20 Power Foods to Eat to Boost Energy

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20 Power Foods

 

Power foods are drawing increasing attention as people interested in health and nutrition want to get as much bang for their calorie buck as possible. Certain foods can be termed power foods for two reasons. The first is that they contain a large amount of a certain nutrient. The second reason is that they have a certain effect on the diet. In this guide, we will be looking at power foods that will boost energy and metabolism in order to help you feel full of energy and make it easier for you to eat well without gaining weight.

Your energy levels and your metabolism both have important parts to play in your overall health and sense of vitality. If you feel as if you are dragging yourself through your days, or are struggling to lose weight no matter what you do, it’s time to look at your energy levels and metabolism.

Your energy levels refer to two things. The first is your sense of how you feel, such as tired, eager to do things, and able to meet the demands of your busy day without feeling drained. What you eat is an important part of your energy levels but so too are other lifestyle factors, including how much exercise you get, your sleeping habits, use of caffeine and other stimulants, and more.

The second is your energy in relation to the food you’ve eaten and your blood sugar levels. High blood sugar can make you feel ‘high’, as in a sugar high, or sugar rush. Low blood sugar can make you feel low, as in low energy, or even depression, and listlessness.

To maintain a high but healthy level of energy, it’s important to eat a balanced diet and avoid severe ups and downs in blood sugar. This can lead to Type 2 diabetes, or diabetic complications if you already have diabetes.

Eat high-energy foods. Plus, eat what we call slow carbs, or go low carb.

Slow carb foods are the opposite of the bad, fast-burning, high glycemic carbohydrates such as Pop-tarts. Also referred to as simple carbohydrates, or carbs, they dissolve quickly to sugar when you digest them. Think of the way sugar or honey melts in your mouth and you will get an idea of just how fast they release their energy into the bloodstream.

By contrast, slow carbs release their energy more slowly. They are also referred to as complex carbohydrates because they take some time to be broken down, digested and then their energy released into your bloodstream.

When you eat complex carbs and protein, there’s no rollercoaster of blood sugar highs and lows, and the wild mood swings and energy levels that go with them. Instead, you get a steady stream of energy that will sustain you throughout the day without leaving you feeling either buzzed or drained.

Simple carbs to steer clear of include white potatoes, white rice, white flour, and any product made from white flour, such as white bread cakes and cookies. It is important to note that any excess energy from carbs in the body will be stored as fat. Therefore, limiting carb intake can not only maintain your energy levels but keep you slim as well. Regular exercise can also prevent you from gaining weight and even boost your metabolism.



Your metabolism

We’ve all heard the word metabolism, but what does it really mean?

Your metabolism is the total amount of energy that your body burns. Whatever you do with yourself be it sleeping, working out, eating or just standing still your body is burning calories constantly.

The fact is that as we grow older our metabolism slows right down. There are signicant changes to it though it doesn’t just stop out right. There are a number of reasons why this happens.

The primary reason is that we have a lot more lean muscle mass when we are twenty than at Seventy. Lean muscle mass aids in burning calories and to keep our metabolism fast. It makes use of its fuel with more efficiency and doesn’t try to store the calories we eat as fat.Young people tend to be fat-burning machines naturally, as long as they don’t eat too much junk food and lead active lifestyles.

A few individuals have a higher metabolic rate naturally, and they can burn off the calories they consume and never gain any weight.

We will all burn calories and have different metabolisms – no two people will be exactly the same. At the same time there are some things that we have in common. That is that the additional energy we consume that isn’t use is stored as fat. The more lean muscle we have the more efficent our metabolism is.

Being careful about the foods we eat and how much we consume can help. If we choose the right foods they will stimulate the metabolism and keep us sated for longer.
Top tips for boosting metabolism

The main ways to boost your metabolism are:
• Eat slow carb and low carb
• Eat protein with each meal
• Choose healthy fats to feel fuller longer
• Plan your meals to include Energy-rich foods

Now that you understand energy, levels, metabolism, and eating lifestyle choices, let’s look at twenty power foods that can help you feel more vital and energized than ever before as part of your overall healthy eating plan to lose or maintain weight and feel great.

 

So Let’s look at these 20 Power foods;

We have also added this infographic below with 10 Energy Boosting Powerfoods that adds a few more to our list

HighEnergINFOGR

 

Almonds

Almonds
Almonds are packed with protein, fat and fiber, to help you feel full. They also lower cholesterol and are a crunchy, satisfying snack you can take with you anywhere without the need for refrigeration.

Almonds are a very good source of:

Vitamin E – a powerful, fat-soluble antioxidant that helps protect cell membranes against damage, and helps lower LDL cholesterol. It is great for healthy skin at any age.

Biotin (vitamin B7) – essential for converting food consumed into energy.

Copper – an essential trace mineral, present in all body tissues that plays a key role in the formation of connective tissues such as joints, ligaments, and tendons. It is also essential for the normal function of red blood cells, muscles and the immune and nervous systems and is heart healthy as well.

Magnesium – essential for heart and brain health

Molybdenum – essential for creating critical amino acids

Phosphorus – an important mineral for all cells in the body and particularly for bone health.

Riboflavin (vitamin B2), which helps us utilize the carbs, fats, and proteins we eat. Riboflavin converts these into energy and also serves as a disease-fighting antioxidant. It is also needed to properly use the vitamins niacin, folate, and vitamin B6.

B vitamins are essential for good health but they are water-soluble, which means they can’t be stored in the body and are flushed out along with toxins when we urinate. Stress levels and tobacco use also leech B vitamins out of our diet, as does not eating whole grains.

Therefore, if you’re feeling low-energy, it could be a B deficiency, in which case, try a handful of heart-healthy almonds. The downside it that they can cause allergic reactions in some people.

Avocado

Avocado Image
The avocado is a fruit with a large central stone and smooth, creamy flesh that can be turned into a range of dishes. It can be eaten right out of the skin, sliced up for sandwiches, and mashed to use in a range of recipes, from Mexican guacamole to chocolate cake.

Avocados are a good source of:

Dietary fiber – fiber helps you feel full and aids in digestion

Pantothenic acid (B5) – an absolutely crucial vitamin in relation to the overall health of the body, and the way it processes fat, and the metabolism as a whole

Vitamin K – Vitamin K plays a major role in aiding the blood to clot, it also prevents excessive bleeding. Additionaly it is required for bone health for older individuals.

Folate (folic acid) – essential for healthy pregnancies and to avoid birth defects

Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) – needed for more than 100 functions in the body

Potassium – an essential mineral, and an electrolyte that helps regulate heartbeat

Vitamin C – great for the immune system and skin, and essential for the absorption of iron.

Vitamin E

Copper

While it is true that the fat content in an avocado is about 71 to 88% of their total calories, about 20 times the average for other fruits, they are heart-healthy fats that can reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol and increase HDL (good) cholesterol. They are tasty, filling, and can hold up well without refrigeration, especially if you don’t cut them open.

Banana

Bananas

Bananas are rich in:

• Vitamin B6
• Manganese
• Vitamin C
• Potassium
• Dietary Fiber
• Biotin
• Copper

They are tasty, filling and are the perfect food to eat after a good workout. They lend themselves to smoothies and baked goods like banana bread and are a great snack to take anywhere without refrigeration.

Berries

Blueberries - Copy
All berries are rich in disease-fighting antioxidants. They are high in fiber and taste great. They can be incorporated into any meal, from breakfast to dinner and dessert. They are great for the nervous system, brain health and heart health. They also balance blood sugar levels.

They are a good source of:
• Vitamin C
• Vitamin K
• Manganese

In addition, they are rich in phytonutrients, that is, a range of chemicals found in plants that offer a range of healthful properties.

Dried fruit
power snackDried fruits such as raisins, cranberries, prunes, dates and figs are very sweet and can be eaten as is for dessert or be incorporated in a range of baked goods. They have slightly less mineral content that their fresh counterparts, but don’t spoil and can be taken anywhere without refrigeration. Just watch portion sizes, since they’re easy to overeat.

Dried fruit is rich in:

• Vitamin A – Essential For The Immune System
• Vitamin B
• Vitamin C
• Calcium-Essential For Bone Health
• Magnesium
• Phosphorus

Edamame

 

edamame

 

Edamame are young whole soybeans. They resemble pea pods with peas inside but have a thicker skin. They are rich in:

• Fiber
• Protein To Help You Feel Full
• Omega-3 Fatty Acids For Heart Health
• Vitamin C
• Vitamin A
• Calcium
• Iron – For Health Red Blood Cells

Eat them as a snack any time. They are also great in a stir-fry along with other Asian vegetables.

Flax seeds

Flax seeds are a nutty and crunch little seed. They are an excellent source of omega-3 essential fatty acids, which are needed for heart health. They are a very good source of dietary fiber.

In addition, they offer:
Vitamin B1 – (thiamine), a vital nutrient that plays an important role in maintaining a healthy nervous system and improving cardiovascular health.

Selenium- Selenium can help prevent coronary heart disease and reduces inflammation in the body that can trigger autoimmune diseases such as thyroid-related issues. Thyroid issues can contribute to energy levels and metabolism.

• Copper
• Magnesium
• Phosphorus
• And A Range Of Phytochemicals.

Add them to baked goods and use them to top salads.

Hummus (Chickpeas)
Hummus is a great dip, sandwich spread, and healthy substitute for mayonnaise in sandwiches. It is made up of chickpeas, a healthy food on their own, with tahini, that is, sesame seed paste, sometimes olive oil, and sometimes a squirt of lemon juice and/or garlic and some water to thin it if it gets too thick.

Chickpeas are low in calories and fat and high in protein and fiber. They are also packed with:

• Manganese
• Folate
• Copper
• Phosphorus
• Iron
• Zinc – boosts the immune system, lowers high blood pressure, maintains healthy skin, and promotes weight loss. It is also important for athletes to improve performance and strength.

 

Kale
Kale is considered to be amongst the top 10 most nutritious vegetables. It has firm green leaves full of fiber that can be eaten raw or cooked. It has an enormous amount of vitamin K, so those on anticoagulant drugs will need to avoid it.

• Vitamin K
• Vitamin A
• Vitamin C
• Manganese
• Copper
• Vitamin B6

Kiwi Fruit
Kiwi fruit are also known as Chinese gooseberries. Kiwi is the king of vitamin C. Vitamin C is essential for the immune system and overall health and healing. They are full of fiber, tasty and great to eat as is, or in a fruit salad or smoothie. Kiwi fruit are rich in:

• Vitamin C
• Vitamin K
• Copper
• Vitamin E
• Potassium
• Manganese
• Folate
Legumes
Legumes include peas, beans and lentils (red, green and brown). They are an excellent source of fiber and of non-animal based protein, so they have no cholesterol. They are very versatile and can be used in a range of cuisines from around the world. They are rich in:

• Calcium
• Folate
• Iron
• Magnesium
• Phosphorus
• Potassium
• Riboflavin B2
• Thiamin B1
• Vitamin B6
• Zinc

Oats (Oatmeal)
Oatmeal is full of fiber and is gluten-free. It does not have a strong impact on blood sugar levels compared with other grains, so it makes a good filling breakfast in the morning and an excellent base for baked goods. Oatmeal also offers protein and a range of other nutrients, including:

• Molybdenum
• Phosphorus
• Copper
• Biotin B7
• Thiamine B1
• Magnesium
• Zinc
Peanut Butter
The humble peanut is a member of the legume family and thus offers all of the benefits of peas, beans and lentils. Peanut butter, especially the natural kind that you have to stir if you want to re-incorporate the oil that has separate, is full of nutrition. It is a handy and portable snack, since it doesn’t need refrigeration. It is also a good substitute for butter in baking as long as no one is allergic. Its terrific nutritional profile includes:

• Copper
• Manganese
• Vitamin B3 (Niacin) help regulates heart health and type 2 diabetes
• Molybdenum
• Folate
• Biotin B7
• Phosphorus
• Vitamin E
• Thiamine B1

 

Popcorn
Air-popped popcorn that isn’t swimming in butter is an outstanding source of fiber and antioxidants. It is a delicious and nutritious low calorie snack you can take anywhere that will fill you up and perk up your energy levels. It contains the following nutrients:

• Thiamine B1
• Niacin B3
• B6
• Folate
• Magnesium
• Manganese
• Phosphorus
• Zinc
• Copper
• Iron

Quinoa
Quinoa, pronounced KEEN-WAH, is a small seed that is used in low carb diets as a swap for rice and pasta. It is packed full of fiber and nutrition and has a nice nutty taste. It can be a bit expensive, but cooking it in the microwave at a ratio of 4 parts water to one of quinoa will work well. Its nutritional profile includes:

• Manganese
• Copper
• Phosphorus
• Magnesium
• Folate
• Zinc

Salmon

Salmon 2
Salmon is the king of fish these days, low in calories and high in protein. It is an excellent protein alternative to red meat and poultry. Look for wild salmon. Salmon is rich in:

• Omega-3 Fatty Acids
• Selenium
• Phosphorus
• Potassium
• Niacin B3
• Pantothenic Acid B5
• Vitamin B6
• Biotin B7
• Vitamin B12-it is needed to convert carbs into glucose in the body, thus leading to energy production and an increase in energy. It helps foster healthy nerves and brain function, and is good for diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol issues.

Vitamin D – essential for bone and muscle health and the absorption of calcium. It is also important in older people to maintain their overall health and those with diabetes.

Iodine – essential for a healthy thyroid and metabolism; helps burn calories to stay slim.

Choline – Choline is similar to the B vitamins and is used by athletes for bodybuilding and delaying fatigue, especially in endurance sports. It also helps prevent birth defects and lowers cholesterol.

Sea vegetables
Sea vegetables is a blanket term for seaweeds such as nori, dulse, hijiki and so on. Seaweed has protein and fiber. It can be eaten as a salad or used to season plain rice. Nori is most often used in sheets to wrap sushi. Seaweed is packed full of iodine. Look at this amazing nutrition profile:

• Vitamin A
• Vitamin C
• Vitamin E
• Vitamin K
• Thiamine
• Riboflavin
• Niacin
• Pantothenic Acid
• Vitamin B6
• Folate
• Calcium
• Phosphorus
• Zinc
• Iron
• Potassium
• Copper
• Manganese

If you’re not already eating seaweed, it’s time to start. Note: some people have an allergic reaction to large amounts of iodine.

Spinach

spinach

Spinach is a super food that is low in calories and high in iron. It is a crispy topping for salads and sandwiches when raw and goes well with many foods as a side dish, or in omelets, quiches and so on. It is another super food packed with fiber, protein and other nutrients:

• Vitamin K
• Vitamin A
• Manganese
• Folate
• Magnesium
• Iron
• Copper
• Thiamine B1
• Riboflavin B2
• Niacin B3
• Pantothenic Acid B5
• Vitamin B6
• Vitamin C
• Vitamin E
• Calcium
• Potassium
• Phosphorus
• Zinc
• Choline
• Omega-3 Fats
• Selenium

Watercress

Watercress had a tangy bite to it and works well in salads, egg salad, and sandwiches. Rinse well before eating.

It promotes healthy connective tissue and strengthens bones. Nutrients include:

• Vitamin A
• Vitamin C
• Vitamin K
• and a range of minerals and phytonutrients similar to that of spinach.

Yogurt, Greek-style
Greek yogurt is thick, rich, creamy, and can be used in a variety of recipes. Stay away from ones with too many carbs. It is high in protein and is very filling. It’s also a good base for smoothies and shakes. Nutrients include:

• Vitamin A
• Vitamin B1
• Vitamin B2
• Vitamin B3
• Vitamin B5
• Vitamin B6
• Folate
• Vitamin B12
• Calcium

So there you go if you are feeling sluggish and need that extra boost of energy to get you through the day kickstart your metabolism with some of these nutrient rich power foods.

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