Boost Your Energy With Food

Thursday December 17, 2015

Almond berry crunch granola websm

Whether you’re winding down from vacation or preparing for back to school, it’s extra important to maintain your health and energy.  Boost your energy with these simple ingredients without breaking the bank or adding an extra cup of joe!

1. Chia – Chia seeds in their raw form contain key components to boosting your energy level: iron, magnesium and potassium. These are important in keeping your energy up because they help with keeping water in your body and avoiding mineral deficiencies and dehydration.  While chia seeds are a great replacement for eggs (1 tbsp of seeds plus 2 tbsp of water make up one egg), they are most effective when they aren’t baked or cooked.  Add these little seeds to your yogurt, smoothies, or granola for a great way to kick start your day!

2. Berries – Berries are full of Vitamin C and antioxidants, which are vital in boosting your energy.  Acai berries, goji berries and blueberries are all superfoods to help build your immune system which in turn, keeps you going!  Of course, the other berries (straw, cran, rasp, and black) play a great role in energy level too.  With berry season coming to an end, be sure to buy extra and freeze them!  Frozen berries are great for smoothies and muffins (by mixing them in frozen, they keep their shape better in the batter before they are baked). 

3. Oats – Like chia seeds, oats are packed with many of the essentials to boosting your energy.  The grain contains b vitamins, magnesium, iron, and beta glucans.  Beta glucans are what help keep you feeling full and provide long-lasting bursts of energy.  Iron helps you maintain energy and you can find 4mg of iron in every half a cup of oats – which makes up almost 20% of the recommended daily intake!  There are many ways to include oats in your meals, including oatmeal, burgers and energy balls!  Do not fret if you have a gluten intolerance – wheat-free oats still provide the same benefits as regular oats.  At Community Natural Foods, we have Only Oats, a wheat-free farmer-owned company based in Saskatchewan, and Pure Oats from Nature’s Path if you’re looking for gluten-free instant oatmeal. 

4. Leafy Greens – Leafy Greens boost the body’s immune system, and a healthy immune aids in healthy energy levels! The most fulfilling greens include kale, swiss chards, romaine and spinach which all provide B & C vitamins, iron and magnesium (are you starting to see a trend?)  Other than salads, add leafy greens to smoothies or pasta and reap the benefits they provide!

5. Sweet Potatoes – Not only are sweet potatoes easy to digest, they are also a great carb source to keep you energized!  Many runners will keep a baggie of cooked sweet potatoes with them during marathons to fuel them during the run and steer clear of hunger.  Sweet potatoes have an ampule amount of potassium (more than bananas) which helps to lower blood pressure.

6. Coconut – Sure, you’ve already heard how wonderful coconut oil is and it’s many uses, but there’s a reason why it’s so popular!  Coconut in any form can boost your energy very quickly because your body doesn’t store it’s healthy fats as weight and instead, uses it for energy.  It also doesn’t raise your cholesterol rate or heart disease so indulge as you please!  Throw coconut shreds in oatmeal or granola bars, coconut oil in smoothies or salad dressings, or try coconut yogurt!

7. Cacao – Now you can actually believe yourself when you tell people that chocolate is good for you (to a certain degree)!  Cacao, the purest form of chocolate, is one of the most energizing plant-based ingredient due to its natural complex alkaloid that enhances blood flow, mental focus and mood.  To get the full benefits of cacao, it’s best to indulge in it as its raw cacao form, and avoid milk chocolate that is high in sugar.  Try making your own chocolate milk with cacao powder to sip on its own or add to your next smoothie!

8. Bananas – Peel back the peel and enjoy the many energy boosting properties of bananas!  Known for being high in potassium, bananas also are a great source of magnesium and Vitamin B6, both of which kick your energy into gear and increase positive moods.  If you partied too hard the night before, eat a banana to level out your electrolytes.  Of course bananas are popular in baking with things like banana bread, but they can also be used as an egg replacement in chewy baked goods (like brownies) – one ripe medium banana replaces one whole egg.

9. Maca – Maca is the perfect replacement for coffee and is known to be one of the best superfoods for boosting energy because it contains all the essential amino acids.  Maca is a root vegetable found in the Peruvian mountains and can often be found in powder or liquid form.  It is great source to nourish joints and muscles, which makes it a great addition for pre or post workout smoothies.