The role of high energy foods is to provide our body with the much-needed energy required to perform daily activities. Foods rich in complex carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and which are low in sugar, cholesterol and fats act as energy boosters for the body. Complex carbohydrates provide long-lasting energy to the body. Protein not only helps to release energy, but also acts as a back-up energy providers when carbohydrates are not available. Bananas, eggs, and nuts are top energy-boosting foods that can be easily included in the diet. Most of the foods mentioned below provide energy and are also rich sources of vitamins and minerals.
Healthy Energy-boosting Foods
Being complex carbohydrates, whole grains are the best energy foods for athletes. Moreover, whole grain foods contain high amounts of fiber and antioxidants, and thus, prevent various health problems. Whole grains digest slowly, and therefore, provide you with long-lasting energy levels. E.g.Cereals, whole grain bread, brown rice, quinoa, oats, and pasta.
One of the important features of legumes is, they are low in glycemic index and hence are ideal for diabetic patients. They are excellent sources of complex carbohydrates. They absorb the bad cholesterol in the body and help to maintain a healthy cholesterol level. Legumes are rich sources of important minerals required by the body, which include, potassium, magnesium, calcium and iron. E.g. Baked beans, lentils, chickpeas, and kidney beans.
Vegetables and Fruits
When cooking vegetables, try steaming or microwaving them to retain their nutrients. Vegetables like beet, carrot, cabbage can be consumed in their raw state for maximum health benefits. If you are trying to lose weight, leafy vegetables are useful. Vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, and spinach are high in nutrients and energy. Fruits like oranges are high in vitamin C, which helps to relieve fatigue. E.g. Apple, banana, pear, citrus fruits, grapes, avocado, spinach, yams, carrot, and potato.
Dairy products are the major sources of dietary calcium for the body. Their intake boosts the energy levels without significantly increasing the total calorie or fat intake. E.g. Milk, low-fat cheese, low-fat yogurt, and skim milk smoothies.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are loaded with proteins, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and healthy fats which act as a great source of energy for the body. Snacking on a handful of these nuts and seeds can keep you full for a longer time, keeping your energy levels up.E.g. Almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews, soy nuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and Flax seeds.
Non-vegetarian foods are rich sources of protein and vitamins, especially vitamin B12 which is not available in plant sources. Though proteins obtained from animal sources are essential for the body, they should be consumed in moderate amounts. Red meat contains a high amount of saturated fat which can lead to heart diseases. Fish are low in fat and are good sources of protein, vitamins, and minerals. E.g. Fish, Meat, Chicken, Lamb, Pork, Turkey, Veal, Beef, and Shellfish.
Biscuits, cakes, desserts, egg, pulses, peanut butter, pea and ham soup, bran muffin, juices, high protein energy bars, smoothies, soups, etc. are great sources of energy, but must be had in moderation, to complement your diet in the right way.
Our body converts the energy stored in these food items into a form of energy that can be utilized by our body. So, when we talk about the calories present in a food item, it is actually the amount of energy stored in that particular food. Thus, we can say that foods that are high in calories are a great source of energy. But, not all energy-providing foods are beneficial for the body. Many high calorie foods like those containing sugar, provides energy that last for a short time. Moreover, the calories supplied by such foods are quite unhealthy since they get converted into fats. But, there are many foods that are low in calories and provide enough energy to accomplish the daily tasks without posing any health problems. Thus, one should rely on low calorie foods for a healthy diet.
The foods mentioned above are great energy boosters and should be a part of a healthy diet. A nutritious diet is the key to a healthy life, but apart from it you should also exercise regularly to relieve stress and fatigue. So, eat a healthy, well-balanced diet and be active to stay fit and healthy.