TOP 5 ENERGY FOODS!
Quality nutrition is important for high energy and preventing fatigue throughout the day. However, it’s not only about the quality of the food, but also the quantity of the food and beverages you consume that will affect your energy level. For example, overconsumption of salty, high fat foods such as deep dish pizza, French fries and cheese quesadillas will leave you feeling like you need an afternoon siesta within an hour. A healthier substitution is a good source of lean protein and fiber such as grilled fish and dark leafy green vegetables. We met up with Courtney Walberg, registered dietitian, to find out what to eat to keep energetic all day long!
Says Courtney, a good rule of thumb for remembering energy boosting foods is to think of high quality, lean protein and/or vegetables or fruits that are low glycemic index and high fiber. The foods listed below are a few of Courtney’s favorites for long lasting energy!
Wild salmon. This superfood is also packed with brain and heart healthy omega 3 fatty acids, which aid in reducing inflammation (to soothe aches and pains and help manage chronic inflammatory diseases such as Crohn’s disease, arthritis, diabetes, etc.)
*Enjoy 3-4 ounces of grilled, baked or broiled salmon at least 2-3 times per week!
Kale.The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) rates kale as the top all around vegetable. 1 cup of cooked kale contains cancer fighting antioxidants and more than 10 times the daily-recommended intake of Vitamin K, which helps with blood clotting.
*Kale can provide special cholesterol lowering benefits by steaming it for 5 minutes. You can also sauté it with garlic, lemon and a little olive oil for a healthy twist.
Edamame or soybeans.This plant protein is high in iron and fiber and half a cup contains as much protein as a 4-ounce chicken breast. It is also a great source of calcium, copper, folate, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, thiamine, Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Vitamin K. Consuming soy protein is a great way to lower your saturated fat and cholesterol intake, which is usually higher in animal proteins.
*Find fresh or frozen edamame and boil or heat it with a touch of sea salt. Enjoy it as a mid afternoon snack or an appetizer before dinner.
Quinoa.Most commonly considered a grain, quinoa is actually a relative of leafy green vegetables like spinach and Swiss chard. It is a high fiber, ‘gluten free grain’ (meaning it contains no wheat, rye, oats or barley) and contains all of the nine essential amino acids. It is a great source of manganese, magnesium, folate and phosphorus.
*This “grain” is helpful more specifically for people with Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, diabetes, atherosclerosis, migraine headaches or just those individuals who want to follow a healthy, balanced diet with more variety!
Almonds.This nut is versatile and can be used throughout the year as a healthy snack or addition to sweet or savory dishes. Almonds are high in the antioxidant Vitamin E, and contain magnesium, potassium as well as the heart healthy monounsaturated fat, which help to reduce the “bad” LDL cholesterol and reduce risk of heart disease.
*Enjoy 1 ounce (20-22 raw, unsalted almonds) as a snack with a medium organic apple. If you’re dieting, almonds are great to incorporate and slim your waist.