Top 10 Superfoods to Super Boost Your Energy
What’s good about superfoods is that they contain a lot more vitamins, minerals and other nutrients and are relatively low in calories. These antioxidants are like the “good soldiers” that fight harmful substances, called free radicals. Free radicals are unstable chemically substances, and as such tend to “attack” other substances in the body and may even produce a chain reaction that causes a lot of damage. They strengthen the immune system, slow down the aging process and boost energy. So if you feel that you’ve ran out of gas, take an energy knock with these 10 super foods:
1. Raw Cacao
You will be delighted to know that dark chocolate, is in fact, good for you! But that doesn’t mean you should head out and buy a lifetime supply of chocolate bars to feast on. I’m talking about the raw, unrefined, chocolate. Also known as, cacao. Cacao is chocolate in it’s most purest form. You can buy real cacao beans, or a powder form, at most health stores or supermarkets. It is amazing what you can do with cacao. You can make creamy smoothies, milkshakes and healthy versions of all your favorite chocolate treats.
Apart from tasting delicious, cacao has a number of nutritional benefits. It is rich in antioxidants, magnesium, iron, chromium, manganese, zinc, copper, vitamin C, phosphorus, and more. It also contains tryptophan, which helps to produce serotonin (the happy hormone, which reduces anxiety, and has the same effect as love on our brain). That’s the reason why chocolate is used as a gift on Valentine’s day.
2. Chia Seeds
Chia is a seed that originates from Mexico, dating back to Mayan and Aztec cultures. “Chia” means strength, and it’s not hard to see why. Chia seeds are a food that gives you energy fast. They are packed with vital nutrients, making them arguably the most nutritiously dense seed, containing omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, antioxidants, and calcium.
Chia seeds can be easily added to meals. Their nutty flavor tastes great on top of oatmeal, salads, rice dishes, yogurt, or mixed into smoothies and cookies or cakes. Or if you are a true chia fan, then you can take them neat by adding them to water, in which they form a gel.
Further reading: Find here 10 amazing reasons you should eat chia seeds.
3. Coconut water
Coconut water is all the rage at the moment, (you may have seen posters of Rihanna sipping out of a coconut seductively). Well in case you are wondering what all the fuss is about, you’d better read my previous article about 10 reasons to drink coconut water that you probably didn’t know about. Coconut water is packed with nutrients that yield an array of health benefits. It is 95 percent water and is extracted from young coconuts and it is very refreshing.
One medium glass of coconut water also contains more potassium than a banana, and less than 1% fruit sugar. It is also packed with electrolytes, (minerals found naturally in your body fluids, such as plasma.) Electrolytes maintain fluid balance in your body.
Nutritionists advise drinking coconut water in moderation, rather than replacing it with water, as it does contain calories, and naturally occurring sugars. However, coconut water is definitely healthier than fizzy drinks, and in moderation, coconut water should help you stay healthy, young and fit.
This is a blue-green algae, that is a rich source of beta-carotene and amino acids. Dried spirulina contains about 65% protein (much more than fish, meat or poultry, with 0 cholesterol). It is a complete protein containing all essential amino acids. Now, the idea of eating algae make not sound particularly appetizing, but hear me out. Not only it is highly nutritious and packed with protein, spirulina is also high in chlorophyll and iron, antioxidants, beta-carotene and essential fatty acid omega 3 and 6. According to Dr Oz: “Spirulina is an excellent source of protein. This blue-green algae, available in powder and supplement form at health food stores, boosts energy by unlocking sugar from your cells so it does not get stored as fat.”
Spirulina can be bought as a powder, which is said to be the most powerful, as it is directly absorbed into your body. It can be mixed into smoothies, juices, or even just a glass of water. But, be warned! It does have a very strong, earthy taste, which you may find easier to drink if it is mixed in with something. Whichever way you choose to consume spirulina, it is certainly a food that will give you energy all day.
Further reading: Find more information in my article how to boost your health with seaweed and algae and how to consume them.
Bananas are a perfect accompaniment to a high energy diet. Whether you are an athlete, a housewife, a child, or just an average person like me, bananas should be a part of your diet.
Why? Well, first of all, they contain a whole load of potassium. They have antacid effects, and contain tryptophan, which as we learned earlier, boost serotonin.
Furthermore, numerous studies have found potassium to decrease blood pressure, protect against the hardening of the arteries, prevent strokes, increase bone health, and improve overall heart health. So, what are you waiting for? Super-food your diet today! If you need further convincing why you should eat bananas, read my previous article about 7 health benefits of bananas.
Further reading: Find here how to make delicious banana, oatmeal and yogurt smoothie.
6. Goji Berries
Ah the gorgeous goji berry. Full of protein, amino acids, and minerals such vitamin B1, B2, B6, E and C. Not to mention being rich in antioxidants, they are also known to improve vision, increase libido, sexual function and boost your immune system. Sounds perfect, right?
You can eat goji berries in many fun ways. Why not whip them up in your smoothies or add them to oatmeal for breakfast? Or mix them into salads, pop them in your trail mix or even use them in muffins and desserts!
Further reading: find here 5 important reasons why you should eat more berries. Apart from that, each berry has its own uniqueness which you can read in my e-book The Healing Berry Guide where you can find more information about the healing powers of berries and is a must if you want to become healthier from the inside out and get healthy and easy berry recipes that are sure to boost your health.
7. Maca Powder
Girls, if you suffer from PMS, or hot flushes as part of your menopause, then maca powder is your friend! This superfood provides relief from your symptoms. But guys, don’t feel left out, as maca powder is worth your while too, by enhancing your fertility, decreasing stress levels, building strength, stamina and boosting your libido. It is also a great food for an energy boost.
Maca is a Peruvian root vegetable from the radish family. It is used for centuries for food and medicine, since the Incas. You can use it in its powder form. It is rich in calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, vitamin B1, B2, C, E and iron, and is also full of amazing minerals like zinc and selenium, so it can help your body handle conditions such as anemia, fatigue, depression, poor memory, tuberculosis and malnutrition.
Maca powder can easily be incorporated into your diet. Try adding it to oatmeal, smoothies, juices, cake recipes, and deserts!
8. Flax Seeds
Flaxseeds, also known as linseeds, as well as their oil, are one of the richest sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
Many people consume too much omega-6 fatty acids, but not enough omega-3. It is important to get the balance right between the two in order to be fit and healthy. Flax seeds and oil is one of the rare foods that contains omega-6 and 3 in just the right balance for the human body. It is important to consume ground flaxseed in order to enjoy their benefits.
9. Hemp Seeds
Hemp seeds are another nutrition packed seed that you need in your life. They provide a hefty load of protein (33% to 37% of its weight) and are full of energy and enzymes. Not to mention being rich in omega-3, 6 and 9, which are all vital for brain functions.
Hemp seeds and oil are great to boost your immune system and bring balance in your essential fatty acids, and therefore also decreasing inflammation. They deliver a balanced array of amino acids and are rich in minerals such as phosphorous, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, manganese, zinc, sodium, silicon, copper and many others.
Use the oil in in your dressings and sprinkle the seeds on your cereals, fruits, smoothies or salads, they are delicious!
When most of us are feeling sluggish throughout the day, we grab a chocolate bar, a coffee or an energy drink to keep us going. However, those will only provide a short burst of energy which leave you feeling fatigued again after a while.
Nuts, on the other hand, provide slow releasing energy to keep us going for longer. They are also very healthy, boasting many nutritional benefits.
Almonds, walnuts, pecans and cashews are particularly good nut choices, as they contain a lot of protein, potassium, iron for energy, omega-3 fatty acids, unsaturated fats, and a variety of vitamins and minerals.
Adding nuts to your daily nutrition is also one of the 70 habits featured in my e-book 70 Powerful Habits For A Great Health which will guide you how to take positive steps to improve your wellness and overall health.
Super food energy bars with cacao: makes about 15 bars
- 1/3 cup hemp seeds
- 1/4 cup cacao nibs or cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup shredded coconut
- 3/4 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1/3 cup chia seeds
- 1/3 cup ground flax seeds
- 1 cup dates
- 1-2 tablespoons melted coconut oil, if needed
Put the dry ingredients (keep a little bit of each ingredient to add in a second) in your food processor, then add the dates and raisins and process until everything it starts to stick together. If it’s too dry, add more dates or coconut oil. Add the remaining dry ingredients you left out and mix in with your hands. Press into a lined pan and set in the fridge for an hour or more. Cut into bars and store for up to one week.
Read my other related articles:
1. 6 Reasons You’re Tired All The Time & How To Beat Fatigue
2. Chronic Fatigue & Fibromyalgia – The Most Promising Natural Remedy
3. How to Make the Ultimate Super Food Energy Smoothie