Whether you’re in the throes of winter blues, have a jam-packed schedule, or are just plain old exhausted, lack of energy can make it hard to function, much less thrive.

Low energy can be caused by all sorts of factors, including not enough sleep and exercise. But another common cause is lack of essential nutrients.

Changing what you eat is one of the easiest ways to boost your energy. As a general rule, eating a diet that’s rich in diverse, whole foods (vegetables, fruits, lean meats, etc.) will give you a boost. Limit sugary foods, caffeine, and alcohol, and enjoy the foods I’m about to share.

My list below focuses on foods that contain key energy-producing nutrients. To be included in this list, they had to have at least two of the following:

Healthy fats
Healthy carbohydrates / Whole grains
Vitamin B1 (thiamin)
Vitamin B7 (biotin)
Vitamin B12 (cobalamin)
Copper
Iron
Phosphorus

All of these give healthy, sustainable energy (not to mention lots of other health benefits!). For each of the foods, I’ve provided the nutrients they contain, a basic hand-size portion guide, and a serving suggestion.

Stock up your kitchen, and enjoy! 🙂


1. Beans and legumes

Nutrients: Healthy carbohydrates + Vitamin B1 + B7 + copper + iron + phosphorus

Aim for a palm-sized to fist-sized portion.

Serving suggestion: White bean and pasta soup


2. Nuts and seeds; peanuts

Nutrients: Healthy fats + Vitamin B1 (sunflower seeds and tahini) + B7 (nuts and peanuts) + copper + iron (seeds) + phosphorus

Aim for a serving size of 1 to 2 tablespoons. (One tablespoon equals approximately the size of your thumb.)

Serving suggestion: Add crunch to your salad with toasted nuts instead of croutons.


3. Fish, especially salmon and tuna

Nutrients: Healthy fats + Vitamin B7 + B12 + iron + phosphorus

Aim for a palm-sized portion.

Serving suggestion: Easy grilled tuna steaks


4. Dark meats (beef, pork, dark poultry, etc.)

Nutrients: Vitamin B7 (pork) + B12 (beef) + iron + phosphorus (beef)

Aim for a palm-sized serving.

Serving suggestion: Grilled steak salad


5. Oats 

Nutrients: Whole grains + Vitamin B1 + Vitamin B7

Aim for a portion size no larger than a cupped handful.

Serving suggestion: Apple cherry baked oatmeal (can be baked on the weekend and enjoyed throughout the week)


6. Pure cacao/ dark chocolate

Nutrients: Healthy fats + Vitamin B7  + copper

Consume no more than 1 to 2 tablespoons. (One tablespoon equals approximately the size of your thumb.)

Serving suggestion: Fruit and chocolate yogurt parfait


7. Organic dairy and eggs

Nutrients: Vitamin B7 + B12 + phosphorus

Aim for a palm-sized to fist-sized portion.

Serving suggestion: Microwave omelet in a cup


8. Sweet potatoes

Nutrients: Healthy carbohydrates + Vitamin B7

Aim for a fist-sized portion.

Serving suggestion: Oven-roasted sweet potatoes


9. Mushrooms

Nutrients: Vitamin B7 + copper

Aim for a portion no larger than the size of your fist.

Serving suggestion: Sautéed mushrooms


10. Barley

Nutrients: Whole grains + Vitamin B1

Aim for a portion size no larger than a cupped handful.

Serving suggestion: Turkey barley tomato soup


11. Brown rice

Nutrients: Whole grains + iron

Aim for a portion size no larger than a cupped handful.

Serving suggestion: Baked chicken and wild rice


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11 Energy-Boosting Foods

2 thoughts on “11 Energy-Boosting Foods

  • March 7, 2017 at 3:57 pm
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    Posting your meals is so very helpful, gives me great ideas for variety each day.

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