When you have a busy day ahead, you need energy to keep you on your toes. While a cup of coffee can be enough to get you in gear in the morning, it won’t last all day long. That’s where superfoods to give you more energy come in hand.
That mid-morning slump, mid-afternoon slump, or lurking groggyness no matter the time of day, can really take you off your game. Too often, people reach for energy drinks and sugary snacks to keep them awake and energized. But guess what? Some of the most powerful foods come from nature.
“Superfood” is a term used to refer to foods that are much higher in vitamins, minerals, nutrients, electrolytes, and phytonutrients. They’re void of added sugars, harmful processed fats, and chemical additives.
The following list of superfoods, from fruits and vegetables to fish, are packed with things like protein, slow-digesting carbohydrates, and healthy fats. They’ll give you long-lasting energy, so you won’t have that crash feeling like you get from a sugary processed granola bar.
Blueberries are packed with powerful antioxidants, contain vitamins A and C, folate, potassium, magnesium, and fiber, and even offer energy-boosting carbs. When you’re feeling that mid-morning slump, throw back a few blueberries for a naturally sweet superfood energy snack.
Blueberries are also an excellent source of manganese, which converts carbohydrates and fats into energy.
You can also start your day with them, like this deliciously healthy Greek Yogurt Pancakes with Blueberries & Honey recipe.
Though they be but small, they are fierce! Chia seeds are tiny nutrient dense energy powerhouses. They offer a proper dose of potassium, healthy fats, calcium, and various other essential nutrients that provide the body with energy.
A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning found that chia seeds enhanced exercise performance for workouts that lasted 90 minutes. The same way sugary sports drinks do!
Toss them in salads and sauces, and start your day with them in this Chia Seed Berry Yogurt Smoothie.
Great for a gluten-free lifestyle, quinoa has more protein than any other grain or rice. You can expect to get a healthy amount of protein in a small amount.
In fact, quinoa is a “complete protein,” a term that refers to amino acids, the building blocks of protein. While there are 20 different amino acids that can form a protein, there are nine that the body can’t produce on its own.
For a protein to be “complete” it must have all nine of these. Quinoa is also rich in folate, magnesium, and phosphorus to support energy levels.
An animal study conducted in 2014 by researchers in Paris, France found that quinoa consumption led to higher energy expenditure, as well as better glucose processing and less dietary fat absorption.
Don’t wait for that afternoon slump to hit you while you’re on deadline! Avoid the crash by getting your energy levels up at lunch with this Butternut Squash and Cranberry Quinoa Salad.
Goji berries are a unique fruit that is sold in its dried form. They are a complete protein, very rich in antioxidants, low in calories, fat-free, and a good source of fiber.
A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, found that goji berries showed increased ratings for energy levels and athletic performance, making them a great superfood energy option.
You can consume this superfruit in so many ways, from adding them to your smoothies and your salads, to even adding some color and depth to a meal, like this Sautèed Fennel, Asparagus and Goji Berries.
Salmon is one rich fish that looks pretty on the plate and tastes even better! It is an excellent source of the omega-3 fatty acids needed for energy production, brain activity, and circulation. Plus, they’re a great source of protein.
One study found that fish oil, a concentrated source of omega-3 fats, reduces body fat and stimulates the use of fatty acids for the production of energy in healthy adults.
Top your salad with some salmon for a delightful and energizing lunch, like this Salmon & Avocado Salad with Lemon Dressing.
Who doesn’t love creamy avocado? It’s always nice to have a delightful fruit double as a rich topping. Avocados are a great source of healthy fats, fiber, potassium, vitamins A and E, and folate.
Eating avocado regularly, whether topping a salad or smashing on toast, like this Caprese and Smashed Avocado Toast, means you’re getting plenty of monounsaturated fat which provides energy while helping you to slim down. It’s a creamy, delicious win-win!
Kale is the king of superfoods, packed with vitamin C, vitamin A, calcium, iron, and potassium. It’s also a good source of protein and fiber.
Making this Hearty Kale Salad will give you a great energy boost thanks to kale’s essential minerals of copper, potassium, iron, and phosphorus, and respectable amounts of energy-boosting manganese.
Tossing back a handful of almonds is a surefire way to give yourself a dose of superfood energy. It also helps avoid your desire to snack on something much less healthy!
Almonds are packed with protein and fiber, and have calcium, potassium, phosphorus and vitamin E. They’re also a great source of magnesium. Magnesium plays an essential role in converting sugar into energy, but low levels of it can drain your energy levels.
A study by the ARS Community Nutrition Research Group found that when magnesium-deficient women exercised, they required more oxygen to complete low-level activities. They also had a higher heart rate compared to when their magnesium levels were higher.
You don’t even have to just consume plain old almonds. If you want to use them as energy in other ways, why not try this Spiced Coconut Tomato Soup with Brown Rice, Almonds and Paneer?
This meaty legume is a powerhouse of superfood energy goodness thanks to its excellent sources of protein, fiber, iron, potassium, zinc, and folate.
Lentils are also rich in selenium. Without this mineral, you’ll have lower energy levels. That makes lentils a natural mood-enhancer!
Make a comforting meal and energizing one, like this One Pot Balsamic, Chicken, Carrots & Lentils made healthy with EVOO, veggies, and lentils.
Chocolate as a superfood energy option? Yep! Raw cacao is an incredibly healthy treat. You can find it in powder form to add to smoothies or put in desserts.
Chocolate in its most natural form is naturally sweet, yet sugar free. You really can’t beat that!
Raw cacao contains a variety of unique phytonutrients, including high amounts of sulfur, magnesium and phenylethylamine. It’s also an excellent source of monounsaturated fat, cholesterol-free saturated fat, vitamins, minerals, fiber, natural carbohydrates, and protein.
Talk about an energy booster! Try these Superfood Chia Energy Bites to get you perked up with chia seeds, cacao nibs, and cacao powder. They’re delish!
The next time you think about using a sugary treat, like a high-calorie afternoon coffee drink, to give you a boost of energy, wait! Remember the incredible superfood energy options out there. They’re delicious and oh so good for you.
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