Most of are well aware that extra cups of our favorite coffee or a candy break are not the best choices when we need get up and go. The boost is always temporary (although coffee has been shown to be very good for your health—try for at least two cups daily. And you can enjoy up to eight with good effect!)
But what should you reach for in your kitchen when you would rather be having a nap and need an energy boost to get moving?
The best combination are options rich in protein, fibre, and complex carbohydrates—so the energy boost lasts and doesn't show itself as a big sugar splurge that leaves you tired and in need of another boost.
What are good food choices for energy?
Nuts are good choices—especially with lower fat Greek yogurt, but make sure to keep a close eye on quantities with nuts—they seem like such superfoods with complex carbs and nutritional benefits —but the carbs can soon add up.
Top of everyone's list is quinoa. While we may think quinoa falls in the same category as wheat or rice as a grain and prepare it as such, this nutrient-dense carb is actually a seed. It comes from the same family group as spinach, chard, and beets. It has twice the protein of rice or barley, and is an excellent source of magnesium and manganese, calcium, has several B vitamins, vitamin E, fiber and has all 9 essential amino acids making it a perfect complete protein choice. Have it instead of breakfast cereal or at lunch and dinner.
Lentils are another great choice. A high fiber powerhouse, lentils contain cholesterol-lowering fibre and help to stabilize blood sugar for long periods, contain seven important minerals, B vitamins and protein—and they're amazingly low calorie.
Beans are protein and a complex carb—toss some in a salad for an instant energy boost. And if you make it an iron-packed spinach salad to keep your energy up all afternoon. More on what's good for you next time!