We all know how important breakfast is. It replenishes the energy you lost while you were sleeping (almost 80% of your energy supply), and mentally prepares you for the new day. The trick is eating the right kinds of food so you get the most out of this meal. Let’s be honest, that’s easier said than done.
Most days it’s just more convenient to grab a bagel or get something on the way, or, even worse, skip it altogether. While that may be easier to do, it’s the exact definition of what not to do. And you’ll quickly feel it as the day rolls on and your brain starts feeling lethargic and uncooperative. It’s your brain’s way of telling you it’s running low on fuel.
To prevent this from happening, start by making a list of nutritious, energy-boosting foods you enjoy. It requires a bit of planning ahead of time to get things ready for the week ahead. This way, you wake up and know what’s on the menu for breakfast without any hassle or fuss.
Part of planning is knowing, first off, what makes a nourishing breakfast. Here are the basic components to make any meal nutritious, especially breakfast, according to Harvard Medical School:
• protein for sustenance
• complex carbohydrates which is digested slower than other types of nutrients.
• Fiber; another nutrient which is slowly absorbed by the body
• healthy fats.
With that being said try eating these simple, yet nutritious foods at breakfast to keep you feeling energized and on top of your game all day long.
High Energy Foods For Breakfast Foods
High in protein, eggs help curb your cravings and boost your concentration levels. Protein also slows down the digestion process which means you get more energy for longer periods of time. Adding whole-grain bread to your eggs means you’re giving your body even more
Energy to help keep you going.
Rich in complex carbohydrates, oatmeal is the ultimate go-to breakfast for high energy. It’s a viscous fiber which curbs cravings and hunger pangs. Oats also stimulate the brain into releasing serotonin; a chemical that helps maintain focus and lower stress. Oatmeal can be sweetened with honey, fruits, chocolate chips, seeds, spices like cinnamon, or nuts.
A very delicious and nutritious part of breakfast, fruits contain everything you need to stay alert, attentive and motivated well into the day. No matter what type of fruit you pick, it’ll most likely contain vitamins, minerals, fiber as well as pack a high water volume. Some also are loaded with antioxidants, like berries, which fuels your brain, protects your heart and eliminates toxins from your cells.
4. Cottage cheese
A wonderful choice for breakfast, cottage cheese has it all; protein that boosts metabolism while decreasing ghrelin (the hunger hormone) levels. This stimulates feelings of fullness while maintaining energy levels. Plus, it’s a great source of calcium.
5. Peanut butter
Contrary to what many people think, peanut butter is not fattening when eaten in moderation, and doesn’t increase cholesterol levels. In fact, it’s just the opposite. Peanut butter contains monounsaturated (the healthy type) fats which increase HDL (the good cholesterol) levels while reducing LDL (the bad cholesterol) levels.
It also contains protein, as well as magnesium, which slowly releases energy to keep you alert and on your toes for longer periods of time. A serving of 2 tablespoons on whole-grain toast topped with jelly or banana slices is a perfect start to your day.
By nourishing yourself with these healthy options, you’re sure to get through the day without feeling tired or sluggish. Not only that, but by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, you’ll be able to prevent many chronic diseases, and enjoy a healthy, well-balanced way of life.
High Energy Foods For Lunch
Do you often find yourself crunched for time when your lunch break comes around? So you do the easiest thing and head to the vending machine or order takeout from the nearest diner. Then by 3pm, you’re exhausted and mentally out of it.
Eating processed, sugary, fatty junk foods is what reduces your energy levels, rather than boosting it. This is why you find yourself feeling groggy and sluggish half way through the day.
When this happens, steer away from excessive caffeine consumption and sugary snacks because they give you a quick mental boost by giving your blood sugar levels a short-lived spike, followed by a quick crash because your body uses up all your energy to digest them.
Why not try something healthier that’s sure to prevent any afternoon meltdowns?
Try foods loaded with proteins, fiber and complex carbohydrates because your body digests them over a long period of time, and slowly releases them into the bloodstream. This keeps you fueled and alert all day.
The science behind is that foods high in protein increase focus and keep you alert. Carbs, like fruits, vegetables, hummus, whole-grain pasta and brown rice, help balance out blood sugar levels giving you long-lasting energy to keep you on top of your game.
This also enhances your overall lifestyle because eating the right types of food helps maintain a healthy weight, plus prevent chronic diseases, such as heart disease, high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and diabetes, and many more.
With a little planning ahead, you can enjoy these lunch ideas that will boost your metabolism and give you plenty of energy to last through the day.
6. Healthy fats
Salmon and tuna are high in omega-3 fatty acids which plays a major role in lowering cholesterol levels and protecting you against heart disease. Top that with the other minerals and nutrients they contain which help convert your food into energy.
There are many vegetables out there to choose from, but one of the most versatile is spinach. Spinach is loaded with iron which is a main component when it comes to producing energy in the body.
Sweet potatoes are another great example. They’re rich in fibers, complex carbs, manganese as well as other energy-boosting nutrients, which all work to slow down digestion, thus providing you with ample energy for the entire day.
Almonds provide you with high levels of energy due to their high levels of manganese, copper, and protein. They also help neutralize toxins found within cells, giving you an even better energy boost.
Pistachios have a high protein content, fiber and monounsaturated fats which are the good kind. Combined, these nutrients are what make pistachios the perfect snack for keeping up your energy levels.
Bananas are high in potassium, fiber, vitamin B6, as well as natural sugars (glucose, sucrose and fructose) making them the ultimate go-to snack for a satisfying energy boost.
Apples are high in fiber, antioxidants, carbohydrates and sugars so they take longer to digest, providing you with hours of energy.
Oranges are rich in Vitamin C, folate and fibers. These juicy fruits give you the healthy type of ‘sugar rush’ which give off energy over longer periods of time.
10. Dairy products
Greek yogurt comes in a whole array of flavors, or you can buy it plain and add your choice of berries or natural sweeteners. The carbs in yogurt can be found in the form of natural sugars, protein, vitamins B6 and B12, as well as magnesium which is vital for providing you with healthy doses of energy, plus you get a healthy dose of calcium.
Milk has been getting a bad rep due to the fact that some people have trouble digesting its proteins. But now there are many types of milk to choose from, such as soy, almond, reduced fat, skim, organic, low-fat, lactose-free. You can also find flavored milk, or make your own smoothie or milkshake and choose the flavors you prefer. Milk is high in protein, calcium and other nutrients that help boost energy levels while increasing focus and concentration.
Last, but not least, don’t forget to drink enough water during the day. Dehydration could also be one of the reasons you’re feeling lethargic and tired. Make sure you drink adequate amounts of water to help preserve and boost your energy and concentration levels.