burn energy.
Sauerkraut might not be the first thing you think of as an energy boosting food, but raw sauerkraut definitely helps your body maintain energy levels throughout the day. Sauerkraut is fermented cabbage, and the fermentation process makes it high in probiotics to help your digestive system function more efficiently. So the next time you have bratwurst or a hot dog, don’t forget the sauerkraut!
Asparagus has a high B vitamin content. Those vitamins turn carbs into fuel which definitely helps you maintain energy levels all day. Asparagus is also loaded with fiber which steadies your blood sugar levels. Asparagus is typically available year round these days in grocery stores. Have it as a side dish, make a yummy asparagus salad, or just eat it raw. Many people have started incorporating asparagus at breakfast, too, by adding it to an omelet to start the morning off on the right foot.
Adding lemon slices to water is an age-old secret done in many countries around the world. Try it. Make your own natural energy drink rather than buying one of those store-bought energy drinks that are loaded with sugar, caffeine, and who knows what else! Just slice lemons, add a few slices to water, let it sit for about 10 minutes so the water soaks up all that lemony goodness, and voila—you have a power-packed drink.
Lemons are high in vitamin C and antioxidants that help your cells produce energy. The lemon also helps detoxify your liver, and the hydration is a great added benefit, because when you’re properly hydrated, you experience less fatigue.
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