Your body runs off what you feed it. The best way to get the most energy from your food is to make sure you’re giving yourself the best food possible.
The easiest way to avoid the post-meal coma is to eat several smaller-portioned meals throughout the day. This will keep your body fueled regularly and may even help you lose weight.
Unprocessed foods – Avoid highly processed foods, such as packaged or canned foods, candy, boxed meals, and precooked meats, which are typically full of preservatives, additives, sodium, trans fats, and artificial ingredients, along with loads of sugars and/or starches that may cause a carbohydrate spike followed by a crash a short time after eating, causing drowsiness and fatigue.
Fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables – The fresher your food is, the more nutrients it will contain. Unlike processed foods that may be stripped of nutrients for a longer shelf life, fresh foods typically contain higher nutrients.
Non-caffeinated, low-sugar beverages – Caffeine is OK in moderation, and it has been shown to have some health benefits. Although it provides a short-term boost, it doesn’t actually provide the body with energy. If you must have your fix, opt for black coffee or unsweetened tea. Sodas and energy drinks can be full of artificial ingredients and refined sugars that can cause you to crash. Some of these drinks use dextrose and glucose (which are tasteless, unlike fructose) to deliver more carbohydrates than you realize.
Lean proteins – Red meats marbled in fat adds saturated fat to your diet. Leaner meats, like chicken, turkey, and fish, still provide quality protein, but contain less saturated fat. Fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon and tuna, can add beneficial, heart healthy fats.
Nuts and seeds – Nuts and seeds are some of the best foods to beat fatigue and fight hunger. Getting a variety of nuts and seeds in your diet can provide healthy nutrients and energy, and increase the high-density lipoproteins that are important in balancing your cholesterol.
Water – Drinking water is essential for optimal functioning of the body. Although water doesn’t provide energy in the form of calories, it helps facilitate the energetic processes in the body, which is an energy boost in itself. Sip on water throughout the day, and try to swap out sodas, coffee, and other drinks for a glass of water. This simple change can make a big difference.
Bananas – Bananas are packed with potassium, fiber, vitamins, and the perfect amount of carbohydrates that provide you with a big boost of natural energy.
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