Do you ever find that some days are hard to get through, mainly due to a lack of energy? If you often feel lethargic, and catch yourself yawning one too many times throughout the day then this could be largely down to your diet. We live increasingly busy lives these days, so naturally we look for convenience in all aspects of our living, including our meals. Food is a great source of energy, and if you aren’t eating from the right food groups then you might start to feel depleted. If you feel severely down on energy then there is a possibility you could also be anaemic, but check with your doctor first, however this can also be helped with eating the correct foods.
Here’s what you should be packing in your lunch bag for a much needed energy boost:
The world has gone a bit quinoa crazy over the past year, and for good reason too! Often mistaken for a grain, quinoa is actually a seed and is highly nutritional. Packed with protein, quinoa releases energy slowly throughout the day, try and incorporate it into your lunch (it’s great in a salad) to keep your energy levels up for the rest of the afternoon. You’ll benefit from an abundance of minerals, and it’s also said to help boost your metabolism so a great healthy all-rounder!
The perfect mid-morning snack when the hunger pangs for lunch are already kicking in! Full of vital nutrients such as magnesium and Vitamin B that can cleverly convert food into energy, these are the perfect little booster. The only issue with nuts is they can be a little calorific so try not to eat more than a small handful a day.
Bananas are a popular pre-workout snack, largely due to their ability to promote sustained energy and muscle function. Not only are they super tasty, they contain just the right amount of fibre and proteins to upkeep your energy levels and ensure you feel fuller for longer. Try to add a banana into your daily breakfast routine to kick off your morning off the best way possible.
Not only is it free, water is one of your best sources of energy. Hydration is absolutely key to maintaining energy throughout the day, so if you find yourself reaching for a coffee over a glass of water regularly, now is the time to try and switch your habits. Water is essential for transporting nutrients around our body and getting rid of waste that can actually cause fatigue. Keep your body topped up with enough fluid throughout the day for ultimate concentration, aim for 8-10 glasses a day, and more if you’re exercising too.
These little seeds can actually pack quite a punch. A fantastic source of protein, a generous handful of pumpkin seeds will leave you feeling full, and your energy will last a lot longer than if you were to choose a sugary snack. These are great on their own, but if you’re not a fan then try sprinkling them on top of a salad or whizz them up in your nutribullet to make a lovely creamy smoothie.
What’s not to love about coconut? A taste of summer at your desk is sometimes just what you need to push through a Monday afternoon. If you’re feeling sluggish then coconut might just be your answer, due to its medium chain triglycerides. These are a type of fat that can be turned into energy pretty efficiently! The humble coconut is very good at using up our energy on the go rather than storing it as fat, so the next time you’re at the supermarket pick up a coconut to avoid that late afternoon wave of tiredness.
20 throughout the Eggs
How do you like your eggs in the morning? Personally, scrambled but however you like your eggs these are a solid source of both iron and protein, both of which are necessary for maintaining your energy levels. Due to their high levels of Vitamin B, eggs are great at naturally converting from food into energy allowing it to be released throughout the day. How about a nice breakfast omelette tomorrow?
Kale has become quite a trendy vegetable, and you might be sick of seeing ‘Kale’ tee shirts and sweatshirts, but this is a vegetable you should definitely be adding in to your diet. Kale boasts a high level of handy vitamins and minerals such as iron, potassium and copper which all enable us to enjoy a boost of energy as well as other various health benefits. To make the most of this vegetable, you should cook it to enable your body to absorb the nutrients but if you don’t particularly enjoy the taste then it’s the perfect base for a green smoothie. Yum!
Another efficient energy converter, salmon is rich in vitamin B6 which converts food into energy, it also has a high omega-3 content which is said to help reduce the risk of heart diseases and lower your cholesterol. Serve with a side of brown rice for an extra energy boost as this will also help to maintain your energy throughout the day and leave you feeling anything but empty.
Well, I had to end it with a sweet treat after all of these ultra-healthy foods! Dark chocolate isn’t all bad, in fact it’s actually quite good for you in moderation. Due to its iron and magnesium, it can actually provide you with energy but be sure to check that it’s at least 70% cacao.
Add a variety of these foods into your meal plan and you should start to feel much more energised and motivated in your day-to-day life!