Healthy High Energy Foods That You Will Love
Groom+Style’s vision is to empower our readers to live smarter lifestyles. From enabling more informed purchasing decisions through our detailed and entertaining reviews, to encouraging healthy exercise with the teams motivating and thoroughly researched workout articles. The team are constantly investigating and testing products, talking with experts, and then applying the advice in our own lives first, before making recommendations. In this article the Groom+Style team list their top healthy high energy foods that we are sure you will love as well.
The area of dietary science is very divided. Theories and expert advice change over time, and you can find diets at all extremes such as the fruitarian diet (only eating fruit) to the ketogenic diet (high fat, adequate protein and low carbohydrate).
The Groom+Style team have tested various diets over the years, however we typically return to a balanced diet high in fresh foods such a vegetables, fruits, nuts, with a moderate amount of carbohydrates and protein – nothing novel or extreme.
Rather than try to encourage you to stick to another fad diet, the Groom+Style team wanted to provide you with a list of healthy, high energy, tasty foods that you can eat or snack on regularly. These foods will support a balanced lifestyle of work, exercise and play. The team took a poll and came up with the following list.
Apples aren’t only good for keeping the good ol’ doc away, they’re also great for keeping energy levels up. Due to their high fiber content, apples take time to digest, which means you won’t only perk up with a bite, you’ll also stay more energized for a longer period of time. Eating apples also boosts the body’s intake of essential nutrients.
Another trail food staple for the outdoor-loving folk is almonds, which come packed with manganese, riboflavin (vitamin B2), copper, and protein, all of which play a big role in producing energy. Make your own trail mix with almonds, adding peanuts, pistachios, dried fruit, pretzels, whole grain cereal, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds for more optimum energy. Tip: A great place to pick up natural nuts is from online stores; you can also search for a discount code first before purchasing.
Want energy? Eat rice—more specifically, manganese-rich brown rice. Manganese is a mineral that helps the body generate energy from carbohydrates and protein, and eating brown rice will surely give you the high energy you need to keep you going throughout the day. Rice can be paired with steamed veggies and lean meat for a well-balanced meal.
Whole Grain Cereals
What high-fibre, whole grain cereals do is slow down the release of glucose (e.g. fuel) into the bloodstream, which results in a consistent level of energy throughout the day. To gain more benefits, go for whole grain cereals that are already fortified with vitamins and minerals. For added protein, eat whole grain cereals with a glass of skimmed milk, or as toppings on non-fat Greek yogurt.
The consumption of eggs during training or before a big sporting event has been featured in many feel-good movies (Rocky Balboa chugging raw eggs, a Japanese football player eating a dozen or so boiled eggs in “The Replacements” and so on), and for good reason. The protein in eggs is known to have the highest biological value of any food, and is a steady and sustained source of energy. In fact, the quality of the protein in an egg is so high that it is used as the standard for measuring the protein quality of other food. It’s also packed with essential vitamins and minerals, including B-vitamins that are responsible for turning food into energy. Big plus: you can eat eggs in many different ways!
These little powerhouses can pack a punch when it comes to providing the body with energy. Soybeans, in particular, are high in energy-giving nutrients such as copper, B-vitamins, and phosphorus. B is for beans and B-vitamins: B-complex vitamins break down the carbohydrates you consume into glucose. Meanwhile, phosphorus and copper are essential in converting the food you eat into energy and releasing it into the body’s cells.
This is the sweet you won’t mind your kids gobbling up. Sweet potatoes are not only high in carbohydrates, they’re also rich in vitamins C and A. Cut them into strips, add a bit of oil and bake them into sweet potato fries, or mash them for a sweet-tasting side dish.
Some people believe bees have somehow managed to transfer some of their good, hardworking qualities, into the honey they make, because honey is now considered as nature’s organic alternative to energy drinks. Honey is popularly known as a sweetener, but its also provides much needed energy to muscles, especially during exercise and other physical activities. In addition, it is great for muscle recovery, and with its low glycemic index, you won’t have to feel guilty about that extra spoonful you add to your afternoon tea.
Runners and hikers swear by bananas to give them the energy they need while they’re out on the road or on the trail. Bananas are composed mostly of fiber and B-vitamins, and help slow down digestion. They’re also rich in potassium, which prevents muscle cramping. Oats and bananas go well together for breakfast. For more added flavor eat bananas with peanut butter.
Kale is finally getting the attention it deserves. This superfood is an exceptional energy booster and is high in vitamins and minerals, particularly calcium. To get the most benefits from kale, make sure you cook it in balsamic vinegar and oil, so that the energy-producing nutrients are digested and absorbed easily. You can even make kale chips for when you’re craving something crunchy to snack on.
Considered a power grain, quinoa is rich in protein, complex carbohydrates, B-vitamins, and fibre. Eating quinoa will keep you feeling full and energized for hours or between meals. You can eat it like oatmeal (with cinnamon, almonds, and raisins) or like rice (with lean meat or/and vegetables), or even mixed into a salad.
Those who grew up in the 1980’s associate spinach with strength, thanks to everyone’s favourite sailor Popeye. However, what spinach actually does is provide the body with iron, which is necessary in producing energy. Nutrition experts suggest having a spinach salad for lunch to prevent an afternoon energy slump.
Hummus is made with chickpeas (also known as Garbanzo beans) and is a great healthy, high-energy snack. Hummus contains healthy fats, protein, as well as fibre. It’s usually served as a dip for pitta bread and crackers, but for a healthier alternative, replace bread with carrots and cucumbers.
An obvious choice to boost energy, coffee with skimmed milk can boost your vitamin D and calcium. Take it hot or iced – 8 ounces is usually enough to get the energy you need to kick-start your day, or get your energy up in the afternoon. Not a coffee drinker? Take green tea instead, which also contains caffeine.
Chocolate will definitely give you an energy boost – just make sure it’s at least 70 percent dark (the darker, the better). Dark chocolate is an excellent source of magnesium and iron, and contains a natural stimulant called theobromine, which is similar to caffeine and is a great energy booster. In fact, researchers from the Kingston University in London found that cyclists who snacked on dark chocolate were able to pedal not only faster, but further.
Hydration and Final Tips
Don’t forget to drink plenty of water, which is needed to transport nutrients and get rid of waste that causes fatigue. Always drink plenty of water throughout the day so your body can metabolize the food you eat into energy and drink more if you do a lot of physical activity to avoid dehydration.
Bonus tips: for a different kind of water, try coconut water! Eat with friends and family (away from screens), take your time and enjoy the social aspect of dining together.