Americans are hooked on caffeine, and it’s no wonder why.
Our lives are hectic, our workweeks long and weekends short. Between work, school and family needs, we’re bound to feel tired and even fatigued, especially around mid-afternoon when we seek out another cup of coffee or tea or a canned soda or energy drink.
Tea and coffee have several health benefits, and some of them may be related to their caffeine content. But that’s not the case with energy drinks or soda. And, in any case, caffeine provides just a temporary boost by stimulating your nervous system, and too much is not a good thing.
But many healthy foods fuel authentic, longer-lasting energy through nutrients that support our brain and bodily functions, providing a more even-keeled power supply to keep us alert during the day, without keeping us up at night. For a start, check these out:
This fruit contains lots of healthy fats, fiber and potassium. Eat a half or whole avocado every day on sandwiches, salads, in your favorite guac or scrambled with eggs or tofu.
They carry lots of fiber to regulate its natural sugar content, all wrapped up in a cute yellow package. One or two a day is considered a moderate intake, so going up to three isn’t a bad idea either!
Full of antioxidants and folate, they’re a great staple to have in a well-rounded diet that drives you through the day. Studies that link beetroot to improved performance by athletes used the equivalent of up three to four whole beets per session.
One of the most calorie-dense foods known to man, chia seeds have twice the protein of any other seed or grain. The recommended serving is about 2 tablespoons per day, about 140 calories.
These nutrient-dense orbs contain 6 grams of protein and boost levels of HDL, a.k.a. “good” cholesterol. Eating as much as one to two eggs per day is fine for most healthy people as long as they’re poached, boiled or pan-fried with cooking spray or without oil.