While it's true that your body converts all food into energy, there are certain foods that can produce more energy than others. Although you may find yourself craving a sugary treat during your mid-afternoon slump, try to keep in mind that items high in sugar, fat and calories can leave you feeling fatigued because they require more energy to digest.
Instead, fuel your body with these high-energy foods that will keep you powering on all day long, whether you incorporate them into your main meals or enjoy them on their own during snack time.
They're loaded with protein, vitamins, and minerals you need to feel awake, alert, and productive all day long — plus, they taste great, too!
Packed with protein (7g per 100g serve!), fibre, and vitamin B9, chickpeas are a great mid-afternoon snack that will give you the boost of energy you need to make it to the end of the day. Roast them up yourself by sprinkling a layer of chickpeas on a lined baking tray with spices like cumin, salt and paprika, and baking for an hour at 150°C fan-forced. Or, why not try our Pumpkin Chickpea Hummus recipe, made with only 8 ingredients?
Adding a scoop of tuna to your salad at lunch will give you the energy you need to power through the afternoon. Tuna is an excellent source of B vitamins, which your body uses to convert food into energy, and a serving of tuna also contains almost 25 grams of protein, which will keep you awake and alert.
For starters, avocados are full of healthy fats, which have been shown to enhance the way your body absorbs nutrients and can also be stored by your body to be used as energy sources. The fibre in avocados helps maintain steady energy levels and they’re also a great source of B vitamins, which your body uses to convert food into energy. Mash about 1/3 of a ripe avocado and slather over a piece of whole-grain bread. Sprinkle a pinch of sea salt on it, and you are good to go. If you’re feeling creative, try this Sweet Potato and Carrot Avocado Toast recipe.
Since this grain is rich in manganese — the mineral that helps produce energy from protein and carbs — it will help you maintain high energy all day.
High in carbohydrates and loaded with beta-carotene (vitamin A) and vitamin C, these will help fight off midday fatigue. Try this Stuffed Sweet Potatoes Recipe for size and let us know what you think!
A spoonful of honey is nature's equivalent of an energy drink. Low on the glycemic index, this natural sweetener acts as a time-released muscle fuel during exercise and helps replenish muscles post-workout. Add a sweet drizzle to your yoghurt or try it in our healthy Chocolate Protein Mousse recipe!
Because they are composed mostly of sugars (glucose, fructose, and sucrose) and fibre, bananas are a foolproof energy food.
Packed with protein, manganese, copper, and riboflavin, almonds are a handy snack to keep at your desk or in your bag. Copper and manganese play an essential role in keeping energy flowing throughout the body by neutralising toxins within cells. Riboflavin aids oxygen-based energy production.
Eggs are packed with protein, which can give you a steady and sustained source of energy. Additionally, leucine is the most abundant amino acid in eggs, and it’s known to stimulate energy production in several ways. Leucine can help cells take in more blood sugar, stimulate the production of energy in the cells, and increase the breakdown of fat to produce energy. Moreover, eggs are rich in B vitamins. These vitamins help enzymes perform their roles in the process of breaking down food for energy. Our Spring Veggies Breakfast Egg Wraps from THE BOD Fuel are an amazing way to start your day.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when it comes to maintaining energy levels throughout the day:
- Avoid high sugar foods - High sugar foods can cause a spike in your blood sugar which causes your body to release too much insulin. The surplus insulin then creates a dip in blood sugar levels known as a "sugar crash”.
- Include some healthy sources of fat - Fats such as olive oil, nuts, and oily fish, will help you feel full and keep you from over-snacking.
- Avoid too much caffeine - Too much caffeine actually depletes energy levels in the long term.
What’s your favourite high-energy food, sis? Let us know in the comments below!