Have you ever felt tired and groggy after a meal? It doesn't feel good. And it doesn't lead to a productive or happy day. In fact, the foods you eat can even impact the quality of your relationships. You might not be able to focus during meetings, or enjoy quality time with your partner. It's amazing how when we eat the wrong foods our body promptly responds with low energy and a moody mind.
Fortunately, when you feed your body the right foods, your body will soak up all that good stuff. Not sure what I mean by the "right" food? Well, these five foods are the perfect place to start. Add them to your daily meals and you'll feel lighter, happier, and more energized.
1. Dark Leafy Greens
These guys top the list because they are high in vitamins. Spinach, kale, broccoli, and cabbage are all great choices. You should be eating at least 2-4 cups per week.
Aside from the vitamins, dark leafy vegetables are a great source of fiber—which your gut loves. Fiber keeps things moving. And a happy gut equals a happy, energized you. That means no bloating and more time feeling great in your body. If you struggle with tummy issues, eat at least one serving of leafy greens per day.
2. Citrus Fruits
Fruit in general is a great energy booster. Your brain and body love the natural sugar. But, citrus fruits specifically have the power to wake you up because they stimulate the sensory systems in your brain. The smell of an orange or grapefruit enlivens your senses and sharpens your focus.
So if you have a long to-do list or a major project you have to complete by the end of the day, start your day with a juicy grapefruit or orange. Or, branch out and try blood oranges, tangerines, or mandarins.
3. Dark Chocolate
Yep, dark chocolate has sugar. But if you choose low-sugar options, you can get all the nutritional value without any guilt. Dark chocolate provides vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. It even gives you a small dose of caffeine. The caffeine content is small though, so you don't need to worry about any jitters.
It's the perfect treat for the end of a work day when you need that extra boost to make it through the final hour. Keep small, single portions in your desk and sneak a treat when you need an energy boost.
You can find nuts in energy bars or snack packs at your local grocery store for good reason. Almonds, walnuts, cashews, and the like, offer your body a variety of vitamins, minerals, and, most importantly, dietary fat.
Fat helps your body use energy over a longer period of time, which helps keep you from crashing after snacking. So for sustained energy, nuts are your go-to energy booster (provided you don't have a nut allergy). To keep them super healthy, try to eat sprouted, soaked, or raw nuts. Your intestines will thank you.
Keep a can at your desk and have a handful when you're hungry. Walnuts are high in ALA, a type of omega-3 fatty acid; peanuts are high in folate and vitamin E; and almonds have more calcium than any other nut.
I know, it seems like a lame tip, but a lot of women forget to stay hydrated. Your brain legitimately can't work properly if it's not hydrated. So, drink up! My favorite way to drink water (hot or cold) is to add some lemon slices. That way, I get to harness the power of citrus while providing my body and mind with the hydration it needs to stay on point.
Combine these healthy eats with exercise and you've got a power combo. Stretch, walk, run, or do yoga—every day. Do this consistently and you'll feel more energized, with a clearer mind and body.