After the holidays, we’re all typically a bit more sluggish and have less energy than usual from all the celebrating. Festive food and drink from parties and large celebratory meals often leave us starting the New Year feeling less dynamic than our typical, energetic selves. The New Year is a great time to start fresh and reassess how what we’re putting into our bodies affects how we feel.
Here are 10 top energy boosting foods to incorporate into your daily nutrition plans:
If you haven’t jumped on the chia seed bandwagon, it’s time you start.
Carolyn Brown, MS, RD at Foodtrainers in Manhattan said, “Chia seeds give you stable energy because of their great ratio of protein, fats and fiber combined with the fact that they’re low-carb.” She added that “[t]hey won’t cause spikes and drops in blood sugar or insulin levels, preventing cravings and overeating later.”
A simple way to ease yourself into enjoying this superfood is this yummy recipe for chia seed pudding. It’s made with coconut, vanilla, any sweetener, chia seeds and optional cinnamon.
You can also add chia seeds to smoothies or yogurt.
Suffering from a bad reputation, some people still live under the myth that eggs are bad for your heart. But the experts now report otherwise.
“Eggs provide high-quality protein and heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids and help stay energized and prevent overeating,” according to Elisa Zied, RDN, CDN, author of Younger Next Week.
So, relax and enjoy an egg for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Use them in your favorite recipes and casseroles for more energy throughout the day.
This food adds the filling feeling of grain to super-protein benefits to give you the best of both worlds.
“It is also high in folate, magnesium, phosphorus and manganese, making it a nutrient-packed source of carbohydrates for long-lasting energy levels,” according to Dr Lindsey Duncan, celebrity nutritionist.
Plus, there are so many amazing dishes you can make with quinoa. If it isn’t already, it’s sure to become a staple in your diet this year.
This category includes beans, peas – such as chickpeas – and lentils. A powerful high fiber, lean protein source, legumes come in a wide variety that you can serve in many ways with almost any type of meal, without ever getting bored.
They can help you maintain a stable glucose level and are also quite heart healthy!
Fatty fish such as tuna, salmon and mackerel are also heart healthy and provide energy by boosting circulation. High amounts of protein and B vitamins provide the energy increase source.
However, remember to check the current guidelines for the safe amounts of these fish you can consume because of mercury levels – especially if you are pregnant or nursing.
Yogurt, especially Greek yogurt, contains remarkably high amounts of protein compared to the number of carbs. It also boasts healthy fats, which help fuel you longer without feeling hungry, and probiotics to keep your gut healthy and rid yourself of sluggishness.
Greek yogurt with fruit can be a good substitute for a quick cereal and milk breakfast.
Spinach and other leafy greens such as kale, arugula and romaine can actually boost your mood and reduce depression. Primarily, it’s the vitamins and minerals that work to improve energy. Specifically, amino acids and tyrosine – have been found to improve alertness.
Even if you don’t enjoy the taste of spinach, there are plenty of ways to hide it: in casseroles, omelets or even in smoothies!
From almonds and hazelnuts to cashews and walnuts, these protein-filled foods provide substantial energy. Their added benefit stems from their magnesium content, which converts sugar into energy.
Enjoy the crunch of nuts on their own, use them to make trail mix or sprinkle them into or on your favorite dish.
The antioxidant and high-fiber qualities of these berries help make their energy boosting qualities linger on. Blueberries are also as good for you frozen as fresh, so you can enjoy this fruit all year long.
Use them in almost any type of dish, savory and sweet, salads or smoothies. In season, blueberries are best straight from the carton.
Despite the bad reputation of carbs, foods such as oatmeal and brown rice can help maintain your blood sugar levels.
Lisa Moskovitz, RD, founder of The NY Nutrition Group explained, “High-fiber whole grain cereals slow the release of glucose into the bloodstream which ultimately translates to more consistent energy levels throughout the day.”
As a result of consuming complex carbs, you should be less likely to reach for sweets and other empty carbs throughout the day.
As you start the New Year, keep your eye on the ball of what foods can help give you that extra edge to keep you moving and charged-up throughout your busy day. By consuming more of these ten, top energy boosting foods as part of your daily nutrition needs, you will do more, achieve more and feel more like the self you want to be.