7 Healthy Ingredients You Should Always Have on Hand for Energy
The clock is ticking closer to 2 PM and you’re feeling it: the mid-day slump. Your energy is lagging, your mind is roaming, and your body is begging you for a nap. You need a boost – and fast!
Our energy levels peak and dip throughout the day, depending on everything from what we’re eating to the amount of caffeine we drink to any exercise or excitement in our day. When you’re dealing with low energy, it’s easy to resort to grabbing another cup of coffee or slamming an energy drink, but that’s not necessarily the best way to perk up. These quick fixes can lead to a crash landing later. Instead, stock your refrigerator shelves and pantry cupboards with healthy ingredients for meals and snacks to keep your energy up when you feel that slump coming on.
Start your day with a warm bowl of oats, which will feed your body throughout the day and keep your energy levels up. Go for a more complex carb like steel cut oats and customize your bowl with your favorite milk or non-dairy milk, fruit, spices, or whatever else you fancy at that moment. If oatmeal isn’t your favorite, try quinoa instead — it’s packed with protein and complex carbs for all-day energy.
Add some salmon to your lunchtime salad to reap its many benefits. Salmon is high in B-vitamins, which can make you feel more energized – not to mention it’s a great source of omega-3s for your heart and brain. Is there anything this flavorful fish can’t do?
Loaded with good fats, avocados can be used in so many ways to fuel your body and inspire some culinary creativity. Slice them and drizzle with hot sauce to perk up your senses and system, blend one alongside your favorite smoothie ingredients, or snack on homemade guacamole. However you choose to enjoy an avocado, it’s a great option to keep on hand for multitasking benefits.
An energy slump often goes hand-in-hand with the urge to start snacking on sugar but consider opting for a banana over a handful of candy. It’s still sweet, but it’s a better way to satisfy your sweet tooth while sustaining energy.
Mixed nuts and nut butters.
If your midday snack cravings lean more towards salty and savory than sweet, mixed nuts (preferably unsalted or lightly salted) or nut butters should be your new go-to. They contain carbs, protein, and good fats to help fuel your body and keep you feeling satisfied, and they’re versatile too; add nuts to your salad, blend nut butter into a smoothie, or pair either with some sliced apples, cheese, or celery for a filling and nutritious midday treat.
If you haven’t tried cooking with lentils yet, what are you waiting for? They may be teeny tiny, but they’re packed with fiber and iron to keep you feeling satisfied and help reduce blood sugar spikes. Lentils are also a culinary workhorse – you can add them to soup, blend them up for hummus, sprinkle them in salads, and so much more.
Sometimes the best way to beat an afternoon slump is to step away from what you were doing for a few minutes – and what better way to refresh your mind than with a ceremonial matcha tea ritual? Matcha is an antioxidant-rich green tea powder with a variety of wellness benefits, from energizing your mind and body to potentially lowering blood pressure. Matcha is super versatile and can be enjoyed any way you like it, from a latte to an iced drink to a classic cup of hot tea. Try this quick latte recipe to get started on your path to matcha goodness.
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