Five Energy Boosting Foods That Are Fun To Eat!
Posted July 11, 2010on:
And they’re healthy, too! This isn’t one of those posts that will tell you to eat bean sprouts all day, because don’t they taste great? No, we have to be realistic. Most of us don’t belong to the 0.5% of the population who feels that cabbage is the best food on earth. (Besides… who really gets an energy boost from eating vegetables all day? We need something we can sink our teeth into!)
But we’re in luck, since there are many natural, whole foods that are good and good for us! Your best bet is to eat a small amount of whatever you’re eating every 3 to 4 hours, to keep your furnace stoked. Also, be sure you’re keeping yourself hydrated, since dehydration can often zap our energy.
So, in no particular order…
1. Yogurt, preferably Greek yogurt. I like Greek yogurt better because of its thicker, creamier texture – it feels more extravagant. And, Greek yogurt contains more protein than regular yogurt. Yogurt is also a great source of calcium. Try to choose varieties that are lowfat and low in sugar. I like to buy the plain unsweetened and add my own flavorings such as fresh berries and a dab of maple syrup.
2. Almond butter. Yeah, for years, we were told that nuts were too high in fat to enjoy on a regular basis. So you don’t want to eat the whole jar, but do spread a tablespoon or two on your morning (or afternoon) whole-grain toast. Why? Again, another great protein source, but also a great source of those healthy unsaturated fats! This is a great weapon against heart disease.
3. Fresh berries. It took me a long time to warm up to these, having grown up with an anemic berry selection, but especially when I moved to the Pacific Northwest, where the berries are truly freshly picked – these are nature’s candy. I have my favorite local blueberry farm, and I’ve been known to keep a container of their berries at my desk or my mid-day snack. Berries are high in fiber and yumminess, but they are also nutrient-packed, an especially good source of antioxidants. Mix them into your Greek yogurt!
4. Beans! Wait, I thought this was the “fun to eat” list. No, but really, bear with me: there are lots of great recipes out there for ‘em! My favorites are garbanzo beans, which combine well with tomatoes and garlic. They’re a great source of protein and fiber, they fill you up, and they’re inexpensive! Beans contain not only soluble fiber (the kind that helps reduce your bad cholesterol) but also insoluble fiber (the kind that acts as a roto-rooter to help clean bad stuff out of your gut). Give beans a chance – you’ll be amazed at their versatility!
5. Dark chocolate… but before you go running for the vending machine, beware, as this is unfortunately not permission to eat the entire chocolate factory. To get the full antioxidant benefits associated with dark chocolate, you will need to eat chocolate that contains at least 70% cocoa. And please don’t overdo it – try not to eat more than two small squares a day, or you might feel run-down. Small amounts will energize you and make you happy, whereas large amounts might have the opposite effect!
As you can see, there are plenty of tasty and nourishing foods out there that can keep us going throughout the day. I’ve listed some of my favorites – now, it’s your turn! What are some of your favorite healthy ways to stay energized, food-wise, throughout your day?