Over the last few years, I’ve become more interested in the most energizing foods to eat, instead of the ones lowest in calories. No longer am I interested in eating to lose weight, but instead, eating for the best energy and mental focus. Lucky for us ladies, eating energizing foods are also an easy way to eat healthy to maintain a healthy body naturally, without calorie deprivation. Energizing foods aren’t foods high in refined sugar, carbs or unhealthy fats. Instead, they’re powerful sources of easy to absorb nutrients that our body can easily turn into energy to last us all day long. If you are lacking energy and need some tips for what to do with your diet, check out my personal favorite list of energizing foods to eat. I think you’ll quickly see that healthy eating isn’t only tasty, but also energizing and enjoyable!
1. Leafy Greens
We’re told to eat leafy greens for every health reason under the sun, but greens truly are one of the most energizing foods to eat of all. Why? They’re a powerful source of key nutrients like magnesium, B vitamins, iron and even protein that help your body to process nutrients to turn them into energy quickly. They’re also easy to digest so your body doesn’t have to work hard to process them, robbing you of energy in the process.
Oats are one of my favorite healthy and energizing foods to eat every single day. Each morning, I make a batch of what I call “Superfood Oats” that has a mix of oats, quinoa and flax or chia seeds. I cook up about ⅓ cup with almond milk, stevia and cinnamon, plus a little water, and it’s absolutely delicious. Oats are rich in B vitamins that are crucial to your energy. They’re also a vital source of easy to digest protein and one of the most tolerable grains to consume, even to those most sensitive. Oats are also a great food that fights cholesterol in the body and they give you energy for hours! I last at least 4 hours without a twinge of hunger after I have my oats. I highly recommend adding them to your diet if you’re not on board yet!
Fish is also a rich source of B vitamins, magnesium, and thyroid-boosting nutrients. The protein in fish is also easy to digest and wonderful for your body and muscle tone. Fish isn’t as dense as meat, so it doesn’t rob your energy as easily. It’s also very lean, which promotes healthy muscles that also boost your energy by increasing your metabolism. Choose sources like salmon, trout, tuna, and halibut for the highest omega 3 content and lower sources of mercury.
5. Hemp Seeds
Hemp seeds are one of my personal favorite superfoods, and have been for years. I like to snack on Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts in my yogurt, or add them on top of a smoothie. I also like making raw treats with them as well like energy bars or protein bars. Raw hemp seeds are rich in omega 3 fatty acids, they’re a complete source of protein, and they’re full of B vitamins, thyroid-boosting nutrients like selenium and magnesium, and they promote alkalinity in the body. Alkaline foods help fight inflammation that steals your energy and robs you of vitality. Add hemp seeds wherever you can, or add hemp protein, my other favorite way to use hemp, to your smoothies, oatmeal or yogurt. You can even eat it plain with some almond milk, stevia and cinnamon to make your own yummy healthy pudding.
Let’s talk about one of my personal obsessions when it comes to energizing foods - cacao, or dark chocolate. Both are fabulous ways to increase your energy and they’re also great for your mood, weight, and your heart. Cacao’s antioxidant content is well above most all other foods on the planet, along with its magnesium content. Magnesium is critical to your muscle function, nervous system and your metabolism. Magnesium is also quickly depleted by the body by physical and emotional stress, making it essential to eat foods rich in the nutrient to replenish levels regularly. Cacao is one of the most dense sources of magnesium, and the healthy fats do not raise your cholesterol. If you consume cacao powder, or cocoa powder, you’re also taking in less calories than by choosing the nibs or dark chocolate, but both sources are great for you whether you choose powder or whole forms.
Maca is a superfood we hear a lot about, but many of you still might not be using it. I’m here to tell you that I can tell such a difference in my energy with maca, than without it. Maca boosts natural hormones in the body, and sluggish hormone function can quickly lead to low energy. Maca takes care of that and more. Maca has been proven to improve athletic performance and fight stress that steals energy because it is an adaptogen. It helps your body respond to stress however needed and helps to give you balance and vitality. It also has a delicious malty, caramel taste that is wonderful in smoothies and even in oatmeal or yogurt.
Besides chocolate, coconut is a personal favorite food of mine. Coconut is rich in MCT fats that boost energy quickly. These fats don’t have to be digested by the body, but instead, they’re used by your liver to provide quick energy fast. This boosts your thyroid, along with boosting your metabolism. They also help excrete toxins out of the body and help to provide essential enzymes and B vitamins needed for energy as well. I love having a tablespoon of raw coconut butter when I’m tired or need a boost. It does the trick every time, and it’s amazingly satisfying as well.
Quit fearing coffee! Though it’s thought of as a beverage, it comes from the green coffee bean, which is one of the most energizing foods you can consume. In fact, though the beans are roasted, they still retain many of their nutrients like B vitamins, magnesium, and even iron, which help to energize you and improve your mood greatly. Though you don’t want to overdo it, coffee is a great way to access immediate energy, and provides a calming sense to the body at the same time. Have just one or two cups before your next workout and see if you don’t perform better, and feel better all day long. After that, better make it decaf though. Too much coffee can have the opposite effect and make you jittery and then tired from the crash later on.
9. Sweet Potatoes
One of my favorite energizing carbs are sweet potatoes! I love sweet potatoes and eat them when I need a serious energy boost. Sweet potatoes are rich in thyroid boosting nutrients, like B vitamins, magnesium, and they contain potassium that help your muscles function better. Potassium also fights water retention that can rob your energy and it even helps quell inflammation. Sweet potatoes are also low on the glycemic index, and despite their high carb content, they actually help you feel fuller faster and lower your insulin, unlike all other potatoes.
10. Chia Seeds
We all know chia seeds are amazing, and there’s no need for me to try to be the first one to say so, but they still had to make my list. Chia seeds are incredibly energizing and full of vitamins and minerals that help you feel like Superwoman all day long. I find that just 1 tsp. a day does wonders for me, but feel free to add more, to whatever foods you like.
Lastly, it’s time to get some green energy, from one of the most powerful superfoods of all. Spirulina is not just hype in the superfood department either. It’s a fabulous source of nutrients like iron, Vitamin B12, magnesium, and Vitamin A that nourish your thyroid and help to provide immediate energy. I add just 1 tsp. to my morning smoothie and it always does the trick! Try it for yourself and see if you don’t feel amazing! Spirulina’s color can turn some people off, but well disguised in a smoothie, you’ll never taste it, but I promise you will feel it!
If you’re looking to improve your health, body and energy, along with your brain, eat the 11 foods above. Within a week, I promise you’ll feel like a new person in no time. What’s your favorite energizing food?