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Natural Foods That Give You More Energy!

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Imagine this scenario. You’re going about your day, when all of a sudden, it hits you—the dreaded energy crash. While many factors can cause sluggishness, from a poor night’s sleep to recovering from a tough workout to skipping breakfast, you may believe that these midday energy zaps are inevitable. Well, actually, you can avoid these dips, and it all comes down to good nutrition.

How to select energy boosting foods

“Food is the best way to provide your body with energy,” says Aimée Plauché, RD, LDN, an advising registered dietician for ICONIC Protein. “It is important to focus on nutrient-dense foods that help to fuel our bodies as well as manage our blood sugar levels, since blood sugar spikes and crashes play a large part in our energy highs and lows.”

She adds that eating properly throughout the day may nix the need for that mid-afternoon caffeine jolt you always reach for, something that may only temporarily mask your lethargy.

Jamie Lee McIntyre, MS, RD, a registered dietitian-nutritionist and nutrition consultant at JamieLeeRDN.com, agrees with this thinking. She says, “It is easy to reach for caffeine as a stimulant, but keep in mind this is, in a way, faux energy. A stimulant, like caffeine, is a substance that alerts the brain and heightens alertness. However, if your muscles and brain do not have the energy to fuel properly, you’ll still be running at a less than optimal performance compared to a nourished state.”

While a single nutritious food, such as a piece of fruit, can boost your energy, both experts believe that combinations of these foods can lead to energy gains. For example, McIntyre says that for long-lasting energy, you’ll want to combine carbohydrates with protein and healthy fats “to prolong the feeling of satiation and slow down the release of energy into the bloodstream for a more stable effect.” Or it can be as straightforward as creating a balanced plate that incorporates several food groups.

McIntyre says, “Many different foods and food combinations can provide energy for the body. The best options offer up carbohydrates, which serve as the body’s primary source of energy, along with fiber and protein for a gradual release of energy. When eaten in this specific combination, you’ll feel sustained fuel and stamina to power through your day.”

For ideas on combinations to include in your daily diet along with specific foods that are shown to improve energy levels, discover these energizing eats.

Natural foods that give you energy

1. Lean meats

Since Plauché explains that eating adequate protein can help one feel fuller longer, something that can lend itself to more energy, she recommends “good protein sources” that include “lean meats, such as skinless baked chicken or turkey.”

2. Plant-based protein

Perhaps you’re a vegetarian or vegan or you’re simply looking to cut down on your meat consumption. In this case, you’ll be happy to know that plant-based protein can also give you an energy boost.

Plauché says, “Plant-based protein options include meatless burgers or plant-based ‘grounds’ for tacos.”

Related: What Does It Actually Mean to Be a Vegetarian vs a Vegan?

3. Seafood

Another great source of energy-enhancing protein to include in your diet? Seafood, such as grilled shrimp or tuna.

Specifically, McIntyre recommends a combo of tuna on rice cakes. She says, “If you’re looking for a satisfying snack but want convenience, look no further than packed tuna on rice cakes. You’ll get a helpful dose of omega fatty acids, which support brain health and fight fatigue.”

4. Low-fat dairy

Low-fat dairy products, such as cottage cheese and Greek yogurt, are “fantastic protein choices that contain some carbohydrates,” according to Plauché.

“By supplying the gut microbiota with a source of probiotics, yogurt feeds the immune system,” explains Ruggles. “A well-balanced immune system avoids the energy drain resulting from a dysfunctional immune system.”

“Cottage cheese is high in casein, a milk protein that is more slowly digested compared to other types of proteins,” says Plauché. “Protein helps to keep hunger pangs at bay so our energy levels stay up. Top with berries and a sprinkle of nuts for a balanced and delicious meal or snack that is sure to keep you satiated for hours.

McIntyre also recommends enjoying a yogurt parfait with fruit, granola and seeds. “This combination is best enjoyed chilled, which makes it a satisfying, protein-packed choice on a warm day,” she says.

5. Chia seeds

Studies have found that chia seeds can effectively combat sluggishness. One 2016 study says, “With 20% protein content, chia possesses a massive potential to correct and prevent protein energy malnutrition.”

Also,“Chia seeds have been used to boost energy levels since the ancient Mayan and Aztec civilizations. They provide a balanced mix of fiber, protein and omega 3 fatty acids,” says Holly Klamer, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist.

All that protein translates to greater energy, something that you can savor as a sweet snack that McIntyre loves—chocolate chia seed pudding made from chia seeds, milk, cocoa powder, and blended dates.

She says, “It may not be instant, but this snack is worth the wait. Unlike many ready-to-eat puddings, this mix packs a punch with fiber, omega fatty acids, protein, and deliciousness helping to support a prolonged sensation of fullness following this dish of decadence.”

Related: Chia Seeds—Just How Super Is This Superfood?

6-9. Berries (raspberries, strawberries, blueberries and blackberries)

Low-sugar fruits, such as raspberries, strawberries, blueberries and blackberries can also increase one’s energy and give your brain a boost. “A low sugar source of vital nutrients and antioxidants, berries supply a small amount of sugar to support energy production while avoiding the crash that often follows a high sugar intake,” says Marie Ruggles, RD, and author of Optimize Your Immune System: Create Health and Resilience with a Kitchen Pharmacy and The Whole Foods Quick Start Guide.

“Research suggests blueberries may help to fight against age-related cognitive decline,” says Erin Palinski-Wade, RD and author of “Belly Fat Diet For Dummies and consultant for Sunsweet Growers. As an added bonus, the high water content in blueberries may boost hydration, providing an extra energy boost.

Blueberries are tasty energy-boosting fruits. “They are a great source of manganese, a mineral that plays an important role in metabolism by helping to break down carbohydrates that our bodies use for energy,” says Naturipe’s Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist, Jenn LaVardera. “They are also a good source of copper, which has a critical role in cellular energy production. Plus, berries provide a natural, nutritious source of carbohydrates that the body breaks down to use for energy.”

Raspberries and blackberries are also sources of manganese and copper, and they also provide a source of zinc, a mineral that plays a crucial role in cellular metabolism. “Over 50 enzymes in the body depend on zinc to help with catalyzing vital reactions that keep our bodies running,” says LaVardera.

To create an energy-promoting combo, McIntyre suggests topping your cottage cheese or Greek yogurt with berries.  By combining berries with a source of protein and healthy fat and you’ll get a nutrient-dense, satiating snack. A few other classic ideas are berries paired with nuts, nut butters, yogurt and cheese. This combo of a fiber from berries plus protein and fats can help boost energy.

10. Whole grain bread and wraps

“Carbohydrates are the ultimate energy-providing macro,” Plauché says. “Be sure to swap out simple carbs for complex, fiber-containing carbohydrates throughout the day. Fiber plays a super-star role by helping to keep the blood sugars more stable.”

She says that a couple fiber-rich food choices include 100% whole grain breads and cereals.

McIntyre shares a sweetly satisfying way to enjoy whole grain bread as a snack or even breakfast or lunch—peanut butter and smashed strawberries on whole grain bread. She says, “This sandwich is a portable, shelf-stable option when bringing food with you on-the-go. The peanut butter provides healthy fat and protein, while the bread and berries supply the fiber.”

For whole-grain wraps, remember: Not all wraps are created equal. “White flour options are digested rapidly, which can lead to a spike then crash in energy,” says Palinski-Wade. Although wraps can make a great option for creating a convenient on-the-go meal, choosing one made from 100% whole grain and rich in fiber and protein is key when it comes to boosting energy. “Whole grains are rich in slow digested fiber for a filling food that will sustain energy for hours to come,” she notes.

11. Edamame

Edamame, or soybeans, have been long-praised for their energy-boosting benefits. You can eat them dried or heat up frozen edamame for a snack bursting with protein. One 2018 study explains that edamame has the power to provide energy for basal metabolism, or the rate of energy expenditure when a person is at rest, and prevent malnutrition.

Edamame are rich in protein, minerals, vitamins, and low in calories and are energy-boosting in several ways. “Folic acid in the edamame beans works together with the iron to help cope with anemia and fight fatigue,” says Dr. Waqas Mahmood, who practices at Uppen Medicine Hospital-University of Pennsylvania and works as a medical health specialist with the Healthwire.pk, a digital healthcare platform.

12. Plant-based fats

“Always include small amounts of heart-healthy plant-based fats at each meal for increased satiety,” Plauché states. “Use avocado oil for medium-high temp cooking like roasting or sautéing. Extra virgin olive oil is best used for drizzling or dipping, such as in dressing salads or finishing off roasted vegetables. Try swapping traditional sandwich spreads like mayonnaise with smashed avocado or guacamole for a dose of plant fat and fiber.”

13. Bananas

McIntyre explains that bananas, packed with potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin B6, are perfect if you’re looking to push through a morning workout that requires lots of energy. She views bananas as a “low-fat, easy to digest carbohydrate source that will top off your glycogen stores, also known as ‘muscle fuel.’”

If you’re a sweet tooth, one way to enjoy bananas while simultaneously staving off a sugar spike is to make this treat approved by McIntyre—a frozen banana blended with cocoa powder, peanut butter, and milk. She says, “This combination can mimic the taste and texture of ice cream, but instead of a heavy dose of added sugars, you’ll get vitamins and minerals to support your nutrient needs.”

Heather Hanks, a nutritionist with Instapot Life, also believes bananas are an excellent food for boosting energy, noting: “They’re a good source of fiber to promote digestion and boost immunity.”

14. Brown rice

Brown rice, which differs from white rice because it still has all the parts of the grain, including the bran layer, make it an energy-promoting complex carbohydrate. One 2019 study that compared brown rice and white rice states that brown rice contains greater levels of nutrients, such as protein, fat, minerals, and vitamins. The study also says that the high carbohydrate content of rice makes it “a good source of energy.”

15. Steel cut oats

Steel cut oats are an ideal breakfast if you’d like to pump up your energy for the rest of the day. This slow-burning carb helps support energy levels for several hours. Says Hanks: “It’s also a good source of soluble fiber to slow down blood glucose dumping.”

“Tackle your day with this hearty bowl of porridge,” McIntyre says. “Don’t have the time? Fix it the night before and enjoy it chilled as overnight oats the next morning.”

To give your steel cut oats flavor and include even more energizing foods, McIntyre advises cooking the oats in low-fat milk and topping it with chopped nuts, diced apples, and cinnamon.

Related: Is Oatmeal Healthy? Here’s the Truth About This Classic Breakfast Staple 

16. Pumpkin seeds

It’s no secret that pumpkin seeds are very high in nutrients, like vitamin K and magnesium. These high levels of nutrients can translate to better energy as well. It’s a fact that’s been proven through scientific research, like one 2019 study that confirms that pumpkin seeds contain “a high level of energy and nutrition.” These seeds are also a good source of protein, fatty acids and omega-3 fatty acids—these nutrients help in the sustained and steady release of energy, says Dr. Mahmood.

17. Smoothies

Smoothies are a wonderful way to drop in several energizing foods into one tasty, nutritious breakfast or snack. McIntyre especially enjoys making a smoothie using Icelandic style yogurt flavored with vanilla extract and blended with frozen cherries, almonds, and milled flaxseed.

She says, “This high protein and high fiber smoothie will fill you and fuel you through a busy morning, even if your appetite has yet to be awakened at the start of your day. Icelandic style yogurt, also known as skyr, is a high protein yogurt with a smooth flavor that many prefer over Greek style yogurt.”

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18. Beets

“Beets have gained popularity recently due to their ability to improve energy and stamina,” says Kelsey Pezzuti, a registered dietitian and personal trainer. “The naturally occurring nitrites in beets are converted to nitric oxidize, which helps relax blood vessels and improve blood flow.” Pezzuti notes that this can lead to increased energy, especially during athletic performance.

19. Water

Even though it’s not technically a food, water is one of the most energizing things you can include in your day. In addition to “avoiding foods and beverages concentrated in added sugar,” Plauché says that ensuring proper hydration is “paramount in keeping energy levels stable.”

Pezzuti seconds that, noting, “Water is essential for many cellular functions, including energy production.” Not drinking enough water can lead to dehydration, making you feel tired and sluggish. Staying hydrated can help fight feelings of fatigue and give you a boost of energy.

Related: Wondering Why You’re Always So Tired? Here Are Some Clues

20. Popcorn

Popcorn can be an excellent low calorie, energizing snack. “This low-calorie, whole grain is packed with fiber and carbohydrates to give you a steady release of energy,” says Pezzuti. Just make sure you don’t add fattening extras, like butter.

21. Dark leafy greens

“These vegetables provide the B vitamins that are needed for energy production, while also including a host of additional vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals that help both restore your energy and can even help boost your productivity,” says Freshly’s Director of Nutrition, Dr. Brooke Scheller.

Lauren Minchen, RD, nutrition consultant for Freshbit says: “Spinach is an excellent energy-booster because it contains no sugar but provides excellent fiber, B vitamins and chlorophyll, which is the compound that gives veggies their green color and boost oxygen levels in the blood—all resulting in better energy for your day.”

22. Applesauce

Maybe you haven’t eaten applesauce as a snack since you were in grade school, but perhaps that’s why you had all that energy on the playground!

McIntyre explains why applesauce is energizing, saying, “Since the apple has already been broken down for you, your digestive muscles won’t be competing with your heart, lungs and leg muscles for energy,” something that she says is particularly important during a workout.

No applesauce on hand? Apples themselves are high in fiber and contain more moderate levels of sugar than several other fruits, which provides a balanced release of energy. “Some of my favorite ways to eat apples are topped with a sprinkle of cinnamon, which can also help blood sugar levels; paired with a small portion of nuts, like almonds, cashews or walnuts; or a tablespoon of nut or seed butter. I find this not only keeps me satisfied but also focused for longer,” says Dr. Scheller.

23. Sardines

Sardines help to produce the production of acetylcholine which facilitates brain function, memory and energy says Dr. Stephen Sinatra, a board-certified cardiologist and certified nutritionist.

24. Avocado

Another good energy-boosting food is avocado, says Dr. Scheller. “I love to make homemade guacamole using avocado, a splash of lime juice, salt, and pepper and pair it with fresh sliced veggies like peppers and carrots,” he says. Avocados contain both healthy protein and healthy fats. “They are filled with fats that keep you full and satiated. After consuming fat, your brain receives a signal to turn off appetite,” says Addison LaBonte, a certified holistic health coach. In addition, avocados are low in sugar, keeping your blood sugar levels from spiking.  Eating avocado early in the day promotes increased energy and concentration for a productive day ahead.

25. Salads

“One of my favorite ways to combine a number of energizing foods is in a salad,” says Dr. Scheller. He suggests mixed greens, like spinach, add beets and apples, throw in avocado and then top with nuts.

26. Kombucha

Dr. Katina Martin, founder of Vermont Natural Family Health says: “Boost energy naturally with kombucha. Unlike traditional sugary beverages and energy drinks, kombucha provides a natural and healthy energy boost.” Kombucha contains energizing B vitamins and hydrating minerals that can enhance energy, without the adverse side effects of high doses of caffeine.

Related: Is Kombucha Good for You or Just Another Wellness Fad?

27. Cucumber, lettuce and celery

Foods high in water content and low in sugar should be a go-to. “Things like cucumber, lettuce, and celery helps you stay hydrated, which is key to giving you the energy needed to get through the day,” says Dr. Tania Elliott, Board Certified Allergist/Immunologist and Internist.

28. Lemon, grapefruit and orange

If you’re looking for something to quickly boost your energy or provide you with a pre-workout push, look to oranges.

Citrus foods that have a strong aroma, but are low in calories are also great to boost energy. “Lemons, grapefruit, and orange stimulate the olfactory system which can boost mood and energy,” says Dr. Elliott.

McIntyre says, “Oranges will not only give you a good dose of carbohydrates before exercise, but you’ll also get a boost in vitamin C, which can help combat post workout inflammation as well.”

29. Eggs

Protein-filled eggs are a great way to liven up your energy levels. And McIntyre has a particularly delicious way to eat them—an egg and reduced fat cheddar cheese wheat wrap. “No drive-thru needed for this quick dish, which takes minutes to prepare but combines protein and fiber for lasting satiety and energy,” she says.

“A diet high in lean proteins, like eggs, can give you the energy boost you need. Try a healthy omelet for breakfast instead of processed cereals or bars,”  says Lisa Richards, Nutritionist, and creator of The Candida Diet.

30. Non-starchy vegetables

To create balance between high and low-carbohydrate vegetables, and to reduce calories and increase fiber, Plauché suggests eating non-starchy vegetables for energy, filling half your plate with them “in a rainbow of colors.” These can include carrots, mushrooms, eggplant, radishes, and broccoli.

31. Green Beans

“They have lots of iron so it helps make blood cells strong to deliver oxygen where it is needed. This ultimately helps give you energy,” says Dr. Ilene Ruhoy, MD & PhD, and founder of the Center for Healing Neurology.

32. Asparagus

Asparagus can also help give an energy boost, notes Dr. Ruhoy. “It contains inulin which is a prebiotic and supports a healthy gut microbiome, but it also helps neutralize excess ammonia (that often comes from high meat diet) that can make us feel lethargic.”

33. Dates

Dates are one of the instant energy boosters. Reach for dates as a sweetener, says Registered Dietitian Diana Gariglio-Clelland, a consultant Dietitian for Next Luxury. She explains: “Dates are a great natural sweetener that don’t spike blood sugar levels as much as table sugar and honey due to their lower glycemic index. Lower glycemic index foods promote a more slow and steady rise in blood sugar, which means that the energy you get from these foods is more sustained over time compared to high glycemic index foods.”

High in carbohydrates, dates are an excellent source of energy. Says Dr. Mahmood: “Dates have an excellent nutritional profile and are rich in various nutrients such as fiber, protein, magnesium, copper, manganese, iron and vitamin B6 that helps in energy-boosting. Dates also have a high amount of antioxidants in them, which have many health benefits.”

34. Pomegranates

They are great because they are rich in antioxidants, which clear out any free radicals that can slow down cellular processes. “They also have anti-inflammatory benefits—when inflammation is down, energy is up,” says Leeann Rybakov, Functional Medicine Health Coach at Leeann Rybakov Wellness.

35. Prunes

Poor digestion can leave you feeling sluggish and bloated. “Focus on eating to support your gut—I recommend adding a glass of 100% prune juice to your morning routine,” says Palinski-Wade.

“With 3 grams of fiber per serving, and five essential vitamins and minerals, this 100% juice helps to support gut health and digestion so you can feel at your best each day,” she says. In addition, eating foods high in fiber may help to stabilize blood sugar levels which can promote steady energy levels all throughout the day.

36. Kiwi fruit

If you aren’t sleeping well, try adding kiwi to your nighttime routine. “Eating two kiwi fruit in the evening was found in one study to improve both quality and quantity of sleep,” says Palinski-Wade. “So try adding them on top of your dinner salad or enjoying them as an evening snack for a better night’s rest, which will give you energy the next day.”

37. Seaweed

Seaweed is high in antibacterial properties, killing off anything that can slow us down. It is also high in magnesium, which allows for muscle relaxation for future better stamina and endurance, says Rybakov.

38. Grass-fed Beef

“Not only is this high in protein, which gives our body energy, but also has omega-3 fats that add an anti-inflammatory component, increasing our functionality and energy,” says Rybakov.

39. Bee Pollen

“Incorporating bee pollen in recipes relieves inflammation, strengthens the immune system and increases blood flow due to the high volume of amino acids and protein in the pollen,” says Allen Campbell, Tom Brady’s former personal chef and author of The Game of Eating Smart, TB12 Method and the TB12 Nutrition Manual.

40. Chlorella

Campbell explains that “this type of algae is often classified as a ‘superfood’ because it is high in protein (70%) and stocked with varying nutrients, such as iron, vitamin C, and fiber—all of which help to detox the body from toxins and regulates blood pressure and boosts immunity.”

41. Maca Root

“This extremely nutritious root is a great source of carbohydrates but is also extremely low in fat. With large amounts of vitamin C, copper, and iron, consuming Maca Root can give you a boost of energy throughout the day,” says Campbell.

42. Flaxseed Oil

“Mitochondria are the little power houses inside your cells,” explains Ruggles. “They need a healthy supply of beneficial fatty acids such as those found in flaxseed oil for optimal functioning.”

43-44. Nuts (walnuts, almonds and seeds)

Nuts and seeds are great energy boosters. “Mitochondria rely on a steady source of magnesium and other minerals found in nuts and seeds, to supply the metabolic machinery that produces energy,” says Ruggles.

Walnuts are a great energy boosting food because they are packed with key vitamins, minerals and good fats like Omega-3’s,” says Dr. Ellie Heintze, a Naturopathic Doctor. Walnuts have been found to boost energy by supporting metabolism and providing antioxidant properties which gives you not only energy but anti-aging benefits.

Almonds “are great energy boosting foods as they are high in unsaturated fat, Omega 3 fatty acid, fibers, vitamin E and protein, which are good for lowering LDL and cholesterol, and helps in lowering the risk for heart disease,” says Swana de Gijsel, MD at the Institute of Culinary Education.

45. Sea Salt

Regular table salt contains two minerals. “Real sea salt can contain over 80 minerals making it a rich source of trace minerals to feed the mitochondria,” says Ruggles. “Well-nourished mitochondria are better equipped to meet your energy needs.”

46. Chickpea pasta

Plauché says that easy to prepare carbohydrate choices “include pasta and rice made from legumes like chickpeas.” She adds that these foods “are a terrific-twofer because they contain an abundance of complex carbs plus protein.”

47. Beans and Peas

These foods are a powerhouse of nutrients. “They are rich in protein, fiber, and complex carbohydrates that provide a sustained energy release avoiding sudden spikes and drops in our blood sugar levels,” says Sapna Punjabi-Gupta, MS, RDN, LD, a Culinary Wellness Specialist, Ayurvedic Practitioner and founder of beSPICED. “From an ayurvedic perspective, they provide an astringent taste to our meals that are often lacking in a western diet that is usually high in sweet, sour, and salty tastes.” A bowl of dal or lentil soup provides and sustains energy, is sustainable for the environment, and super versatile.

48. Bone Broth

“While people often think they’ll get an energy boost from a particular nutrient, it’s more about blood sugar balance and being better able to utilize the nutrients you’re getting from food, Sam Presicci, MCN, RD, LD, CPT, Whole30 Certified Coach. “With ample protein, minimal carbs, and nutrients like glutamine, gelatin, and glycine, bone broth is great for blood sugar regulation and healing your gut for improved nutrient absorption.”

49. Mushrooms

“High in vitamin B’s, vitamin D and probiotics, mushrooms support energy production, adrenal function, and healthy gut microbiota, which is closely linked to energy regulation,” says nutritionist and holistic chef Rachael Gorjestani founder of Goldmine. Add mushrooms to soups or vegetable stir-fries.

50. Adaptogens

“Adaptogens are a group of herbs and mushrooms that help the body cope with stress, improving mental clarity, energy levels, and endurance, both physical and mental,” says Gorjestani. “Adaptogens are a great way to ensure you’re energized and focused for your day.”

51. Sweet Potatoes/Yams

“Sweet potatoes are a great source of complex carbohydrates and fiber—meaning that they are digested more slowly, giving you a steady stream of energy,” says Kylie Morse, Registered Dietician. Be sure to eat them with the skins on for added fiber and micronutrients.

52. Peppers

Peppers contain a natural substance called dihydrocapsiate (DCT). “DCT can significantly increase one’s energy expenditure, and on top of that, DCT can significantly increase fat oxidation by pushing the body to use more fat as fuel,” says Mindbody Nutrition Specialist McKenzie Hathaway. “Since sweet peppers and hot peppers are filled with DCT, they make a perfect energy food.”

53. Hummus

Hummus, which contains chickpeas, lemon juice, tahini, olive oil, garlic and spices, is high in protein and fibers which will help keep your energy up. Says Gijsel: “As a dip with raw vegetables or whole wheat crackers, it fits right into the Mediterranean diet known to reduce risk factors for coronary and vascular disease.”

Related: Is Hummus Actually Good for You?

54, Coconut Water

The hype behind coconut water is real, and with good reason. “Filled with vitamins and minerals such as potassium, zinc, iron and calcium, coconut water is mother nature‘s natural energy drink. When the electrolytes that are within pure coconut water enter the bloodstream it’s an immediate hydration boost to the body’s cells, giving abundant energy,” says Hathaway.

55. Broccoli

Broccoli is rich in fiber, vitamin C, iron, B vitamin and chlorophyll, all of which synergistically fight inflammation and boost energy in the body, says Minchen.

56. Lentils

Lentils are a whole food carbohydrate that provide fiber, iron, and plant-based protein to provide energy-boosting amino acids, keep blood sugar stable, and provide consistent fuel and energy, notes Minchen.

57. Green tea

“Green tea provides a potent combination of gentle caffeine, B vitamins, vitamin C and antioxidants, particularly EGCG. B vitamins and vitamin C are essential for controlling inflammation, supporting brain health, and boosting energy in our cells. EGCG is a potent antioxidant that helps reduce damaging inflammation in the body. And a little gentle caffeine is a great energy booster—green tea contains about half of that of coffee,” says Minchen.

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58. Dark chocolate and pure cacao

Besides dark chocolate being a great treat, it also provides some iron, magnesium and antioxidants, which support healthy blood flow and boost energy. The small amount of caffeine also can provide a boost, notes Minchen.

According to Katrina Scott and Karena Dawn, authors of Tone It Up: Balanced and Beautiful 5-Day Reset for Your Body, Mind, and Spirit, pure unsweetened cacao is full of energizing antioxidants and can improve your circulation and lower your blood pressure. The authors love smoothie bowls made with chocolate Tone It Up Protein and sprinkled with cacao nibs.

Next up, find out if you should drink a gallon of water every day.

Sources

  • Aimée Plauché, RD, LDN, a registered dietician and advisor for ICONIC Protein.
  • Jamie Lee McIntyre, MS, RD, a registered dietitian-nutritionist and nutrition consultant at JamieLeeRDN.com.
  • Kelsey Pezzuti, registered dietitian and personal trainer
  • Jenn LaVardera, RD and nutritionist with Naturipe
  • Dr. Brooke Scheller, Director of Nutrition at Freshly
  • Addison LaBonte, certified holistic health coach
  • Dr. Waqas Mahmood, Uppen Medicine Hospital-University of Pennsylvania and medical health specialist with Healthwire.pk
  • Heather Hanks, nutritionist with Instapot Life
  • Holly Klamer, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
  • Lisa Richards, nutritionist and creator of The Candida Diet
  • Dr. Katina Martin, founder of Vermont Natural Family Health
  • Dr. Stephen Sinatra, board-certified cardiologist and certified nutritionist.
  • Dr. Tania Elliott, Board Certified Allergist/Immunologist and Internist
  • Dr. Ilene Ruhoy, MD & PhD, and founder of the Center for Healing Neurology
  • Diana Gariglio-Clelland, RD, consultant Dietitian for Next Luxury
  • Lauren Minchen, RD, nutrition consultant for Freshbit
  • Leeann Rybakov, Functional Medicine Health Coach at Leeann Rybakov Wellness
  • Erin Palinski-Wade, RD and author of Belly Fat Diet For Dummies and consultant for Sunsweet Growers
  • Allen Campbell, author of The Game of Eating Smart, TB12 Method and the TB12 Nutrition Manual and Tom Brady’s former personal chef
  • Marie Ruggles, RD, author of Optimize Your Immune System and The Whole Foods Quick Start Guide
  • Sapna Punjabi-Gupta, MS, RDN, LD, Culinary Wellness Specialist, Ayurvedic Practitioner and founder of beSPICED
  • Sam Presicci, MCN, RD, LD, CPT, Whole30 Certified Coach
  • Rachael Gorjestani, nutritionist and holistic chef, founder of Goldmine
  • Kylie Morse, Registered Dietician
  • Swana de Gijsel, MD at the Institute of Culinary Education
  • McKenzie Hathaway, mindbody nutrition specialist
  • Journal of Food Science and Technology: “Nutritional and therapeutic perspectives of Chia (Salvia hispanica L.): a review”
  • IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science: “Utilization of edamame soybean (glycine max (l) merril) as modified of enteral formula high calories
  • Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety: “Brown Rice Versus White Rice: Nutritional Quality, Potential Health Benefits, Development of Food Products, and Preservation Technologies”
  • Heliyon: “Comparative study on nutrient contents in the different parts of indigenous and hybrid varieties of pumpkin (Cucurbita maxima Linn.)

With additional reporting by Judy Koutsky. 

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Whole Grain Pasta Nutrients

More whole grains in the diet could save Australia billions | Queensland Country Life

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Smaller dietary changes with more whole grain products could significantly improve health and save billions in healthcare costs, says the managing director of the Nutrition Council for Grains and Legumes, Sara Grafenauer.

ONLY small dietary changes that would make Australians eat more whole grains could significantly reduce the incidence of heart disease and diabetes and lead to massive savings in our healthcare system.

Research by the Grains and Legumes Nutrition Council (GLNC) published last week in the international journal Nutrients found that swapping just three servings of processed grain foods a day for whole grains could save a staggering $ 1.4 billion annually.

These savings result from lower costs of treating heart disease and type 2 diabetes and a reduction in productivity losses due to illness.

The GLNC research, conducted in collaboration with an expert from the University of Kuwait, is the first study to quantify the health care savings associated with meeting the recommended daily intake for whole grains in Australia.

And the researchers believe the results have a significant impact on policy makers and could provide strong evidence that the messages regarding whole grains in national dietary guidelines are further strengthened.

Sara Grafenauer, managing director of GLNC, said conditions such as cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes are major health problems in

modern Australia and that increasing whole grain consumption would play a big role in reducing the incidence of these deadly conditions.

“Eating three servings of whole grains a day is known to reduce the risk of heart disease by 13 percent and type 2 diabetes by 32 percent,” said Dr. Grafenauer.

She said there is a lot of room for improvement in terms of increasing whole grain consumption in Australia.

The latest data shows that only 27 percent of Australians achieve the Recommended Daily Target Intake (DTI) of 48g per day.

The average whole grain consumption was 21 grams per day, which left a 27 grams per day gap.

“Knowing that a diet low in whole grains is the second leading risk factor for disease and death in Australia, the results of this study underscore the need for a change in diet,” she said.

“If 50 percent meet the DTI, it could save $ 734 million and more than $ 1.4 billion if 100 percent of Australians could achieve that goal,” said Dr. Grafenauer.

On the positive side, it is not difficult to stimulate the consumption of whole grain products.

“Three whole grain servings can be easily achieved by swapping out grain foods rather than increasing the energy density of the diet,” she said.

Breakfast is an important opportunity for change.

“By focusing on whole grain breakfast cereals and whole grain breads – the two largest sources of whole grains for Australians – the target levels for whole grains could be reached with minimal change in normal eating habits,” said Dr. Grafenauer.

“Simply switching to a whole grain option could have a profound impact on individual health as well as the Australian economy.”

There are a number of products that the GLNC recommends that consumers switch to whole grains, including bread, cereals, rice, noodles, noodles, polenta, couscous, crackers, oats, quinoa and barley.

Dr. Grafenauer said the next week would be a perfect time for consumers to start switching to more whole grains in their diet as this was whole grain week.

“There are a number of resources available to encourage increased whole grain consumption, including a video showing how refined grains are swapped for whole grains, an e-book with easy-to-prepare whole grain recipes, and searchable whole grain product data,” she said.

The Story More Whole Grains in the Diet Could Save Australia Billions, first appeared on Farm Online.

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5 Benefits of Sunflower Seeds and How to Eat Them

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Sunflowers aren’t just great backgrounds for Instagram photos. They also grow something tasty and nutritious: sunflower seeds.

Here are the biggest perks of this little snack.

Chewing sunflower seeds can’t just benefit your taste buds. Here are some ways adding sunflower seeds to your diet can benefit your health.

1. Good for your heart

Sunflower seeds are rich in nutrients that your heart loves. These include fiber, vitamins, healthy fats and minerals. Research suggests that a diet high in seeds can help keep your heart healthy and protect against heart disease.

Also, snacking on sunflower seeds can help keep cholesterol and blood pressure levels under control. A 2012 study of 22 women with type 2 diabetes found that consuming 30 grams of sunflower seeds per day for 3 weeks helped significantly lower “bad” LDL cholesterol and blood pressure.

2. Rich in antioxidants

Sunflower seeds are full of compounds (like antioxidants) that help keep your body healthy.

These tiny seeds contain a variety of antioxidant compounds, including chlorogenic acid, vitamin E, and more. Antioxidants help protect your cells from damage that can lead to disease.

Diets high in antioxidants are associated with lower risk of chronic disease. For example, a 2018 review of 69 studies found that higher blood levels and higher dietary intake of vitamin E were linked to lower risk of cancer, stroke, and all-cause death. That means it can even help you live longer.

3. May help promote healthy blood sugar levels

Eating a balanced, nutrient-rich diet is one of the best ways to keep your blood sugar levels at healthy levels.

Some nutrients (such as protein, fiber, and magnesium) are particularly important for blood sugar regulation. Sunflower seeds are a great source of these nutrients and a healthy choice for peeps with and without diabetes.

Sprinkle sunflower seeds over a green salad or combine sunflower seed butter with apple slices for a blood sugar-friendly snack.

4. Rich in minerals

Sunflower seeds are packed with important minerals like magnesium, zinc, copper, and selenium. It is important to make sure that you are getting enough mineral-rich foods in your diet as these nutrients do a lot for your body.

Zinc, for example, is important for a healthy immune response. Do you want well-functioning antioxidant enzymes? (Tip: Yes you do.) Selenium is essential. Magnesium is a superstar mineral that is essential for a healthy stress response, blood sugar regulation, and more.

Adding foods rich in minerals like sunflower seeds to your diet can help ensure that you are getting the recommended amount of these nutrients in the registry.

5. Practical and filling snack

Sunflower seeds are portable and, thanks to their high levels of protein, fat, and fiber, are super filling. That said, they’re a clever snack when you’re on the run.

Protein is the most filling macronutrient, and sunflower seeds provide 5.4 grams per ounce, which is pretty good for a plant-based source of protein. They also contain fiber and healthy fats, which makes them a well-balanced snack.

Try keeping a pack of sunflower seeds in your bag or backpack so you have a healthy option when hunger strikes.

Although they are tiny, sunflower seeds are loaded with nutrients. Even a small serving can have a big impact on your nutrient intake.

Here is the nutritional breakdown for one pack (50 grams) of plain, salted sunflower seeds.

  • Calories: 288
  • Protein: 9.55 grams (g)
  • Fat: 24.6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 11.9 g
  • Fiber: 5.5 g
  • Vitamin E: 12.0 milligrams (mg)
  • Vitamin B6: 0.397 mg
  • Magnesium: 63.5 mg
  • Phosphorus: 570 mg
  • Zinc: 2.62 mg
  • Copper: 0.904 mg
  • Folate: 117 micrograms (mcg)
  • Selenium: 39.2 mcg

Sunflower seeds are a good source of many vitamins and minerals. They are particularly rich in vitamin E, folic acid, phosphorus, copper, manganese and selenium.

Vitamin E actually refers to a group of nutrients that play many important roles in the body. They act as a powerful antioxidant and protect cells from damage. These nutrients are also involved in immune function, cellular signaling, and more.

Selenium is another mineral that is concentrated in sunflower seeds and acts as an antioxidant. It is also needed for thyroid function and reproductive health.

Zinc, copper, magnesium, phosphorus and manganese are required for healthy bones and immune function. The B vitamins folate and B6 are essential for metabolism, enzymatic reactions and other important processes.

Sunflower seeds also provide protein, healthy fats and fiber. What more could you want from a delicious snack food?

You can buy sunflower seeds raw or roasted. They come in pits (for peeps who like instant gratification) or in their shells (for those who like a challenge).

Both forms work well as a snack. However, if you’re using sunflower seeds in recipes, topping salads, or mixing with other ingredients to create a delicious student mix, it’s better to buy the unpeeled version.

Remember that peeled or unpeeled sunflower seeds, salted or flavored, can be very high in salt. They may also contain additional ingredients such as added sugar, so reading the labels is important.

Sunflower seeds have a mild taste and go with almost anything. Here are some ways to use sunflower seeds in meals and snacks:

  • Sprinkle peeled sunflower seeds on top of your salad for a crispy boost of fiber, fat, and protein.
  • Make your own sunflower butter by mixing the seeds in your food processor.
  • Add sunflower seeds to oatmeal, yogurt, or chia pudding.
  • Mix together salted sunflower seeds, almonds, cocoa nibs and dried cherries to make a salty and sweet trail mix.
  • Use sunflower seeds in baked goods like muffins and bread.
  • Top grain bowls and pasta dishes with salted sunflower seeds for a unique texture and taste.

As wonderful as sunflower seeds can be for your health, there are a few things to keep in mind when consuming them.

Like all nuts and seeds Sunflower seeds are high in calories. That doesn’t mean they are bad for you, but it is something you should be aware of. Only one ounce contains 163 calories, so a few handfuls of sunflower seeds provide a pretty high amount of calories.

If you are sensitive to salt or have high blood pressure, it is a smart idea to avoid foods high in salt, such as salted sunflower seeds, as foods high in salt can contribute to high blood pressure. Choose unsalted or lightly salted sunflower seeds instead.

Likewise, if you are allergic to sunflower seeds, avoid them. You should also stay away from products that contain sunflower seeds.

Sunflower seeds may be tiny, but they offer some impressive benefits.

They’re packed with fiber, protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. This means that they can help keep your heart healthy, promote healthy blood sugar levels, and keep you from getting hungry at noon.

Try adding sunflower seeds to your meals and snacks for a tasty nutritional boost.

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Normatec Brand and products review: Pros and cons

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We include products that we believe will be useful to our readers. If you buy from links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here is our process.

Normatec offers air compression therapy for legs, arms and hips. Several sports organizations and teams use these products to aid athletes recovery after rigorous training sessions or competitive events. People with leg pain or poor circulation may find that Normatec’s products relieve their symptoms.

Air compression therapy works by increasing blood flow to the muscles, which can improve performance and aid recovery. However, these devices come at a high price and may not be suitable for those with certain underlying medical conditions.

This article takes a closer look at Normatec and its products. It also suggests alternative devices that people can use to relieve muscle fatigue and pain.

Hyperice acquired the rights to Normatec products and patents in 2020. Hyperice sells several different health-related products, including percussion massagers, heat and cold therapy devices, massage balls and rollers, and various accessories.

Hyperice has an A + rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB). However, customer reviews only give them 1.73 out of 5 stars. The main complaints mention problems with:

  • Delivery time
  • defective products
  • bad customer service

A representative has responded to all of the complaints people have made with the BBB. The company is not BBB accredited.

USA Softball announced its decision in 2019 to make Normatec an official USA Softball supplier. In the announcement, the governing body noted that several professional sports teams are using Normatec’s compression therapy products.

The Normatec website does not contain any customer ratings. However on Amazon, more than 300 customer reviews have given the Normatec Pulse 2.0 Leg Restoration System an average score of 4.6 out of 5 stars.

Traditional compression therapy uses socks or stockings to support the veins in the legs. The stockings put pressure on the feet and lower legs to reduce swelling and improve blood circulation.

Normatec is a type of external pneumatic compression device (EPC). An EPC device uses air to apply external pressure to part of the body – often the legs or feet.

Doctors use EPC to treat deep vein thrombosis or blood clots. A person can use the device after surgery in the hospital or at home with proper instructions.

Normatec devices work similarly to the EPC devices that a doctor can use in a hospital. Both types use air to put pressure on specific areas of the body, such as the legs, hips, and arms. However, Normatec markets its equipment as an easy way to warm up before a workout, recover from a strenuous workout, and improve overall performance.

In a 2017 study, researchers found that air-pressurized devices like Normatec helped improve flexibility and relieve pain in a person’s legs after a workout. They also found that the device helped reduce oxidative stress and proteolytic markers when a person was recovering from resistance training. However, it is important to note that Normatec provided 50% of the funding for this research.

Other research involving a small number of male trail runners suggests that high pressure compression garments can improve neuromuscular function and reduce perceived muscle soreness.

Normatec currently offers its 2.0 system on its website and through other sellers, including Amazon. The system uses a patented pulse massage pattern.

The company’s current line of products includes the following options.

Please note that the author of this article has not tried these products. All information is purely research-based.

Normatec 2.0 Pro

The Normatec 2.0 Pro is the most advanced device from Hyperice. It offers several features including:

  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Transport Security Administration (TSA) approval for hand baggage
  • 10 intensity levels
  • Touchscreen and color display
  • ZoneBoost technology
  • 15 V power supply and rechargeable lithium-ion battery
  • Pre-programmed modes such as Recovery Flush, Rehab and Custom
  • 1 year warranty
  • customizable time, pressure and zone settings
  • light and compact design
  • Pressure overlap zones for maximum compression
  • Use of durable construction materials, including tubing and zippers
  • three different size options for legs of different lengths
  • Free Shipping

Customers who purchase this device can add tote bags, such as a backpack, to their order for an additional fee.

The 2.0 Pro is available in three models: legs, hips and arms. A person can order just one of the systems or the entire body system, which includes all three zones.

If a person has a discount code, they can enter it at checkout to save money on their order.

Hyperice sells the Normatec 2.0 Pro leg system here.

Normatec 2.0

The Normatec 2.0 is the simpler model. As with the Pro, people can choose between legs, arms, and hips versions. One person can order them individually or all together as part of a larger package.

The main difference between this base model and the Pro is the features and functions. The basic model includes the following features:

  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • TSA approved for hand luggage
  • seven intensity levels
  • Color display
  • ZoneBoost technology
  • 15 V power supply and rechargeable lithium-ion battery
  • 1 year warranty
  • customizable time, pressure and zone settings
  • light and compact design
  • Pressure overlap zones for maximum compression
  • Use of durable construction materials, including tubing and zippers
  • three different size options for legs of different lengths
  • Free Shipping

One person can order the Normatec 2.0 leg system here.

Other Hyperice products

Hyperice offers a variety of products that help with muscle regeneration, fatigue and pain. Some of its other products include:

  • Hypervolt: A percussion massager.
  • Poison: A device that, depending on the model, supplies different areas of the body with heat and vibrations.
  • Hypersphere: A vibrating massage ball.
  • Vyper: A vibrating muscle roll.
  • Hyperice: A portable cooling device that offers cold therapy on different parts of the body depending on the type selected.

Normatec devices can be helpful to some people. The company heavily markets its products to athletes and others who are physically active and need help recovering from workouts. The main advantage of Normatec products is that the massage effect can promote blood flow to the muscles. Humans can maximize the effectiveness of the devices by lifting the part of the body being treated.

Normatec may not be for everyone. A big downside is the price, with the base model starting at around $ 1,000 and the Pro starting at around $ 1,500. A person may be able to find more cost effective solutions to recovery.

People with injuries or underlying illnesses should speak to their doctor before using Normatec devices. A doctor familiar with a person’s medical history can make recommendations as to whether the Normatec device is likely to work for them.

Normatec is not the only commercially available brand of EPC muscle recovery devices. Several competitors offer similar products at different prices. You may want to consider the following options, all of which are available at a lower price than Normatec’s products:

Alternatively, people looking for an easy fix can try wearing compression stockings, which research has shown can improve exercise performance and reduce perceived muscle soreness.

A person should speak to their doctor before using a Normatec device. The doctor may be able to advise you on other ways to get the desired effects from this treatment.

Normatec or similar EPC devices should not replace medical advice or care. If the pain persists during exercise or activity, a person should speak to their doctor and get an exam. It is possible that the pain was not related to recovery but was due to an injured muscle or joint.

A person should seek medical advice if any of the following symptoms occur after using an EPC device:

  • Swelling in the limbs
  • Warmth in the limbs
  • Pain in the skin under the cuffs
  • Collapse of the skin under the cuffs

Normatec is a brand of EPC devices that have a massaging effect on the muscles of the legs, hips and arms. Normatec’s product marketing is aimed at athletes who are looking for faster recovery after training.

Similar devices are available from other brands, often at a lower cost.

Although EPC treatment presents a small risk, a person should speak to their doctor before using any device. You should stop using it immediately if you experience a skin reaction or if your muscle pain persists or increases.

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