You need lots of energy to get through every day as a medical/healthcare professional and food can be your secret weapon. Eating the right foods in the right way can be a rocket booster for strength and stamina. Here are the five foods you need to incorporate into your diet so you can fuel your daily get-up-and-go.
But first – a commercial break for water. Yes, we must talk about water. Technically it’s not a food but it is essential for your body. Energy levels are based on hydration because water transports nutrients through the blood to build energy. Our bodies also need sufficient amounts of water to metabolize food into fuel. Without it, our bodies stop functioning properly and cannot get rid of the waste that causes fatigue. A habit of drinking lots of water throughout the day supports energy and contributes to a healthy body.
Now let’s get to the high energy food list. If you search for high energy foods you will find many lists from different sources with many different foods. We reviewed more than ten of those lists for you and compiled the foods that most nutritionists and health experts agree are super-charged energy boosters:
1. Greek yogurt: Nutritionally speaking, Greek yogurt is the king of the hill. It is made when the excess water, lactose, and minerals are strained out of thinner yogurt, leaving a thicker, richer yogurt with less sugar, more carbs and a stronger taste. The acid levels in Greek yogurt make it easier for your body to absorb other nutrients. Just look at the list of vitamins and minerals one cup:
- 12 to 17.3 grams of protein
- Vitamin B2: 27.8% of RDA (Recommended daily allowance)
- Vitamin B12: 21.3%
- Folate: 3%
- Vitamin B5: 5.6&
- Selenium: 23.56%
- Phosphorous: 22.95%
- Calcium: 18.70%
- Potassium: 6.8%
- Zinc: 5.9$
2. Oranges: Citrus fruits are particularly invigorating, but keep in mind that all fruits will provide an extra boost of natural sugar to boost energy. Some nutritionists recommend eating an orange in the shower! Make a morning smoothie with blueberries that are packed with antioxidants or strawberries that are high in vitamin C – the vitamin that helps turn fat into energy. Slice an apple or banana and top it with peanut or almond butter for a snack, or slice one into cereal for an extra morning boost. Any fruit will do and because they are naturally packed in an individual size, they’re great for travel – you can take them anywhere you go.
3. Quinoa: This is a highly valuable grain in the energy equation. It is gluten free and contains minerals and vitamins that include iron, B-vitamins, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, vitamin E, and fiber. It is also considered a complete protein and contains all nine essential amino acids. Quinoa cooks fast and can be added to any salad or it can be eaten in the morning with honey and milk. One cup of quinoa contains:
- 8 grams of protein
- 5 grams of fiber
- Manganese: 58% of the RDA
- Magnesium: 30% of the RDA
- Phosphorus: 28% of the RDA
- Folate: 19% of the RDA
- Copper: 18% of the RDA
- Iron: 15% of the RDA
- Zinc: 13% of the RDA
- Potassium: 9% of the RDA
- Over 10% of the RDA for vitamins B1, B2 and B6
4. Eggs: These orbs are pure protein, B-vitamins, and vitamin D. B-vitamins convert food into energy and vitamin D is needed for strong bones. Eggs are one of the very best sources of lean protein which converts to energy and is good for the brain too.
5. Nuts: Cashews, almonds, and hazelnuts are high in magnesium, which plays a key role in converting sugar to energy. The ways in which you can add nuts to your diet are endless. You can take a bag to work. Eat them in the car or on the subway. Slice them onto a salad. Chop them and add them to morning cold cereal or hot oatmeal. They are easy to carry and great for energy.
The Way You Eat is Just as Important as How You Eat
Remember this: breakfast, breakfast, breakfast. Eat breakfast! If breakfast isn’t your favorite meal of the day, get creative. Eat a turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread. Make a smoothie of yogurt, blueberries and peanut butter. Eat a piece of fruit and a handful of nuts. Grab a hard boiled egg and a banana. You get the idea. The point is to fill your body with energy-inducing foods after fasting all night. You can’t get very far on an empty tank of gas.
Get enough iron: Iron transports oxygen through the blood using red blood cells. Whenever and wherever your body needs energy, those cells rush it to the right location. If you don’t have enough iron in your body it lowers your metabolic rate and your energy levels. Women need 18 mg of iron a day. Statistics show that nearly 10% of women between the ages of 20 and 49 are iron deficient.
Great sources of iron include:
- One-half cup of baked beans: 8 mg
- One-half cup of spinach: 6 mg
- 3 ounces of fried oysters: 6 mg
- 3 ounces of beef: 5 mg
Other great sources of iron include lentils, spinach, and sesame seeds.
It’s a good thing that most power-packed high-energy food sources are easy to take wherever you go. You don’t have to carry a salad in your pocket. Keep the foods listed above in your kitchen and grab them on your way out the door. You’ll have more energy and feel better for the packed schedule that awaits you.