Top 10 Foods For More Energy

Top 10 Foods For More Energy


For more energy most of us seem to turn to caffeine, sugar, and other unhealthy ways to improve our energy levels.   Unfortunately, this only leads to energy crashes and sleepiness later. Instead of those quick unhealthy fixes – try these 10 healthy, delicious, and nutrient packed foods that will get your energy fired up—and keep you going—all day long.

Before we get to the top 10 list – one of the best ways to know you’re getting the best quality food is to:

Eat in season

The secret to eating for energy, according to many nutritionists is to eat locally and in season.

“When you go to your farmers market, a lot of times the produce was harvested less than 48 hours before, and because it didn’t have to travel far, it had time to really reach its peak, which means more nutrients!


  1. Grass fed meat

Consider grass-fed beef a different kind of meat. It’s far superior in nutritional quality than retail grain-fed beef. It has three times more omega-3 fats and 10 times more beta-carotene. It also contains four times more vitamin E, and less saturated fats and cholesterol.   It is also much higher in conjugated linoleic acid, a nutrient associated with lower heart disease and cancer risk.

Grass-fed beef is not only high in quality protein, vitamins and minerals, but it also contains the most available form of iron in our diet. By comparison, iron from plants is usually bound in phytates and is not absorbed very well. Iron or B-vitamin deficiency anemias are common causes of fatigue, especially in menstruating women.

  1. Eat Healthy Fats

Healthy fats are a must for energy.   You need fat to absorb some key antioxidants, as some antioxidants have to grab onto fat in order to be absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract into the blood, where they can go to work. Antioxidants are important for energy because they flight free radicals and keep your cells healthy.

  1. Fish:

The USDA recommends we consume two servings of fish and shellfish a week. In Particular, salmon is an excellent source of lean protein and omega 3 fatty acids—important in protecting heart health.

Seafood is also an excellent source of minerals like iron, a component in hemoglobin that is helpful in carrying oxygen throughout the body. Clams and oysters in particular provide 30 to 45 percent of your daily value of iron per serving.

  1. Dark Leafy Greens:

When choosing a vegetable, select one that’s rich in color, because that also means it’s rich in nutrients. The dark greens of Swiss chard, spinach, kale and other leafy vegetables supply plentiful servings of vitamins A and C, calcium, iron, fiber, and protein.

Plus, leafy greens are easy to prepare: just boil them or add to a stir-fry, egg scramble, or sauté with garlic for a quick dose of nutrition.

5. Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate—and the less processed the better—is rich in a type of antioxidant called flavanols, which studies have shown can help protect heart health. And a healthier heart means more oxygen delivered, which translates into higher energy levels. Try to go for above 70% cacao content to assure high antioxidant levels.

6. Water

Readily available, inexpensive, and good for you, water helps carry nutrients to your cells. Even mild dehydration can sap your energy, so drink a glass of water when you are thirsty and before, during, and after exercise.
Water-rich foods—like watermelon or oranges—will count toward fluid intake.

  1. Nuts

Nuts are an excellent source of protein, fiber, and nutrients. Need a snack? Try a handful of almonds or other nuts. Just don’t overdo it. Nuts are also high in calories, so watch your portions – a quarter-cup equals one serving.

Almonds are packed with healthy monounsaturated fats, contain fiber, magnesium, protein and an entire serving of calcium in only seven nuts. Clinical trials have shown that eating almonds can help lower LDL cholesterol, fight inflammation, lower blood pressure and help with weight loss when substituted for complex carbohydrates. The best thing about almonds? They’re extremely portable and are probably the healthiest choice you can find in a convenience store.

  1. Fruit

Fruit is a great way to satisfy sweet cravings, and is another excellent source of healthy carbohydrates. Plus, it’s packed with vitamins and minerals like vitamins A and C, which help prevent infections and keep you healthy.

  1. Sweet Potato

Low blood sugar is a very common cause of low energy levels. While this can be overcome with a quick sugar fix like candy or soda, your symptoms will return quickly. The carbs in sweet potatoes are mostly complex carbs that are absorbed slowly and don’t cause sudden spikes in blood sugar. They’re also great sources of fiber, vitamin B6, vitamins C and E, folate and potassium.

  1. Eggs

The high-quality protein in an egg is the perfect way to start the day for energy.
Egg yolks are a rich source of choline, and it is estimated that more than 90% of Americans are choline-deficient. Choline is critical in reducing inflammation in our bodies, including by reducing homocystein and increasing folate levels. Choline can also boost your brainpower because your body uses it maintain your brain health. Two fat-like molecules that contain choline, phosphatidylcholine and sphingomyelin, account for an unusually high percentage of the brain’s total mass, so choline is particularly important for brain health and function. If you have improved brain and nerurological function you can combat fatigue much easier.


A study published by the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism showed a minimum of ten minutes high intensity exercise dramatically increased circulating HGH (human growth Hormone) which promotes lean muscle building and fat burning.

This intense exercise allows the body to release more adrenaline than long boring cardio. This increase in adrenaline (for short periods of time) encourages your body to release fat from fat cells to be used for energy.

Therefore you burn more fat and improve your energy with short intense exercise as compared to long boring cardio. Also, as more oxygen and nutrients reach your cells, energy levels rise, mood lifts and sleep improves—ensuring that you can get more out of every day. For more information on the benefits of 10 minute Short burst workouts check out

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In Health and Happiness,

Erin Nielsen, PT, CPI, PBCE