You've probably experienced how great some foods make you feel and how sluggish and icky other ones make you feel. For example, a heavy fast food meal usually leaves a person tired and unsettled, whereas a healthy salad will make a person feel virtuous and energetic.
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This proves that the foods you eat play a big role in how you feel. Being tired is a normal part of life and is sometimes something you just have to live with.
However, if you experience chronic fatigue or your tiredness gets in the way of productivity at work or home, it may be time to make some changes. It's a good idea to see your doctor to be sure a health condition isn't at play.
In the meantime, try adding these foods to your diet for more energy on a regular basis.
This humble fruit is easy to find and affordable, so it makes sense to keep a bunch on hand all the time. Bananas are loaded with potassium, which gives you energy, among other things.
In fact, research shows that eating a banana will have similar benefits to sipping a sports drink. In addition, bananas contain B vitamins, which your body needs to convert the foods you eat into energy you can use.
Eat bananas whole or slice them up into a peanut butter sandwich or to top your morning oatmeal.
2. Green Tea
Green tea is getting a lot of attention for its myriad of health benefits. Among many other things, researchers are finding that it can fight off fatigue. That's because it contains an optimal ratio of caffeine and L-theanine.
Experts suggest brewing your own mug of green tea because the store-bought varieties are often loaded with sugar. In addition to its get up and go benefits, green tea can also boost brainpower, so it's a really great choice for work or school where sleepiness can interfere with productivity.
3. Oatmeal With Raisins
The reason this is such a good choice is because you get a good mix of carbohydrates and protein, which offer energy and endurance. Choose oatmeal that isn't flavored with syrups or sugars because all that sweet stuff can counteract the benefits of the oats and raisins.
You may be wondering how you can get away with carbs. The truth is that your body needs some carbs just for fuel for daily tasks. The trick is choosing complex carbs, which are healthy and to avoid simple carbs, which aren't. Oats are a prime choice.
Beans are an optimal choice because they contain complex carbs for energy, protein for satiety and fiber to keep blood sugar balanced. The great thing about beans is that they are very versatile and you can do many tasty things with them.
Use beans as a substitute for meat in burgers, chili and tacos. You can also add them to soup, stew and salad to make the meal more filling and more nutritious. Experts call black beans your top choice, but red beans, pintos and kidney beans are also great choices.
5. Chia Seeds
You may have heard chia seeds being called the new superfood, and for good reason. These tiny little seeds are packed with protein, fiber and healthy fats to battle fatigue and give you energy for the day.
Chia seeds can hold up to 10 times their weight in water, making them perfect for turning into a pudding. Simply soak the seeds in milk or yogurt for several hours and you have a delicious and healthy meal any time of the day. Chia seeds are also a good addition to fruit smoothies and muffins.
Water might be one of your best tools for fighting fatigue. Being even slightly dehydrated can leave you feeling tired and sluggish. Sometimes all it takes to perk you up is to drink a glass of water. Cold water is especially good at revving you up and getting you through the day. Carry a water bottle with you all day long so you don't forget to sip often.
If you don't like the taste of plain water, infuse it with mint, berries, cucumbers, lemons, limes or herbs to give it a palatable flavor. Avoid sugary flavored waters as they will cause a spike in blood sugar and a subsequent crash, which will leave you feeling more tired than ever.
This grain is another food that is gaining in popularity for being a superfood. It's affordable and versatile, but it also contains protein and fiber to fill your belly and fuel your body.
In addition, quinoa is a terrific source of iron, a nutrient that helps your body transport oxygen throughout your body. Low iron levels can lead to anemia, a condition that is characterized by fatigue. Use quinoa in cold salads, hot soups, to make veggie burgers or as a side dish with chicken or fish.
8. Whole Wheat Bread
Whole wheat is a whole grain, hence its name. Like other whole grains, this one contains B vitamins, iron, fiber and complex carbohydrates, which in combination pack a pretty powerful punch against fatigue.
Whole wheat bread provides longer lasting energy than white bread and can be used to make sandwiches at lunchtime or toast in the morning. Be sure you are choosing 100 percent whole wheat or you might not be doing your body any favors. Read the package and the ingredient label and you should be able to tell if you are getting a 100 percent whole grain product or not.
Nuts are a great choice when it comes to battling fatigue and waking up your body and mind. Not only do they contain protein, but nuts are packed with healthy fats that protect your heart and brain and give you a quick dose of energy at the same time.
Almonds are a wonderful choice because you can eat them by the handful, but you can also add them to salads, muffins, quick breads or trail mix. Other nuts are great too, so choose from walnuts, cashews or pecans if you prefer them.
Having low energy can interfere with a productive and happy day. In fact, people who suffer from chronic fatigue can suffer other health complications, including obesity and depression. Taking care of your body involves choosing healthy foods such as the ones on this list.
When you combine a good diet with exercise, you can really ramp up the benefits. Even when you feel tired, make a point to get some physical activity. This will increase blood flow through your body, helping you wake up your body and mind.
If nothing seems to work, it's time to see your doctor. In the meantime, you are going to love how much energy you have when you add these foods to your meal plan on a regular basis.