There are many things to love about winter but dark mornings, dark evenings and more time spent working in artificial light are not three of them. If you find yourself feeling more tired and lacking energy over this period, you’re not alone.
Having previously explored foods that can help you strengthen your immune system, this blog will provide a list of the best – and most unexpected – energy-boosting foods.
Vitamin B12 plays a key role in helping your body convert food into energy. This means that it is an essential nutrient for preventing fatigue and supporting the body’s metabolism. Our bodies cannot produce B12 and whilst supplements are readily available, it is possible to get enough B12 from a balanced diet. Many people do not know that eggs are a great source of B12. One boiled egg contains about 25% of the recommended daily amount!
2. Dark chocolate
Whilst this superfood contains the obvious energy-boosting ingredients of caffeine and sugar, it also has other beneficial ingredients. One of these is the chemical theobromine. This not only can provide a boost of energy, but also a boost to your overall mood which in turn can make you feel more energised. Dark chocolate also contains dopamine-releasing phenethylamine which further helps with mood and attention, so the next time you’re adding milk chocolate to your basket, opt for a swap!
3. Greek yoghurt
Protein can provide your body with energy in a number of ways. When the body metabolizes protein into glucose, this is used for energy. It also assists our body in storing iron which contributes to combatting fatigue. Greek yoghurt tends to have a higher protein content than other yoghurts. Making the simple switch to Greek yoghurt is therefore a great way to lock in an additional source of energy.
4. Chia seeds
There are a number of factors that make chia seeds a great energy-boosting addition to your diet. Their balanced ratio of protein, fats and fibre mean they provide a sustainable source of energy as opposed to unwanted spikes in your sugar levels. Chia seeds are also a great source of iron and magnesium which helps transform food into energy. There are plenty of ways in which you can add chia seeds to your food, so why not get creative in the kitchen?
5. Leafy greens
Leafy greens include vegetables like spinach, kale and cabbage. These are all high in B vitamins, iron and vitamins A and E. Each of these contributes towards maintaining healthy energy levels as well as transporting oxygen around your body. Our bodies use oxygen to generate energy from the food we eat, making it essential to fighting fatigue throughout the day. The versatility of these greens makes them a great and easy addition to any meal.
The main ingredient in hummus is chickpeas, which are high in fibre, protein and vitamin B9. This combination makes for a great source of sustainable energy. As a nutrient-dense food it is also a snack that can help you sustain your general health. Hummus is easily accessible to buy or make, and with lots of flavour variations available you’ll never be bored.
7. Peanut butter
Peanuts contain more protein than any other nut. This not only makes them a great source of energy but also means your hunger will be satisfied for longer and your blood sugar levels will remain stable. As well as protein, peanut butter is also high in magnesium and B vitamins which are both good for fighting fatigue. To avoid any unwanted additives, why not try making your own peanut butter.
Water works slightly differently to the foods on this list in that it does not provide a source of energy directly, but prevents fatigue caused by dehydration. Though it does not contain any stimulants, remaining hydrated helps maintain your physical and cognitive performance. This helps prevents feelings of sluggishness or fatigue and can help you feel at your optimal health.
There have been many studies in history exploring the relationship between garlic and physical endurance. Garlic is a source of nitrates, which when ingested can increase your exhaustion intolerance and keep your energy levels high. To get maximal benefits from garlic it’s recommended to chop it raw and leave it to sit for ten minutes. Garlic is a great way to add flavour to cooked dishes and has various other health benefits, including helping to reduce blood pressure and strengthening your immunity.
As well as being rich in protein, chicken is also high in niacin, with a portion of cooked chicken having almost all of your recommended daily amount. This helps your body convert food into energy. Whilst it’s not a direct source of energy, chicken also contains potassium, which provides further help for your body with the processes used to get energy from food. Chicken can also be an ideal source of iron for people who don’t eat red meat.
Let us take care of the menu
If you fancy a night off cooking, why not visit one of our stylish Audley restaurants? With afternoon tea, Sunday lunch and all-day dining menus, you’re sure to find plenty of delicious, energy-boosting options.