7 Top Energy-Boosting 'Super Foods'

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The term "Superfoods" is often misused as a marketing term to describe products like rare berries found in the Himalayan mountains.

But the truth is, just about every plant whole food has what could be termed "Superfood" qualities.

Every fruit, vegetable, nut, seed and whole grain - in their unrefined state - can provide your body and cells with clean energy.  The first secret is to begin looking at these foods through a different set of eyes and to be consciously aware of how nature's table provides these foods for us to support our health and vitality.

Whilst any whole food is going to deliver your body good, clean energy (bonus points if it's locally grown, seasonal and organic), there are certain foods among the whole food contingent that do definitely bolster your get-up-and-go!

These are the foods that are rich in the vital nutrients that convert to ready, long-haul energy that can power you through your busy day. These are the foods that pick you up without letting you down. There's no crash, no regrets: just pure, vital energy.

Keep reading. We're going to tell you all about the top superfoods to boost your energy levels.

Top Superfoods to Boost Your Energy Levels

1. Bananas

There's a reason why monkeys can munch on bananas, swing from tree to tree and have seemingly boundless energy.

For humans, they're just as convenient, effective and energy boosting, so be sure to include bananas - one of nature's greatest 'superfoods' into your diet regularly.

Bananas pack a serious nutritional punch, offering up a bevvy of clean carbohydrates, potassium, as well as vitamin B6—all of which assist your body in crucial energy production.

In fact, studies have shown that a banana prior to endurance exercise was even more effective at providing sustained energy - more so than commercial sports drinks, which tend to spike blood sugar.

Learn more about energy conservation in 5 Clear Signs of Burnout & How to Avoid It.

2. Brown Rice

Brown rice is a thing of beauty when it comes to increasing your energy levels, naturally. Brown rice is high in fibre and boasts a low glycemic index, which means it will regulate blood sugar levels to keep you going steady all day long.

Another perk of this ecumenical grain? It's less processed than white rice, providing you with a clean source of energy that retains more of its nutrients—notably, manganese.

To point, one cup of cooked brown rice contains a whopping 88% of your recommended daily intake of manganese, an essential mineral that helps enzymes breakdown carbohydrates and proteins and turn them into energy.

Buy organic brown rice, rinse it before cooking and add it as an accompaniment to hot meals or have it ready made to prepare as a delicious rice salad before you go to work.

Delicious Cooking Tip: To cooked or cooled rice, add olive oil, chopped fresh herbs, chilli flakes, sea salt and toasted raw almonds.  

Learn more about other super grains in 5 Healthy Super Grains & How to Best Prepare Them.

3. Sweet Potatoes

Here's another top superfood to boost your energy levels. The sweet potato is already praised for being a low-glycemic index carbohydrate, which provides your body with slow releasing energy that's vital to sustaining long-lasting fuel that won't result in unhealthy fat gain. But the benefits of this root vegetable don't end there.

Sweet potatoes, like brown rice, are also a good source of manganese as well fibre, and an impressive 438% of your daily recommended intake of vitamin A—a nutrient that helps to maintain a healthy immune system. (And nothing zaps energy like being chronically sick.)

One medium sweet potato is all you need to enjoy the energy-boosting properties of this superfood.

4. Apples

An apple a day can keep an energy crash at bay! Among all of the apple's superpowers is its notable ability to provide your body with long-lasting fuel. In addition to being an excellent source of slow-energy releasing fibre, apples are also rich in antioxidants, which have been shown to slow the digestion of carbs, allowing them to be readily used over an extended period.

To reap the full rewards of this top superfood to boost your energy levels, eat your apples whole. Apple juices or purees don't have the fibre of a whole apple, and as a result, you're only getting quickly digested, and very quickly expended energy.

The result?

You'll be hungrier sooner, and looking for your next quick fix. You will also likely be eating more than you need to in the process. If you want to satisfy your energy requirements and maintain a healthy body weight, you need to think about your dietary choices for their big picture effect on your health.

Learn more in 7 Good Reasons to Eat An Apple a Day

5. Berries

Berries bring to bear the very best in all these top superfoods to boost your energy levels. They are an abundant source of those digestion slowing antioxidants and are high in fibre and that all crucial nutrient manganese that helps convert nutrients to energy.

Berries may well be one of the most sweet and delicious ways to keep your energy levels up. There are dozens of ways to enjoy them so you don’t run the risk of getting bored. Add them to your smoothies, on top of your oatmeal, in baking, spread on toast or chop them up and add them to colourful, mouth-watering salads. The possibilities and almost endless and the payoff is good, clean fuel for your mind and body.

Tip: Get a healthy hit of fibre and antioxidants from Blueberry or Cranberry Pulse Sacred Meal. Perfect if you need on-the-go fuel.

6. Dark Chocolate

While dark chocolate is not strictly a whole food, what it lacks in conformity to this definition it makes up for with an incredible influx of energy-boosting properties. In addition to containing stimulating compounds like theobromine and caffeine, the antioxidants in dark chocolate have been shown to improve mood and reduce mental exhaustion by increasing blood flow throughout the body.

Tip: Aim for high quality dark chocolate, like the raw organic cacao found in Chocolate Pulse.

7. Coffee

Finally, let's give credit to one of the most obvious top superfoods to boost your energy levels. Coffee has earned its uplifting reputation for a reason: it works!

Now, when we're talking about coffee, realise that you should look out for organic, spray-free coffee beans as coffee is one of the most over-sprayed commercial crops on the planet.  Look for organic, fair-trade sources and make it yourself at home whenever you can.

The second thing to realise is that the big problem with coffee is the stuff that we typically ADD to coffee - think 'plasticised' mass-farmed dairy milk, creamer, artificial sweeteners and refined sugar.  This is not the way coffee was intended to be enjoyed.

Instead, prepare a cup of black coffee from organic beans, then add a dash of coconut or almond milk or MCT oil and/or Coconut Butter to obtain an incredible, healthy energy fuel source.

The caffeine in coffee has been shown to improve physical performance, increase sustained energy, elevate mental focus and even suppress appetite.  And the polyphenols in coffee are loaded with antioxidants, assist weight management, support healthy digestion and boost cardio vascular health. 

All that, from a cup of java!

Of course, it's important to keep your coffee consumption in check.

1-2 cups a day is a healthy amount to consume, and it will give you all the perks of enjoying coffee with none of the anxiety increasing, sleep inhibiting side-effects.

Once again...make sure your coffee is 100% natural, as opposed to processed or synthetic caffeine you'll find in a lot of commercial-grade, chemically ridden coffee that you'll find in most regular cafes.  Look for a boutique coffee shop that offers organic coffee and organic milks and nut milks, or better still, get into the habit of preparing your own coffee in the morning at home from organic beans.

A final tip: coffee is a morning beverage. It is not meant to be consumed after midday because it can interfere with your sleep and create afternoon jitters.  Also by sticking with coffee in the morning, you'll be supporting your digestive system to eliminate waste during the digestive cycle - which happens to be in the morning.

Learn more in Coffee: The Healthy Way to Enjoy Your Daily Cup

The Importance Of Water

Have you ever just eaten a good meal and then felt inexplicably hungry again? Well, chances are, you’re not hungry, but actually thirsty. That’s right: thirst is often confused with hunger leading people to (over) eat when they really need to drink.

60% of your body is made up of water and failure to get enough of this vital fluid can result in false feelings of hunger as well as low energy. Your body requires water to perform every action, and without it, you’ll feel confused, agitated and, yes, lethargic.

Additionally, the weight of the brain is approximately equal to 2 litres of water, which must be replaced every 24 hours.

Aim to drink at least 8 glasses of clean fresh water every day in order to help your body function and perform at its best which in turn will help boost your energy levels.  And if you engage in rigorous physical activity or sweat a lot, aim for 1 litre per 22 kilos of your body weight as a healthy guide.

Learn more in Water: Nature's Best & Why It's Critical To Life

Ready to power up? Infuse your diet with these top superfoods to boost your energy levels and enjoy a more vital, more nourished and more joyful life.

Learn more in 5 Daily "Musts" To Boost Your Energy Naturally

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