You’re exercising, getting enough sleep and eating what you think is a healthy diet, but you still feel lethargic throughout the day. A common challenge for most individuals is getting past the 3pm energy slump. Naturally, our energy dips after eating a meal due to the energy required to digest and uptake the nutrients from the foods we most recently consumed. A slight energy dip after eating is inevitable, but it shouldn’t last for the rest of the day. Try incorporating these energy boosting foods into your meals and track them on the Wholesome App to stay on track with your fitness and health goals!
Kale is my go to green for endless energy. This heart healthy green is packed with nearly 5 grams of fibre per cup and is loaded with iron, a common mineral deficiency in most vegetarians and vegans that is linked with poor energy. Kale makes a fantastic base for any salad as it is quite hearty and filling. It also makes the perfect addition to any smoothie if you’re needing some extra greens for the day.
Nature’s perfect grab and go fruit that you can find at almost anywhere - coffee shops, gas station convenience stores and grocery stores. Bananas, like kale, are a fantastic source of fiber and natural sugars. These yellow gems contain on average 17 grams of natural sugar. These sugars can be broken down into three different types - glucose, fructose and sucrose. Glucose and fructose provide a quicker source of energy as they naturally spike blood sugars resulting in an increase in energy, whereas sucrose provides more a steady, longer lasting stream to keep your energy from plummeting later on in the day.
Salmon is one of the world’s most popular choices of seafood and for good reason! This fatty fish is rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids. In terms of vitamins, salmon offers a potent source vitamin B12 or cobalamin, one of our eight key B vitamins that is responsible for energy and maintaining a healthy nervous system.
Who doesn’t love almonds and almond butter? Almonds tend to get a bad reputation for their high caloric content, but the more energy (aka. calories) that you provide your body with, the more energy you will have. Almonds are a fantastic source of healthy omega-6 fatty acids and help to maintain blood sugar levels throughout the day - yay for no more 3pm energy slumps!
Eggs, one of the best protein sources and energy boosters. Similar to salmon, eggs provide both protein and vitamin B12, a vitamin that we must obtain through food as our body doesn’t produce it itself. Consuming healthy sources of protein helps us feel more satiated and keeps our energy levels consistent throughout the day.
Spinach, a must eat food for anyone looking to increase their energy, lose weight and maintain muscle mass. This dark leafy green is rich in fiber, folate and vitamin K. Folate helps our bodies turn food into usable energy and dramatically increases the nutrients that our bodies uptake from the foods that we are consuming. More folate = more energy!
Protein keeps your cravings in check, your blood sugar levels stable and your energy levels high. Chicken is a fantastic energy booster because it satiates your appetite for hours on end. The more frequently you are eating, the more energy your body has to expend to breakdown the food. By eating protein rich meals at set times during the day, your body can optimize the calories and energy that it is taking in from your 2-3 meals per day and put it to good use!
With over 2,500 different varieties of apples grown in the U.S alone, how could you get bored with apples! Just like bananas, apples provide a quick and healthy source of natural sugar with approximately 4 grams of fiber per piece. These sweet gems make a fantastic addition to any omelette, salad or a green smoothie if you need a quick pick me during the day.
9. Chia Seeds
If eat any seed, make sure it’s chia. Chia seeds are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, plant based proteins and nearly 11 grams of fiber per ounce. That’s nearly unheard of for a seed to be so fiber dense and rich. Chia seeds have a perfect fat to protein ratio that provide a steady stream of energy release throughout the day. This magical seed has so much filling fiber that it’s hard to overeat as the seeds themselves can absorb nearly 10 times their weight in liquids. Once the seeds mix with water or juices in the stomach, they swell, taking up large amounts of space which leads to increased levels of satiation and fullness.
Last, but not least, cacao. Commonly confused with cocoa, cacao is the raw and unprocessed version of America’s most beloved chocolate ingredient. Cacao is one of the ultimate foods for energy and concentration. Cacao is naturally high in magnesium, which helps to boost energy and optimize our uptake of oxygen in our bodies resulting in a higher caloric burn and lower blood pressure. Cacao is also a natural source of caffeine with 12.4 milligrams found in every tablespoon. Try making a chocolate banana smoothie with cacao powder, protein powder, banana and almond butter for an all day energizer!
Track your micronutrients and calories
Not sure if you’re getting enough protein, healthy fats, iron and vitamin B12 in your diet? Start using the Wholesome app to make sure you are meeting your nutritional need while still enjoying healthy versions of the foods and meals you love. The app is customizable and is suited for everyone with a wide range of health and wellness goals in mind!