Almost everyone I know complains they don’t have enough energy. Kids seem to have plenty of energy without even trying, so why is it so hard for adults? Well, we do have the added stress of work and family life, but our diet also has a lot to do with it. All the cells in our body are responsible for producing energy. It’s important that they get the oxygen and nutrients they need or we’ll be feeling fatigued all the time. And the only way we can give them what they need is through our diet.
A lot of people may reach for a sugary snack for an instant energy boost, especially during that mid-day slump. That sugary snack will give you a temporary energy boost because of the sugar but it won’t help feed your cells and will eventually cause another energy slump because you’re blood sugar will crash. It becomes a cycle that is hard to get out of.
A better choice is to reach for healthy plant-based food that feeds your cells the nutrients they need to keep producing energy all day long. There are a few reasons why you’ll want to reach for something plant-based. First, the water content in the plant-based foods will hydrate your body and provide your cells with lots of oxygen. This is great because oxygen is one of the key ingredients needed to produce energy. Second, animal-based foods can be heavy and take longer to digest. Your digestive system needs energy and it needs more energy to digest animal-based foods. It’s why you want a nap after eating a big meal. Rather than spending all that energy on your digestion, why not eat more plant-based foods and use that extra energy for doing something fun? Finally, plant-based foods contain the life force of the plant. They are alive, energetic, and full of nutrients our bodies will use to detoxify and rejuvenate.
Coconut oil: This is a great source of medium chain triglycerides which are a quick source of energy. Add this to your pre and post workout smoothie!
Cremini mushrooms: They are chock-full of B vitamins, which are needed by our cells to produce energy, and selenium, which helps to protect our cells from damage.
Hempseeds: They are full of omega 3 fatty acids which provide long-lasting energy. Toss a handful on your next salad!
Honey: This one isn’t technically plant-based, but it’s a much healthier source of sweetness than many others we use. Not only is it a great source of enzymes and has antimicrobial properties, it’s a source of simple sugar that provides us with a quick source of energy. And if you source it from a respectful, conscientious bee-keeper, you’ll be supporting the health of your local pollinators. Honey can be added to hot beverages for added sweetness.
Quinoa: It is a complete source of protein which is necessary for building muscles. Quinoa is great on its own as a side dish or can be added to soups and stews.
Spinach: It’s an excellent source of all the B vitamins and has lots of iron, which is needed to make hemoglobin, the component in blood that transfers oxygen to your cells. Spinach is great raw or cooked!
So, next time you’re looking to increase your energy, try some of the energy boosting plant-based foods. Along with an exercise routine and a good night’s sleep, you’ll be amazed at how good you’ll feel!