Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

10 Healthy Foods That Increase Your Energy

Food

Like most people who struggle to stay awake during the day, I absolutely need a cup of coffee to get me going—and stay going.

You don’t need that afternoon latte to perk you up—just work in one of these healthy snacks. Photo credit: Thrive Market

Caffeine is fine in moderation and an addict probably shouldn’t eliminate it cold turkey, but nobody should be relying on coffee alone to keep their energy up.

Luckily, there are other foods that provide that same, lasting jolt. You don’t need that afternoon latte to perk you up—just work in one of these healthy snacks.

1. Almonds (or really any kind of nuts)

No matter how many times we hear about their numerous health benefits, we always manage to forget about those crunchy little gems. Skipping the coffee and substituting it with a handful of raw, unsalted almonds (or cashews, walnuts, or pistachios) will make you feel just as energetic as you would with a cup of coffee, but without the shakiness and eventual sugar crash. Nuts are an amazing source of healthy fats and proteins that balance blood sugar levels, which tend to drop if you don’t eat for a while. Eating nuts as a snack will keep you going throughout the day without wanting to curl up in a ball under your desk.

2. Oranges

If you tend to start feeling sleepy before dinner time, cut up an orange. If you’re feeling daring, sprinkle some chili on top for a spicy-sweet flavor. The vitamin C in the orange helps circulate oxygen throughout your body and into your brain, giving you a surge of energy those yawns are hinting that you need.

3. Fish

Fish is a magical food source—it contains omega-3 fats that protect brain cells and help your brain function better. If you’re feeling particularly sluggish, prepare some baked salmon for yourself. Not only does it make you feel more awake, but fish is also a lighter meal (with plenty of protein nonetheless).

4. Blueberries

Blueberries were the original superfood, way back before acai berries and chia seeds took over. Blueberries are still super and they’re still delicious, so don’t forget about them. Since they are filled to the brim with antioxidants, they help our neural pathways function much more smoothly. In effect, blueberries makes us feel way more alert and awake.

Read page 1 

5. Avocados

Avocados are wonderful and not just because they’re tasty. They’re also energy boosters rich in monosaturated fats used for energy instead of being stored as unhealthy fats. Avocados also contain B-vitamins—you know, those vitamins trainers recommend taking before you hit the gym? B-vitamins naturally increase your energy levels, so add some avocado to your omelet in the morning, or your salad during lunch.

6. Dates

Bacon-wrapped dates, anyone? Dates have a naturally high abundance of sugar, so the next time you want to add brown sugar or maple syrup to your oatmeal, just slice up some dates instead. The sugar in dates is actually way different than the processed sugar that you can find in soda or candy. You won’t feel that spike in glucose levels, nor will you crash and burn later on. Dates are awesome because they’re filled with fiber, so it’s energy that is effective and long-lasting.

7. Watermelon

Watermelon: the perfect picnic fruit bursting with B-vitamins. Watermelon is also peppered with the electrolyte potassium (sports drinks are fortified with electrolytes) so you don’t feel tired after an exhausting day. To get the most out of watermelon, eat it with your salad, or enjoy it as a juice (watermelon + basil = heaven).

8. Broccoli

These tiny tree-like veggies are super high in vitamin C, fiber, iron, beta-carotene, antioxidants and chromium. Chromium is the key word here, since it helps regulate your blood sugar so you feel like a normal, high-functioning human being. Avoid overcooking broccoli, since that can deplete some of its powerful properties.

9. Quinoa

You definitely need some carbs in your diet and the complex ones can do wonders for your body. Smartly eating carbs can boost your serotonin levels, which will make you feel happier and more energized. Quinoa is a seed, so not only is it full of protein, it also contains all nine essential amino acids and provides hundreds of milligrams of magnesium per serving.

10. Beans

Beans are a great substitute for meat whether you’re going vegetarian or you simply want to cut back on meat. Beans have high levels of protein and they contain fat as well, but the “good” kind of fat. Best of all, they have a low glycemic index, which stabilizes your energy levels. Add some kidney or black beans in your salad at lunch to keep from falling asleep on your keyboard or enjoy a bean and cheese burrito for dinner. Eating just one serving per day can make you feel much less sluggish.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Is There Such a Thing as Too Much Coffee?

Dr. Mark Hyman: Slow Carbs, Not Low Carbs

What the Heck Is Nutritional Yeast and Why Should I Use It?

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Pexels

By Shawna Foo

Anyone who's tending a garden right now knows what extreme heat can do to plants. Heat is also a concern for an important form of underwater gardening: growing corals and "outplanting," or transplanting them to restore damaged reefs.

Read More Show Less
Malte Mueller / Getty Images

By David Korten

Our present course puts humans on track to be among the species that expire in Earth's ongoing sixth mass extinction. In my conversations with thoughtful people, I am finding increasing acceptance of this horrific premise.

Read More Show Less
Women sort potatoes in the Andes Mountains near Cusco Peru on July 7, 2014. Thomas O'Neill / NurPhoto / Getty Images

By Alejandro Argumedo

August 9 is the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples – a celebration of the uniqueness of the traditions of Quechua, Huli, Zapotec, and thousands of other cultures, but also of the universality of potatoes, bananas, beans, and the rest of the foods that nourish the world. These crops did not arise out of thin air. They were domesticated over thousands of years, and continue to be nurtured, by Indigenous people. On this day we give thanks to these cultures for the diversity of our food.

Read More Show Less
A sand tiger shark swims over the USS Tarpon in Monitor National Marine Sanctuary. Tane Casserley / NOAA

By John R. Platt

Here at The Revelator, we love a good shark story.

The problem is, there aren't all that many good shark stories. According to recent research, sharks and their relatives represent one of the world's most imperiled groups of species. Of the more than 1,250 known species of sharks, skates, rays and chimeras — collectively known as chondrichthyan fishes — at least a quarter are threatened with extinction.

Read More Show Less
The Anderson Community Group. Left to right, Caroline Laur, Anita Foust, the Rev. Bryon Shoffner, and Bill Compton, came together to fight for environmental justice in their community. Anderson Community Group

By Isabella Garcia

On Thanksgiving Day 2019, right after Caroline Laur had finished giving thanks for her home, a neighbor at church told her that a company had submitted permit requests to build an asphalt plant in their community. The plans indicated the plant would be 250 feet from Laur's backdoor.

Read More Show Less
Berber woman cooks traditional flatbread using an earthen oven in her mud-walled village home located near the historic village of Ait Benhaddou in Morocco, Africa on Jan. 4, 2016. Creative Touch Imaging Ltd. /NurPhoto / Getty Images

By Danielle Nierenberg and Jason Flatt

The world's Indigenous Peoples face severe and disproportionate rates of food insecurity. While Indigenous Peoples comprise 5 percent of the world's population, they account for 15 percent of the world's poor, according to the World Health Organization.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Danny Choo / CC BY-SA 2.0

By Olivia Sullivan

One of the many unfortunate outcomes of the coronavirus pandemic has been the quick and obvious increase in single-use plastic products. After COVID-19 arrived in the United States, many grocery stores prohibited customers from using reusable bags, coffee shops banned reusable mugs, and takeout food with plastic forks and knives became the new normal.

Read More Show Less