If you’re determined to live life to the fullest, eating well is one of the best ways to stay healthy and active. Could your energy levels use a boost? Try adding these six surprisingly healthy and nutritious foods to give you more energy:
Why it’s so good: Hummus is made from ground chickpeas, which are high in slow-release protein. Foods rich in slow-release protein help your blood sugar levels remain stable – which means you’ll feel full for longer and avoid mid-morning or afternoon energy slumps. Hummus is also low in fat and calories, and sugar free.
How to eat it: Dip raw vegetables such as peppers and carrots into hummus for an added hit of vitamins – and a satisfying crunch. Or eat it with whole-wheat pita bread toasted and cut into strips – the combination of chickpeas and whole grains contains the full range of amino acids, which your body needs to convert food into energy.
Tip: Planning to switch up your diet for the better is one of the best ways to maintain good health. But sometimes diet changes come with unintended consequences – like digestive disruption. Nourish the good bacteria in your digestive system and add more good bacteria* by taking Align Prebiotic and Probiotic Gummies.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
2. Dark Chocolate
Why it’s so good: Chocolate contains a substance called theobromine, a natural stimulant similar to caffeine, which not only gives you an energy boost but also increases feel-good chemicals called endorphins.
How to eat it: Choose dark chocolate over milk chocolate (which contains more sugar and fat), and pick one with a high percentage of cocoa solids. Eat a square or two after exercising, or mid-afternoon as a treat. Alternatively, grate a small piece over your morning cup of coffee.
3. Sweet Potato
Why it’s so good: Tastier and more nutritious than white potatoes, sweet potatoes are packed full of carbohydrates to keep you fuller for longer, plus vitamins A and C to help your body fight fatigue.
How to eat it: Mash the potatoes, or cut them into strips, toss in olive oil and roast for a healthier version of french fries. You can also bake them in the oven as you would a normal baked potato, and then serve with plain Greek yogurt, salt, chili powder and a squeeze of lime juice.
Why it’s so good: One of the best foods for energy, apples aren’t just full of essential immune-boosting vitamins, they’re incredibly high in fiber, too, which takes a while to digest and keeps you fuller longer.
How to eat it: Apples are delicious on their own, of course, but they can also be dipped into natural yogurt or grated over oatmeal in the morning (oats are another great energy booster). You can also blend apples and pineapple to make a smoothie. Pineapple contains iodine, a substance that controls how quickly your body burns energy.
Tip: While lots of acidic foods like apples, pineapples and oranges are packed with essential nutrients, eating foods with high acidity can potentially damage your enamel. The foaming formula in Crest Whitening Therapy Enamel Care Toothpaste wraps around each tooth to rebuild and fortify weakened enamel for a stronger, whiter smile.
Why it’s so good: Despite its reputation as a treat, you may be surprised to learn that air-popped corn is whole-grain and high in fiber, which helps fuel your body for longer. Scientists have classified popcorn as a superfood because it contains more antioxidants known as polyphenols than some fruit and vegetables.
How to eat it: Make your own popcorn by cooking popping-corn kernels in a microwave or a popcorn maker. Topping it with butter or sugar cancels out the health benefits, so eat it on its own, or try drizzling it with olive oil mixed with oregano or garlic powder, or coconut oil mixed with jerk seasoning or curry powder.
Why it’s so good: Unlike refined sugar (white table sugar), honey contains much healthier fruit sugar (fructose). This provides your body with proteins, minerals and substances called amino acids, which it needs to convert food into energy.
How to eat it: Treat yourself to a teaspoon for a quick pick-me-up, or mix it into a cup of hot water with a squeeze of lemon. Lemon juice contains electrolytes your body’s cells need to produce energy, so mixing lemon with honey is like making your own natural energy drink!