Food

30 Foods That Energize the Body Better Than Coffee

Excess caffeine takes its toll on your body. In the long run, it is likely to increase your fatigue instead of boosting your energy. If you… Simi - September 13, 2018

Excess caffeine takes its toll on your body. In the long run, it is likely to increase your fatigue instead of boosting your energy. If you drink it with sugar, you may not realize just how much sugar you’re consuming in one day, and this sugar adds to that quick boost of energy that soon wears off and leaves you feeling more exhausted than ever. If you want to experience sustained energy throughout the day, drinking coffee is not the way to do it.

Keeping your blood sugar stable is the key to keeping your energy levels steady. This prevents you from experiencing energy highs followed by lows when blood glucose levels crash, and you feel tired and sluggish. Reaching for a quick, sugary fix or a cup of coffee keeps you trapped in an endless cycle of ups and downs. If you want to climb off that rollercoaster, certain foods are known for helping to release sustained energy. Caffeine or a sweet fix may perk you up for a while, but this is no substitute for foods with the right mix of nutrients that help to stabilize your blood sugar and prevent you from crashing. Eating food containing protein is important because its presence in food slows down the release of the carbohydrates into the bloodstream, preventing spiking or crashing.

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1. Oatmeal

Change your habit of grabbing a cup of coffee before you rush out the door and sit down to a bowl of oatmeal instead. Oatmeal has a low glycemic index because it contains complex carbohydrates. A bowl of oatmeal will provide you with all the sustained energy you need. People wanting to lose weight often shun carbohydrates, but the complex ones keep you feeling full for much longer and can help you to lose weight. Oatmeal contains both soluble and insoluble fiber. The insoluble fiber helps to prevent constipation and keeps your intestines healthy. The soluble fiber helps to stabilize your blood glucose levels and lower cholesterol.

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Oatmeal contains a number of essential nutrients. Some of the minerals it contains are zinc, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, selenium, manganese and thiamine. A cup of cooked oatmeal contains six grams of protein. You can boost the protein content by adding some delicious almond butter. This combination will keep you feeling satisfied and prevent you from making that teatime visit the vending machine or pastry shop. Oats also boost the production of serotonin so they can help to enhance memory and reduce stress. Stay away from oats full of artificial flavoring and added sugar.

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2. Eggs

Eggs for breakfast give you a good start to the day, and there are so many ways in which they can be prepared. Of course, they are a great source of protein, but they are also an excellent source of the B vitamins which are essential for energy production. A whole egg contains all the nutrients necessary to create a baby chicken, and so they are incredibly nutritious. When you take into account all the vitamins and minerals they contain as well as about 6 grams of protein and 5 grams of healthy fats, they make a very healthy addition to the diet.

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The role of eggs in the diet is controversial because they are high in cholesterol. One egg contains over half the recommended daily intake. 70 percent of people do not experience raised cholesterol in the blood from eating eggs. Your liver produces large amounts of cholesterol every day, and when you take in more dietary cholesterol, it produces less to even things out. There are different types of LDL cholesterol and eating eggs is believed to change the pattern of LDL cholesterol from small and dense to large, which is linked to a reduced risk of heart disease.

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3. Peppermint

Try replacing that morning cup of coffee with a cup of peppermint tea. The scent of peppermint decreases fatigue and increases alertness. At the same time, it relaxes your body and your mind. Peppermint tea is enjoyed all over the world for its refreshing taste and its therapeutic benefits. The menthol flavor is very appealing, and it is known to relieve the symptoms of colds and flu. It will not only help to relieve your symptoms if you’re sick but can prevent you from getting sick in the first place. Its antioxidant properties help to strengthen your immune system.

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Peppermint tea has a soothing impact on your digestive system. One of its most extensive uses over the years has been for stomach and digestive ailments. It helps with cramps, bloating and indigestion because it calms the muscles of the digestive tract. It is useful for treating constipation, diarrhea, and irritable bowel syndrome. The antispasmodic properties of menthol also help bring relief from mental stress, reducing blood pressure and body temperature. The mentholated flavor and antibacterial qualities help to kill germs leading to bad breath. Instead of starting your day with ‘coffee breath,’ your breath will be fresh and minty.

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4. Water

Many of us are not vigilant enough about drinking enough water every day. Dehydration can cause numerous health problems, even if it’s mild because water is required for so many bodily functions. Your blood, for example, is made up mostly of water, so water is needed if oxygen is to reach all parts of your body. If you don’t drink enough water, you become constipated, and waste products are not effectively eliminated from your body. When you’re dehydrated, your skin is vulnerable to premature wrinkling and skin disorders. Prolonged dehydration even leads to problems with reasoning and thinking.

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Water protects sensitive organs and tissues within the body, such as the spinal cord and the brain. Vitamins and minerals are dissolved in water to circulate through the body. It even lubricates your joints because cartilage is made up mainly of water. Long-term dehydration can result in pain because joints no longer have a shock-absorbing cushion between them. Water is needed to form saliva and mucus which keep the eyes, mouth, and nose moist, preventing friction and damage. It regulates your body temperature and helps to maintain blood pressure. It will even help you to lose weight if you drink it instead of sugar-laden juices or sodas.

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5. Cinnamon

Add some cinnamon to your oats in the morning and its scent will reduce your fatigue. You can even add a dash to your morning cup of hot tea. This delicious spice has many health benefits. It is full of antioxidants called polyphenols, beating other foods such as garlic. These antioxidants have anti-inflammatory properties, helping your body to fight disease. It has even been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease. In animal studies, it has been seen to decrease blood pressure and to raise HDL (good) cholesterol. Animal studies have also revealed that it may lead to improvements in Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, but human evidence is still needed.

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Insulin is a key hormone in the body, and many people are insulin-resistant. Cinnamon can reduce insulin resistance. It helps to lower blood sugar levels, regulate metabolism and energy use. It does this by decreasing the amount of sugar that enters the bloodstream after eating. It slows down the breakdown of carbohydrates in the digestive tract. It also improves glucose uptake by the cells by mimicking insulin, although it does act slower than insulin itself. Eating a half to two teaspoons of cinnamon a day can have an anti-diabetic effect.

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6. Beans

Beans are a good source of complex carbohydrates, protein, and fiber. They promote a slow, steady rise and fall in blood glucose levels, helping to stabilize your energy levels. The iron and B vitamin content of the beans also help to boost your energy. This very affordable source of protein, fiber, and vitamins has numerous other health benefits too. If you add beans to grains, you can turn an incomplete protein source into a complete one. They are lower in saturated fats and calories than some other sources of proteins, such as dairy products. Lima beans, soybeans, black beans, red beans, and garbanzo beans are just some of those available that make a healthy addition to many meals.

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The soluble fiber beans contain can lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of heart disease. They include many vital nutrients, including folate, which prevents neural tube defects in a fetus during pregnancy. Other essential nutrients are iron, zinc, and magnesium. Some studies have shown that beans could reduce risks of cancer because they contain antioxidants called polyphenols and also have anti-inflammatory properties. Black beans have the highest antioxidant properties. Don’t eat too many beans raw because they contain proteins called lectins that can cause digestive problems.

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7. Sesame seeds

The fiber and healthy fat content of sesame seeds will stabilize your blood sugar levels and give you sustained energy throughout the day. They are also rich in magnesium, which helps convert sugar into energy. The advantage of these seeds is that they can be used in so many ways, from adding to salads, mixing them into bread, grinding them into a paste like hummus or using them as a coating like breadcrumbs for chicken breasts. They are easily roasted by spreading them out in a pan and turning them continuously, so they don’t burn. Consuming excessive amounts can cause stomach and colon irritation.

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Apart from being a good source of energy, they contain a number of vitamins and minerals such as copper, calcium, potassium and magnesium as well as thiamin, riboflavin, folate, vitamin B6 and vitamin E. These nutrients offer a wide range of health benefits, including reducing hypertension, decreasing cancer risks, managing diabetes, boosting bone health and improving digestion. The copper they contain can help to reduce pain associated with arthritis by decreasing inflammation. Copper is also needed for iron uptake. This, in turn, ensures that all bodily systems receive enough oxygen to function properly.

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8. Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate contains bromine which is a natural stimulant. Eating it also stimulates serotonin production which elevates your mood and gives you more energy. If you want a healthy sweet treat, trying mixing dark chocolate chips with a bowl of air-baked popcorn or just eating an ounce of it as a snack. A good quality dark chocolate with a high cocoa content (70% or more) is a nutritious snack containing fiber, iron, magnesium, copper, potassium, selenium, phosphorus and zinc. It includes a minimal amount of caffeine compared to coffee which isn’t enough to keep you up at night.

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Cocoa contains a wide variety of antioxidants. There is significant evidence that it improves risk factors for heart disease such as lowering oxidized LDL cholesterol, increasing HDL cholesterol and improving insulin sensitivity. The compounds in cocoa are also believed to improve blood flow in the arteries and decrease blood pressure. This doesn’t mean that you should overeat dark chocolate. It still contains sugar and is high in calories. Having a square or two of good quality dark chocolate after dinner will give you something to look forward to that tastes good and has significant health benefits for you.

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9. Chia seeds

The ratio of fiber, fat, and protein in chia seeds make them an excellent option for sustained energy release. They don’t cause spikes or drops in energy levels that can cause overeating and cravings for beverages and foods that aren’t good for you. Chia seeds may also help you to lose weight because they absorb water. Add them to your breakfast smoothie, and they will keep you satiated for longer. Stop getting your kick from coffee and get it from your breakfast smoothie instead. They can be eaten unprocessed and are readily absorbed. The flavor is pleasant, so it is easy to add them to your diet.

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Various ancient cultures used chia seeds to give them endurance because they are full of complex carbohydrates. They also contain other nutrients that help to promote fitness and sustained energy such as essential fatty acids like omega-3 and antioxidants. Apart from using chia seeds in a smoothie, it’s also possible to use it in a number of desserts or the place of breadcrumbs. A refreshing chia pudding can be made with chia seeds, milk, vanilla, and honey. Other options are to mix them in your yogurt at breakfast or include them in a peanut butter sandwich.

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10. Avocados

Avocado on toast in the morning or added to your scrambled eggs will give you a serious morning boost of energy. They are a good source of monounsaturated fats which your body converts to energy and contain vitamin B which also boosts your energy levels. These fats and the fiber are slowly digested, so they keep you feeling full for longer and your blood sugar levels stable. These fats are good for your heart because they reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol. Avos are also full of magnesium and potassium, which are known to lower blood pressure. In fact, they provide more magnesium than many other fruits such as strawberries, kiwis and bananas.

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Avocados are rich in vitamin A and C, potent antioxidants that can slow down the aging process and offer protection against disease. They also contain more protein than most other fruit which, together with their fats and fiber, gives them that ability to create sustained energy. The fats in avocados are also believed to help your body to absorb other nutrients. Most people like the taste and they can be used in many different ways, including in salads, on pizzas, in sushi, and even in baking to replace butter.

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11. Greek yogurt

Greek yogurt will increase your energy levels more than other yogurts because it’s higher in protein. It also contains less lactose, salt, and carbohydrates than regular yogurt. High in calcium and protein, it’s easy to digest and includes enough carbs to be a good source of slow-release energy. It’s thicker and creamier than other yogurts because it is strained during the production process to remove lactose, sugar, and whey. Remember when you’re buying yogurt that not all yogurt is created equal, and you should go for plain yogurt with no added sugars or sweeteners.

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Greek yogurt contains probiotics, and these live micro-organisms are essential to keep the right balance of bacteria in your gut. This, in turn, helps your immune system to work more effectively, and you’ll notice that you’re more energetic and less susceptible to disease. It doesn’t matter if the yogurt you buy contains a little fat as it takes longer to digest and can decrease your appetite, so you’re not starving by lunchtime. Greek yogurt with some berries is an excellent energy-boosting choice. You can even add a little honey for sweetness rather than buying flavored yogurt which is usually high in sugar.

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12. Sardines

A can of sardines is packed with protein, fat, vitamins and trace minerals. Sardines contain all nine amino acids the human body cannot make. The body needs these amino acids to build and repair muscles, enabling you to recover after exercising and become stronger over time. If your body does not get in all the necessary amino acids, it starts to break down muscle tissue. The protein content helps to stabilize your blood sugar levels. The only concern about eating sardines may be the salt content which you can address by buying sardines in water with no added salt.

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Sardines are a rich source of vitamin B12 which is essential for converting food into fuel. B-complex vitamins are necessary for healthy eyes, skin, and hair and they also keep the nervous system functioning properly. These cold-water oily fish are one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Eating saturated fats can lead to weight gain and other health problems. Replacing them with the healthy fats found in sardines is a smart nutritional choice. Canned sardines don’t need to be cooked so you can easily add them to a sandwich, pasta, a salad or eat them on toast.

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13. Nut Butters

Nut butter offers a combination of protein, healthy fat and fiber that are winners when it comes to sustained energy. Nuts increase energy and satiety, so you’re far less likely to reach for an unhealthy snack when you experience a slump in the afternoon. The protein they contain helps you to feel full for longer. Most of the fat in nut butter, like almond butter, is healthy monounsaturated fat. This type of fat does not increase your risk of heart disease. Nut butters come in several varieties and can be used as a nutritious sandwich spread that’s satiating. The key to obtaining the full benefit of nut butters is to eat them in moderation. A teaspoon or two a day is more than enough.

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Almonds, hazelnuts, and cashews are all high in magnesium, which converts food into energy. .Just one ounce (about 23 nuts) of almonds contains about 20% of your daily magnesium needs. Magnesium deficiencies can lower energy levels and make it difficult to complete a tough workout. Insufficient vitamin B’s can also lead to irritability, poor concentration, and fatigue. Fortunately, using nut butters provide an easy way to up your magnesium and vitamin B intake.

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14. Dates

In many healthy recipes, dates take the place of other sweeteners. This is because they have a naturally high content of glucose and fructose which is used by the body for energy as they are rapidly absorbed into the blood. As it is all natural sugar, it does increase energy, but it does not cause that sudden spike in glucose levels and the subsequent crash caused by cakes and cookies. Muslims break their fast with dates because it increases their blood sugar speedily. Eating a few dates before any strenuous exercise can ensure that your muscles and brain get enough energy to perform optimally.

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Dates also help to relieve constipation due to their high levels of soluble fiber. This fiber absorbs water as it goes through the intestinal tract so that when it enters the colon, it hydrates the hardened faeces to allow for easy expulsion. Dates also have low levels of sodium and plenty of potassium. This allows for excess water and sodium to be excreted which helps to regulate blood pressure. Dates are also good buffers of cortisol, reducing its inflammatory capabilities. It’s believed that controlling excessive inflammation in the body can help with diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

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15. Asparagus

Asparagus contains vitamin B12 which helps to promote high energy levels by turning carbohydrates into glucose. Its low glycemic index means that energy is released gradually throughout the day. It also contains fiber which helps to stabilize blood sugar. When it’s in season, add it to your salad at lunchtime to help you get through the afternoon. A single cup of asparagus supplies you with vitamins A, C and K. It also includes 16 percent of your daily recommended intake of iron as well as 3 grams of protein. Like leafy greens, asparagus contains folate which works together with vitamin B12 to help protect against cognitive impairment.

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Asparagus also contains potassium which helps to lower blood pressure and chromium, a trace mineral that helps insulin transport glucose to the cells. It also includes a detoxifying compound that breaks down harmful free radicals. Most people choose, but there are those who eat it raw. Some plant-based foods are more accessible to digest when cooked, but asparagus is not. Buy local, organic asparagus when possible to avoid pesticides and chemical residues. Eat it raw as a snack, dip it into hummus or add it to a salad.

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16. Broccoli

Broccoli is full of fiber which helps to normalize your bowel movements, control your blood sugar and lower your cholesterol levels. Eating enough fiber appears to reduce the risks of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Fiber also slows down your digestion, so you feel full for longer. Broccoli contains a high amount of vitamin C which helps to maintain healthy eyes, skin, hair and boost immunity. It also contains vitamin K1, folate, potassium and manganese, and these nutrients are all necessary for optimal health. A lack of iron can cause a lack of energy and broccoli contains iron. Its chromium content helps to control blood sugar.

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Broccoli is rich in various antioxidants which have many known health benefits. It can be eaten both raw and cooked, but gentle steaming seems to offer the most benefits. Roasting it at high heat can deplete it of its nutrients, and many people do not like eating it raw. According to a certain study, steamed broccoli is effective at lowering cholesterol levels because it binds to bile acids and expels them from the body. Reduced risks of cancer, heart disease, and improved eye health have all been linked to consumption of broccoli.

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17. Bananas

Bananas do contain more calories and sugar than other fruit, but this does not mean they are bad for you. They provide a healthy, portable snack and are a great source of energy. They contain fiber, protein, potassium and vitamin B6, all of which help to promote muscle function and sustain energy. Pairing a banana with low-fat yogurt is a great combo to start your day. Although the protein content of banana is only 1.5 grams, it contains tyrosine, an essential amino acid for producing norepinephrine which affects your alertness levels, motivation and ability to focus.

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The natural sugar found in bananas is different from that found in cookies and sweets. This fructose is used to produce glucose which fuels your body and gives you energy. The vitamin B6 in broccoli helps the body to produce hemoglobin which carries oxygen from the lungs to every part of the body. Eating bananas before an intensive workout is an excellent way to keep the body fueled. They also satiate the craving for fatty foods although they contain almost no fat. Add them to a smoothie for a creamy consistency and the ability to curb your cravings for a sweet treat.

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18. Hummus

Hummus is a simple dip made from chickpeas, tahini (ground sesame seeds), lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, and salt. It is low in calories and fat, contains no sugar and is high in protein. It provides you with energy without making you gain weight. It can make a satisfying snack in between meals when paired with carrots or celery. It’s so rich in protein that it helps to balance your blood sugar levels and fight hunger pangs. The iron content also helps to boost your energy. It contains a wide range of vitamins and minerals which are necessary for good health.

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Hummus contains healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. It can be used to replace other foods that contain unhealthy fats. Try it instead of mayonnaise in a chicken salad or instead of cream cheese on a bagel. It also includes fiber which is beneficial for stabilizing your blood sugar. You will never be bored with hummus because you can flavor it in so many ways. Spinach, artichoke, olive, roasted red peppers or chipotle are just some of these flavors. While hummus is a healthy snack choice, consuming too much is unwise and can result in stomach problems.

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19. Sauerkraut

If you’re looking for a gut-friendly food that helps with bloating, irritable bowel syndrome, low immunity, and low energy, you should give sauerkraut a try. This fermented cabbage is a rich source of probiotics that help with gut health and improve digestion. When gut flora is in the right balance, your body doesn’t have to work so hard to digest food, so you have more energy. Kimchi, a spicy fermented cabbage used in Asian cuisine has the same benefit. Sauerkraut does not only help you to digest food but heals your gut and helps you to extract nutrition out of the other foods you eat.

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If you’ve got a jar, cabbage, and salt, you can make your sauerkraut. A jar of sauerkraut in your fridge means that it can be added at a moment’s notice to any meal. When first eating sauerkraut, it’s best to take it slowly. At first, try a forkful with a meal and see how your body reacts to it. It can take a while for your body to become used to it because the probiotics can cause gas and bloating. You must go slow, especially if you have compromised digestion. Cooking or canning sauerkraut will destroy the beneficial probiotics.

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20. Sweet Potatoes

A medium-sized sweet potato contains almost 24 grams of carbohydrates. Swapping bread, rice, and pasta for sweet potatoes with its complex carbohydrates can stabilize your energy levels. This is because they release sugar into your bloodstream more slowly than refined carbohydrates. They will keep you feeling full for longer so they may assist in weight loss. They are also rich in iron, beta-carotene, magnesium, and vitamin C, all of which are essential nutrients when it comes to feeling the sustained energy. They also contain vitamin A which is vital for healthy vision.

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The high potassium content helps to lower blood pressure and balance your electrolytes when exercising. Sweet potatoes contain both soluble and insoluble fiber, so you get the benefits of both. Lightly frying, mashing or roasting sweet potatoes makes them very tasty and easy on your stomach. Replace potato chips with sweet potato chips as a healthier alternative. Sweet potatoes contain more sugar, but they are lower on the glycemic index than regular potatoes because the sugar is absorbed slowly, preventing spikes. Eat baked sweet potato with a dash of cinnamon and a little salt for healthy, nutritious food that offers you sustained energy and satisfies your hunger.

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21. Watermelon

Nothing is more refreshing on a hot day than eating a piece of watermelon. It not only dehydrates you but gives you an energy boost. It contains many beneficial nutrients, including vitamin B6 which is used by the body to synthesize dopamine, one of the ‘feel good’ chemicals. The vitamin B6, B1, potassium and magnesium content all provide natural energy.

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Watermelon has a high vitamin C content and antioxidants which help to ward off illness and strengthen your immune system. Its potassium and magnesium help to reduce high blood pressure and the lycopene, vitamin C and beta-carotene lower cholesterol so eating it can help to prevent heart disease. It contains no fat or sodium and satisfies a desire for some sweetness.

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22. Pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds provide protein, fiber, and healthy fats, the ideal combination for giving you sustained energy. They are also rich in phosphorus, zinc, and magnesium which offer additional energy. They contain more fiber than many nuts, helping to prevent constipation and regulate your blood sugar. They are also a good source of iron which improves blood circulation.

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They are high in the fats your body loves which boosts your energy without harming you. They contain many other nutrients important for your digestion, mood and overall good health. The green raw pumpkin seeds contain chlorophyll which helps to alkalize and cleanse the body. Add the seeds to your diet by including them in a salad, a smoothie, or your oatmeal porridge.

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23. Goji berries

These berries have been used in Chinese medicine for centuries, and the Western world has now discovered their health benefits. They enhance the release of hormones and increase energy levels. They increase blood flow, helping to keep the cells oxygenated and allow the body to handle more stress. They are a source of protein and also contain vitamins B6, B1, C and E as well as trace minerals.

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Add these nutritious berries to your diet in many ways such as breakfast smoothies, in a trail mix or a chocolate dessert. They will not only make you feel more energetic but will give your immune system a good boost. They are also known to enhance your libido and slow down the aging process.

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24. Quinoa

The Incas believed quinoa seeds gave their warriors stamina. It contains all nine essential amino acids, so they were not wrong about the seeds being a good source of energy. Quinoa is packed with more protein than any other grain or rice. The seeds also contain plenty of fiber and are less ‘energy dense’ which means they have fewer calories for the same volume.

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Quinoa contains iron which keeps the red blood cells healthy and lysine for tissue growth. It is also a rich source of vitamin B2 which promotes energy metabolism in the cells and manganese which is an antioxidant. The high magnesium content helps to improve blood sugar control. Quinoa has a nutty taste and can hold its own as a side dish or be used as the base for the main course.

25. Tuna

It may not have the best smell but eating tuna for lunch can boost your energy for the rest of the day. Tuna is a good source of protein which your body needs for energy, especially when you haven’t eaten enough carbohydrates. The B-vitamins in tuna is also necessary for converting food to energy. A serving of tuna contains vitamin B12, B6, thiamin, riboflavin, folate, niacin, and pantothenic acid.

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Tuna is also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids that influence your brain function and antioxidants that protect your body from disease. It also contains tyrosine, a precursor to dopamine so it can play a part in your mental health. Eat it in canned form for a quick, healthy pick-me-up.

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26. Apples

Apples are made up of simple carbohydrates which can offer you a quick burst of energy. Perhaps an apple doesn’t provide the same stimulation as a cup of coffee, but it will stabilize your blood sugar and provide you with a slow release of energy. It contains carbohydrates and fiber which help to keep you feeling full for longer.

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Apples are rich in fructose which does not spike blood sugar levels, taking time to metabolize into glucose. Eating a small apple offers a constant supply of glucose to your brain and muscles for about an hour or more. The soluble fiber keeps you feeling full, so you’re less likely to eat other unhealthy snacks because your hunger pangs are kept at bay.

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27. Lean beef

We’re often told that red meat is bad for our health. However, the amount of protein found in lean beef can provide health benefits and keep your energy levels high without being bad for your heart. You shouldn’t eat more than 70 grams of red meat a day, but if you don’t consume too much, its iron, zinc and phosphorous content are valuable.

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Beef contains a number of B-vitamins which help turn food into fuel. The phosphorus gives you strong bones and teeth, the zinc helps your immune system, and your body uses iron to hold on to oxygen in the blood so it can be transported to the tissues Pair lean beef with some green leafy vegetables and you have a satisfying and energy-sustaining meal.

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28. Edamame or soybeans

Soybeans contain that perfect balance of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats, so your body burns them slowly, and you avoid that afternoon slump. For a plant food, edamame is high in iron, and half a cup provides you with a mix of the iron and other nutrients that elevate your energy levels and your state of mind.

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Edamame is a green or immature soybean and is found fresh or frozen in supermarkets, Asian markets, and natural food stores. You can buy them shelled and pop them in your mouth or boil them in salted water if they are unshelled and squeeze the bean out of the pods. They are rich in an essential trace mineral, molybdenum, which enhances concentration and stabilizes blood sugar.

29. Kale

There’s a good reason why nutritionists urge us to eat kale. This leafy green vegetable is packed full of fiber which can increase energy levels. It also contains vitamins A, K, and C as well as carotinoids. Any vegetable with a rich green color, like Kale, provides plenty of nutrients. Kale is full of flavonoids with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

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Skip iceberg lettuce and use kale as a base for your salads or add it to your smoothies. It’s best not to go overboard on kale because it can be hard on the digestive system, especially if eaten raw. If you eat it raw, only do so once or twice a week. Otherwise, you can lightly steam it, so you don’t lose the nutrient value.

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30. Brown rice

If you’re paranoid about eating too many carbohydrates, you may have eliminated rice from your diet. Adding some brown rice to your diet will not cause weight gain and gives you fiber and manganese, a mineral that helps to convert carbohydrates into energy. The slow release keeps blood sugar levels stable and energy levels consistent.

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The process used to produce brown rice removes only the outer layer of the kernel, and so it’s least damaging to its nutritional content. Brown rice is a good source of selenium, niacin, magnesium, copper, and phosphorus. Its tastes good with many other foods and is eaten as a side dish or a complete meal. You can easily add mushrooms, onions, seeds, nuts or spices to increase its flavor and nutritional content.

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