Food influences many mechanisms inside the human body. It does not just serve as a source of energy but it provides the body with the raw materials for growth and repair, as well. Truly, what you eat is what you become.
It is a bit ironic, however, that in the fast-paced productivity-driven modern world, we tend to give a little emphasis on selecting the food that we eat for our meals. We prefer fast foods over whole foods. These bad eating habits are so ingrained in each of us, we barely notice it anymore. Worse is, we fail to realize that the effects of poor eating habits in our productivity are increasing.
Poor food choice can result in low energy during times of the day, diminished focus and productivity and a reduced sense of well-being.
There is but one easy and quick fix to that—reconsider your food choice and change your eating habits. Here are some foods that will help you with such a goal and instantly boost your energy, improve mental faculty an increase your productivity.
During long periods of work, sometimes we do not notice not consuming water. The human body is composed of 60% water. Without enough water in our body, some metabolic processes cannot continue as fast. We feel drained and foggy—symptoms of mild dehydration. The solution is simple—keep a bottle of water and take a sip from time to time. There a much simpler solution, though—take a moment and listen to your body. You might be thirsty without noticing it. Thirst is the body’s way of communicating the need for fluids.
#2 Lean Protein
Like oils, the body also metabolizes protein much more slowly than carbohydrates. It serves as a source of energy, as well, and can boost your metabolism thus keeping you active longer. You can get a quick bite of backed salmon, grass-fed beef burger, hard-boiled eggs and walnuts, for instance, to get your dose of energy-boosting protein.
#3 Dark leafy greens
Dark leafy greens are rich in nutrients and fiber that does not only make you feel full but delays hunger and prevents craving, as well. It keeps you energized longer thus you can function productively for extended periods. You can add in a handful of dark leafy greens in your smoothie, for instance, or as top to your pasta or pizza.
#4 Whole grains and root crops
Not all sources of carbohydrates are bad. You can get complex carbs from whole grains and root crops like sweet potato. Complex carbs include nutrients and fiber that slows down the absorption of carbohydrates. In addition, the added nutrients will keep you feeling full for long.
#5 Dark chocolate
You can get a decent amount of caffeine from dark chocolate that will boost your energy and mental clarity. Dark chocolate is good for such a purpose because it contains little (if it does at all) sugar. You can take, for instance, an ounce of dark chocolate with a cup of tea or add a teaspoon of cocoa powder to your oatmeal or yogurt.
#6 Healthy oils
Unlike carbohydrates that get absorbed easily and spike the blood sugar levels for a time, oils are difficult to metabolize. When taken with fiber, oils can keep you feeling full and energized longer.
You can get healthy oils from sources such as almonds, seeds, coconut, avocado and olive. Almond and seeds make a crunchy, yet satisfying and energizing, snack.
#7 Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt does not just keep your gut healthy by supplying it with good bacteria, it also contains high amounts of protein and less amounts of sugar and sodium compared to other types of yogurt.
It would make a good replacement to your usual snacks or as an on-the-go breakfast if you’re in a hurry (although you should not skip breakfast if you want to be energized throughout the day).
You could eat frozen Greek yogurt with a fruit like blueberries for an easy and quick dessert, as well. The natural sugars and fiber in the fruit and the protein in the Greek yogurt would help with your feeling of satiety and curb hunger pangs and cravings.
The best thing about banana as a food is it is a rich source of the electrolyte potassium. Electrolytes are important in keeping a water balance in our body and in helping the muscles relax and contract. Having low and high electrolytes spells the difference between lethargic and energized. In addition, bananas are packed with essential vitamins.
One of the best sources of complex carbohydrates and fiber are lentils. The mix of these two provides a steady supply of slow-burning energy. Thus, you feel energized and full longer after eating.
In addition, lentils contain iron which helps in the transport of oxygen to every cell in the body. It is also a key component in a healthy metabolism and the production of energy.
#10 DHA-rich foods
DHA, a form of omega-3 fatty acid, improves metabolism while protecting the body from DNA damage and oxidative stress. Good sources of DHA are fish and eggs. Some eggs are also fortified with DHA elevating their natural DHA contents. You can take DHA-fortified eggs for breakfast to get your daily dose of DHA that will push you farther forward in the day.
A lot of factors contribute to feeling tired or lazy on a particular day (or week) including stress and anxiety. Although you could improve your energy with food, if the cause of having low energy is emotional or psychological in nature, food will have little to no effect at all.
In addition, the food that is listed here is some of the foods you could eat to improve your health as backed by research. You could further the effect of these foods by incorporating them into your diet and changing your lifestyle.
Aside from diet, exercise regularly, have a balance of activities in your life, medicate or find ways to reduce or remove stress and get enough sleep.
Written by: Usman Raza is a freelance writer, marketing specialist at KeevaOrganics.com and co-founder of UsmanDigitalMedia.com. When not working, he’s probably spending time with his family. Follow him on Facebook @usmanraza40 and Twitter @usmanintrotech.