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Next time you're feeling that midday energy dip, don't pour yourself another cup of coffee or reach for a candy bar. Caffeine and sugar may give you an energy spike, but the crash that follows will leave you feeling even more tired than before. Instead, try these 10 foods to help naturally boost your energy and keep you alert all day, elevating your mood and making you more productive. When your energy is low, you may instinctively reach for a cup of coffee or a handful of candy to provide a quick boost. Almonds are a superstar in the snack world, as they contain important nutrients like magnesium and B vitamins that help convert food to energy. Although peanut butter is a calorie-dense food, a little goes a long way in providing a great-tasting energy boost. Skip iceberg lettuce and add an energy-boost to your salad by using nutrient-rich kale as a base.
Ask any nutritionist for healthy and simple breakfast ideas, and oatmeal is sure to make the list. Powerhouse pistachios have a combination of protein, fiber, and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats that adds up to a perfectly satisfying snack.
When it comes to yogurt, Greek varieties deliver twice the amount of hunger-satisfying protein as regular (with 17 grams per 6-ounce container), making it a super-charged breakfast, lunch, or snack. From our SponsorsEveryday Solutions are created by Everyday Health on behalf of our sponsors. Healthier and sweeter than its milk chocolate counterpart, dark chocolate is the perfect snack for keeping you trim, as well as awake. This infused tea is delicious and full of antioxidants, but most importantly full of nutrients that will give you an afternoon boost.
Besides sleep, stress and hormone levels, food intake could have a big impact on your energy levels.
Its healthy fats, protein, and fiber help stave off hunger and keep blood-sugar levels stable. The rich-tasting fish earns the moniker from its omega-3 fatty acids: nutrients that have been found to improve memory and reduce depression, as well as boost energy and mood, Berman says. They're filled with fiber, B vitamins, and potassium — nutrients that promote sustained energy and muscle function, Berman says.
Kale is also great sautéed as a side dish, chopped into soups, and tossed with whole-wheat pasta. It's high-fiber content is the reason it's such a filling meal that provides lasting energy. Pistachios' rich protein content makes them an ideal food for energy all day long, says Kari Kooi, MS, RD, a dietitian at Methodist Hospital in Houston. The fiber and protein that the beans provide stabilize blood sugar, take the edge off hunger, and boost energy, Kooi notes.

View all.ConnectDon't miss out on breaking news, live chats, lively debates, and inspiring stories. Almonds will not only give you a much needed energy boost, but they will also keep you full till the end of the day. Dark chocolate will give you the energy boost that you need due to its high levels of iron and magnesium. They are rich in potassium and vitamin B, which can help slow down digestion but keep blood sugar levels stable as well. The key to a snack that will provide lasting energy is one that's rich in protein, fiber, and complex carbohydrates. Popcorn is a smarter pick than crunchy snacks like chips since it's a whole grain that's low in calories — as long as you don't douse it with butter, salt, or oil. Instead of covering your morning toast with butter or jelly, which are devoid of protein and fiber, top slices with an all-natural nut butter that contains nothing but nuts, Berman suggests.
The healthy fats also make salmon a smart choice for your heart, as they help lower blood pressure and bad cholesterol that can raise your risk for cardiovascular disease. Kale contains the amino acid L-tyrosine, which helps give you a mental lift, as well as a number of antioxidants and fiber to fill you up and help keep your blood sugar stable, says Berman. Because fiber takes so long to digest, having oatmeal for breakfast will power you through the entire morning, compared to a breakfast of white toast and jelly, explains Melinda Johnson, MS, RD, and president of The Arizona Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Though nuts are calorie-dense, 25 pistachios have only 100 calories, and the fact that you have to remove the shell slows you down and prevents overeating.
When used as a dip for nutrient-rich veggies, such as red pepper strips or carrot sticks, hummus makes a great mid-afternoon snack.
Join the conversation!Free NewslettersPersonalized tips and information to get and stay healthier every day. Here are 10 of the best options: Some are great as on-the-go snacks, while others are smart choices for a lunchtime meal that will power you through the afternoon. Plus, the high protein count promotes satiety, which makes it a great energizing dinner option for those trying to lose weight.
Pair a banana with a glass of low-fat milk or a cup of yogurt for an energizing combination of fiber and protein — a combo that also makes a great breakfast to start your day.
With stable blood-sugar levels, you'll feel energized and focused without feeling the need to down another cup of coffee. Make sure you select nonfat or low-fat Greek yogurt to keep calories at around 100 per container. Ditch flavored microwave popcorn and try popping your own kernels, then season them with herbs and spices. However, they also provide fiber which slows the release of energy from the digestive tract.
This sustained energy, instead of getting released all at once, keeps blood sugar levels stable sending the message to your brain that your energy level is good.Fruits and vegetables are a source of antioxidants and phytochemicals that can protect body cells from damage.

Eating a variety of colors of fruits and vegetables is the best way to get different kinds of phytochemicals.
Eating purple, green, orange, red, yellow and blue fruits and vegetables can provide your body with a wide amount of beneficial antioxidants.Crunchy fruits and vegetables like apples, carrots, celery, cucumbers, etc. In fact, chewing on an apple in the morning may help give you an energy boost more than a cup of coffee.Be aware that drinking fruit juice does not have the same effect on the body as eating whole fruits.
It may still contain important nutrients, but by skipping the fiber you are losing out on an important part of the fruit.
Drinking juice could spike blood sugar then send it crashing, which does not help energy levels.Balanced mealsA general tip for boosting energy is to eat meals balanced with carbohydrate, fat and protein. A mix of all nutrients will ensure sustained blood sugar levels and avoid a sudden crash of blood sugar. The carbohydrate source should be high in fiber, so it could be fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes or a combination of sources.Healthy fats and proteins can balance sugar levels along with fiber, and they provide other sources of vitamins and minerals. Healthy fats can be olive oil, nuts, coconut oil, grass fed butter or avocados.Choose lean proteins for best energy levels. Keep portion control in mind and a good balance between fibrous carbs, lean proteins and healthy fats for optimal energy levels.Iron sourcesIron deficiency is a common cause of lethargy and low energy, especially for females. Plant sources, like dark green leafy vegetables beans or dried fruit, have a lower absorption level, but eating a vitamin C source with plant iron foods increases absorption.Avoid energy or sugary drinksEnergy drinks and coffee drinks are usually high in sugar, caffeine and that’s about it. They can offer short term energy, but over time it can have a negative effect on hormone levels and cause fluctuations in blood sugar levels. Plus teas have beneficial phytochemicals and don’t have the sugar rush.Avoid packaged foods with chemicalsChoose natural, unprocessed foods for the best boost of energy. If you usually reach for an energy bar when you need a pick me up, choose brands that use real food ingredients, limited artificial ingredients and aren’t high in added sugar.
Energy bars should also be a source of protein and fiber, so try to choose one based on nuts and fruits for example.ConclusionBoosting energy can come from extra sleep, shift in stress levels and healthy hormone levels. Fruits and vegetables can give you a healthy boost, and these will also give you a fiber, vitamin, mineral and phytochemical boost too.Eating balanced meals between protein, fat and carbohydrates is important for keeping blood sugar levels stable, which in turn will keep energy levels stable. Eating iron rich foods can also boost energy, as iron deficiency will cause low energy and fatigue.
Iron rich foods include red meats, oysters, poultry, eggs and dark green leafy vegetables.Avoid the trap of drinking sugary energy or coffee drinks, as these may give you a caffeine boost but are a poor source for sustained energy.
Choose natural foods with minimal added artificial ingredients for boosting energy levels in a healthy way. Foods that Boost Energy by Holly Klamer About the authorHolly is a registered dietitian with a MS degree in nutrition and exercise science.

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