Just about everyone needs an increase of energy. But consider this – grabbing your soft drink or other caffeine-laden treat isn’t necessarily the best answer. There are much better ways to naturally boost your energy when you need it the most. The genuine energy-boosters are fresh fruits, vegetables, spices and whole grains. Since fruits and veggies naturally contain vitamins, minerals and other rich supplement that fight off fatigue-causing toxins, all-natural stimulants are much healthier and more efficient than caffeine, chocolate, and other stimulants. Here are some recommendations from nutrition whiz Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS, author of The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth.
Minimally Processed Oats
Oats are a superior reservoir of fiber and also offer a perfect mixture of both the two kinds of fiber – insoluble & soluble. Oatmeal also has an extremely low glycemic load, meaning it has a very, very modest effect on our blood sugar. An oatmeal breakfast (not the instant kind!) can provide you with energy that lasts throughout the day. If you include a modest amount of fat like nuts and a moderate amount of protein (like an egg) and you’re good to go!
Quinoa: The Grain Of The Aztecs
Quinoa is an amazingly nutritious food that’s actually a seed, but cooks up (and is almost indistinguishable from) a grain. Most folks don’t know that it offers a generous amount of protein. And the amount and excellent quality in quinoa seed is oftentimes superior to that of more common cereal and grains, and the nutritive value of quinoa is comparable to that of dried whole milk. Quinoa is as easy to use as rice, and much better for us. Quinoa delivers a lower sodium content and offers us more calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, copper, manganese, iron, and zinc than more everyday grains like barley, wheat and corn.
#2: Beans and Legumes
Adzuki, Red, Black-Eyed Peas
Average, ordinary are doubtlessly sources of roughage in the human diet. And most of us don’t get nearly enough fiber. Fiber is a great protector in ways that likely have not been wholly comprehended, but we finAlly understand that high-roughage foods are associated with a lesser chance of contracting cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Overall a cupful of almost any cooked beans will offer up anywhere from 11 to 17 grams of roughage. That’s truly splendid!
Just one serving of cooked beans every day can be counted on to reduce your overall cholesterol by up to 10% in a mere six weeks. Beans are the superior low-glycemic food, because their superior fiber content implies they raise blood sugar very, very slowly which is a huge advantage for athletic endurance.
And if that weren’t enough, beans are filled with much needed antioxidants and are a wholesome source of protein, typically offering 15 grams for each cup.
Garbanzos, also known as chickpeas, are part of food groups known as legumes or pulses, along with lentils of all colors, green peas and many kinds of beans. Including additional quantities of legumes can shrink the hazard of heart trouble due to their superior fiber content. Roughage most likely will also lower blood cholesterol levels and slow the amount of sugar in the blood, a consideration which is enormously important both for people with diabetes and for people with imminent blood sugar difficulties (metabolic syndrome).
Chickpeas offer up both magnesium & calcium in a significant one-to-one ratio,
a healthy amount of folate, and a gigantic amount of heart-healthy potassium (477 grams per cup!).
These remarkable beans also offer the powerful antioxidant selenium.
They provide all these nutrients plus the vegetable equal of two ounces of protein.
Green peas are really legumes that started in Asia. There are more than a stunning 1,000 assortments of garden peas, the most familiar of which are the ‘common’ and familiar green pea that we usually find frozen in the supermarket. Peas are higher in sugar than the other legumes, but that’s balanced by the delicious fact that approximately only four ounces of cooked peas has 5 1/2 grams of roughage. Dried peas don’t retain their shape as well as the fresh (or frozen) peas, and they taste a little more earthy than the sweeter fresh ones. They are best when utilized in dishes that that require a small amount of thickening.
Lentils are little, disk-shaped green, brownish green or brick red legumes which develop on a bush-like plant that produces annually and are native to central Asia. These high-voltage legumes are preserved immediately as they ripen. There are at least 50 varieties, and they’re distinguished from beans because they don’t contain sulfur so there is no problem with gas. The real claim to fame for lentils is that they are an excellent source of roughage, so they help to reduce cholesterol and moderate blood sugar. One single cup of lentils offers a nice amount of protein—about 18 grams —and a tremendous 16 grams of fiber, both of which are important for athletes. An important advantage: unlike beans, lentils need no pre-soaking and can be devoured in 20-30 minutes.
#3: Herbs, Sprices, and Condiments
Cinnamon contains phytochemicals called “chalcone polymers” that step-up glucose metabolism in the cells, so giving this spice an extraordinary ability to moderate blood sugar. Also, cinnamon contains “anthocyanins”, which actually help capillary functions, as well as phytochemicals which help to withstand candida, the proliferation of yeast in the system that causes so many problems.
Cinnamon is also really good for digestion and it perhaps may reduce blood pressure, establishing it as the ultimate anti-aging spice.
Garlic is one of the oldest foods that also act as medicines from Nature. Garlic is acknowledged even by conventional, traditional medicine as ad aid for lowering cholesterol. It also aids in reducing triglycerides, represses plaque, and reduces the risk of blood clots. Garlic also is a cancer fighter, reduces the risk of cancer and even helps to battle the common cold. Much research proves that garlic could possibly hold some promise for weight control! The key to the surprising wide diversity of health benefits of garlic relate to a compound called allicin, which is made when this white gold is crushed. Allicin begins to degrade after it is produced, so the fresher the better. Garlic experts counsel crushing a small amount of raw garlic and instantly mixing it with your meal right before eating. An important point: microwaving appears to destroy it completely—sorry.
Within Ayurveda, the many-thousand year old health regime from India, ginger is revered as the “universal remedy.” That’s no surprise. The ginger plant is bursting with a whole pharmacy of ingredients with health benefits. Those of us involved in alternative medicine are already aware of ginger’s splendid power to soothe an unsettled stomach and shut down nausea. Ginger assists pregnant women who are fighting morning sickness, and by stimulating saliva, it may also help digestion.
Tumeric is pretty much a “super-spice”, not just for an almost encyclopedic list of health benefits, but also for the taste! It’s a powerful anti-inflammatory, acknowledged for easing arthritis and joint inflammation – and even carpal tunnel syndrome. Even more impressive, there are a minimum of 30 published studies showing that the active compound in turmeric, “curcumin”, fights tumorous growth. Curcumin additionally brings down cholesterol and has potent antioxidant properties as well. Curcumin adores the liver, making it potent medicine for individuals with various liver ailments, including hepatitis.
Oregano is rich in a host of nutrients, including calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, potassium, copper, boron, manganese, vitamin C, vitamin A, and niacin, and also seems to be the herb with the highest antioxidant activity. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it traditionally has been used to support joint function. It also has antifungal, antibacterial, and antiparasitic properties, and is a popular choice in combating candida (yeast).