Improve Your Energy Naturally


Coffee, a few pieces of sugary chocolate, maybe a sweetened matcha latte, and oh— let’s not forget the afternoon sugar-filled energy shot before a workout. These are all some of the many energy boosters that women turn to today. It’s true that many of them are effective, and they’re also some of the least harmful in the grand scope of things. However, there are others ways you can naturally improve your energy without stimulants, and without energy pills or diet pills that hurt your body long term.

To improve your energy naturally, try eating more of these seven foods below that will provide consistent energy all day long. These foods will also keep you at a healthy weight, improve focus at work, improve your workouts, and help you sleep better at night.

Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes aren’t referred to as a superfood these days without good reason. Aside from the fact they areenergydelicious, they are also a fantastic source of complex carbs and low on the glycemic index. This promotes optimal blood sugar levels since the spuds keep you fuller longer without a crash that foods high in sugar and refined carbs do. Sweet potatoes are also a great source of magnesium and B vitamins needed for optimal energy as well as potassium that improves electrolyte function.

Oats are truly a remarkable food; they are rich in iron, magnesium, potassium and contain more amino acids per gram than any other grain. Oats are also one of the best sources for your blood sugar levels as well as a fantastic source of fiber. Choose steel-cut or rolled (old-fashioned) oats as the best varieties and always avoid instant versions sweetened with sugar. Top your oats with berries, chia, and some cinnamon for even more energizing carbs, amino acids, and for better blood sugar function.

Berries are a fantastic food for your energy levels because they contain natural sugars and are also rich in fiber. This perfect pairing improves how they are digested, which optimizes your energy levels as the sugars digest more slowly. Berries are also one of the most antioxidant-rich foods you can eat, so they improve your immune system and overall metabolic function.

Maca is a root from Peru that is a member of the cruciferous family of plants (such as broccoli, kale, cabbage and brussel sprouts). Maca helps balance your adrenal glands and hormones to provide you with more energy if you’re low on fuel. It can also help calm you down if you suffer from high levels of stress since it acts as an adaptogen for the body. Since excess stress contributes to lower energy levels long-term, maca is a great superfood to include in your diet.

energySpinach (or Kale)
Greens are absolutely critical for good health, but they’re also important for optimal energy and metabolic function. Spinach and kale are particularly great greens to include since they’re high in magnesium, B vitamins (especially folate), and they’re a good source of iron. Eat them raw or cooked, whichever you like, and try to include at least 2-3 servings a day from any variety of greens you enjoy.

Chia seeds are a nutritional bomb of perfection! Loaded with magnesium for a healthy metabolism and nervous system function, B vitamins that improve energy, amino acids for a healthy metabolism and iron for optimal energy, nothing compares to the nutrients per ounce of chia seeds. Add a little to your oatmeal, smoothie, or make chia pudding as a dessert, quick snack, or even as a healthy breakfast.

Do not leave lentils out of your diet if you want more energy and better health. These legumes are one of the best foods you can eat for your hormones, metabolism, sleep health, and your weight. They are packed with iron, protein, B vitamins and fiber which create the perfect formula for a more energized, happier and healthier you!

If you’re not already eating these foods, just add a few to your menu this week. Replace highly processed foods rich in sugar, salt, fat, and refined grains from your diet (look for the word enriched) with the seven foods above. Don’t worry—you can still keep your cup of coffee or matcha tea each day if you want. Just be sure to skip the sugar, cream and dairy milk when you can since they rob energy and optimal health. After just a week of these changes, you’ll feel like a new woman!

About Heather McClees
Heather McClees is a writer, plant-based nutritionist and women’s lifestyle coach from SC. She is the creator and author of the health and wellness blog The Soulful Spoon which shares the joys of plant-based nutrition, natural health, wellness tips, and delicious cruelty-free recipes without a drop of sugar or gluten. Heather received her B.S. Degree in Nutrition Science and Dietetics, has written and been an editor for One Green Planet, All Women Stalk, The Raw Food World, and The Herald Journal Newspaper, a New York Times owned company. She is also a former model and United Ways spokesperson for child abuse awareness.
She is most passionate about creative writing, inspiring women to form a healthy relationship with food and their body, helping others discover the gift of holistic health and eating healthy on a budget, and believes wholeheartedly in the physical and mental benefits of fitness and yoga. Finally, she’s a self-proclaimed lover of New York City, yoga, animals, green smoothies, coffee and tea, superfoods, Taylor Swift, and books of all kind.
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