The food we eat provides us with the energy we need to live our day-to-day lives, just as a car depends on fuel to get moving. Just as there are different fuel sources, some cleaner and more potent than others, there are beneficial foods for providing us with our energy requirements.
Superfoods are whole natural foods with exceptionally high concentrations of vital nutrients. Different superfoods might provide different benefits, with some being particularly noted for their energy-provision capabilities, such as spirulina, oats, quinoa, avocado, raw cacao, kale, and more.
In this articles, we’ll be taking a look at how these foods work to replenish our energy levels. We’ll look at the specific compounds and nutrients that make them exceptional in this regard and in what other ways they will benefit you will you include them in your diet.
What Are Superfoods?
Let’s start by making it a bit clearer what we mean when we use the term superfoods. There’s a lot of confusion when it comes to the term Superfoods, and that’s with good reason because there’s no concrete definition about what it means.
The term came into widespread usage not too long ago as one of the buzzwords pushed by better health initiatives. Still, it has, unfortunately, been used to promote extreme diets and unhealthy weight loss programs.
The Oxford Dictionary tries to clear up the confusion by describing superfoods as foods that are particularly rich in compounds and nutrients of the sort considered to be significantly positive in promoting our health and well-being.
We are what we eat. With the knowledge that our diets play a significant role in our quality of life, many people have picked up an interest in these foods and what they can do for us.
Aside from maintaining a balanced diet that tries to avoid processed foods, excessive salt, fat, and sugars, there are plenty of positive effects to be gained from including certain foods in our diet.
One of these foods’ benefits is increased energy, endurance, and general vitality, which will undoubtedly translate to better living and well-being. We’re going to focus on these superfoods in particular. Let’s get right to it, then.
Top 14 Superfoods for Energy
Here are the 14 best superfoods to help give you more energy that you can eat everyday:
- Raw Cacao
- Shredded Coconut
- Goji Berries
- Acai Berries
- Green Tea
This is a gluten-free grain that has gained massive popularity in the diet and health industries due to its superlative nutritional profile. For one, quinoa contains more protein than any other rice or grain in common usage in the western world.
The concentration of amino acids contains exceptional levels that quinoa is considered a complete protein. This designation would only be found when talking about animal products. These amino acids include cysteine, methionine, and lysine.
Amino acids play a role in muscle building and regeneration after exercise. You will also find magnesium, phosphorus, and folate in this superfood, and these are elements that help keep our energy levels up. You can incorporate quinoa in a raft of recipes such as pasta dishes, stews, and such, just as you would with other grains of its sort.
Oats are considered a prime qualifier for the term superfood due to their high concentrations of various beneficial nutrients and compounds, including protein, fiber, potassium, magnesium, and more. It’s recommended that we take oats as part of our breakfast meals because the fiber content in them is slowly broken down and digested by our bodies.
This means that it works well to keep our blood sugar levels stable for a significant part of our day. Studies have shown it to be effective in helping lower cholesterol levels in our bodies. This fact allows us to classify them among the heart-healthy foods suitable for human consumption.
The fact that oats are so nutritionally dense and take relatively long to be completely broken down is what makes them an ideal energy provider. You will be full and energetic for much longer than you would be with less nutritious meals in the morning. This makes them an excellent breakfast for growing kids who need all the energy they can get as they start their active days.
You don’t have to take oats as simple oatmeal if that isn’t to your liking – you can add it into various dishes such as meatloaf, casseroles, cereals, meal replacement shakes, and salads. It’s about finding a mix that works for you, as long as you’re getting it into your body in the end.
3. Raw Cacao
It might be a surprise to some, but yes, this is the same cacao that goes into making your chocolate bars and drinks. However, do not be confused with the chocolate bars you’re likely to find on supermarket shelves that contain very minimal amounts of raw cacao; instead they are filled with sugar, vegetable fats, and milk.
Chocolate is okay once in a while if you feel your sweet tooth acting up, but it shouldn’t be a regular indulgence. Raw cacao, on the other hand, is rated among the most antioxidant-rich foods on the planet. It is packed with these useful elements that play a significant role in supporting our immune systems – the body’s defense system that guards against foreign infection and disease.
This function is essential for endurance athletes and those who lead highly active lifestyles as their immune systems may be depressed due to the high stress of working out. The antioxidants in raw cacao will come in handy as our bodies restore their compromised immune systems.
Raw cacao also contains a compound known as theobromine, which helps manage high blood pressure and boost lung function. It can also minimize the severity and instances of coughing fits and various asthma symptoms.
Using raw cacao is as easy as pie. It comes in cacao nibs, which can be found at any grocery or whole food store. These can be sprinkled onto smoothies, desserts, and fruit salads. You may also keep an eye out for powdered cacao, which works great when blended into smoothies or in hot chocolate.
Earning the title of superfood isn’t a matter of being exotic or hard to find. Some of the most common grocery store fruits and vegtables are extraordinarily good for us, and bananas are prime examples. These have been referred to as nature’s energy bars, being easily portable, packed with energy, and comes beautifully wrapped in individual, completely eco-friendly wrappers.
You will get a boost of vitamin B6 and vitamin C from a serving of bananas, aside from their high potassium content. Potassium is useful in protecting us from high blood pressure, and the electrolytic content of these fruits serves to replenish our systems, especially during and after physical exertion.
These yellow wonders are excellent sources of clean carbohydrates, which our bodies convert into sugars that fuel our bodies and supply our energy.
As these carbs are delivered with a healthy dose of fiber, the energy they deliver is of a constant, steady nature.
This means that you will be energized for extended durations rather than experience the quick energy burst and almost immediate crash that processed sugars bring about.
If unpeeling and going to town on your bananas seems a bit too plain for you, there are plenty of options available. Bananas are great additions to fruit salads, can be sliced into breakfast cereals and porridge, make for great smoothies when frozen and blended, and substitute sugar in baking recipes.
This is a herb native to the Central Highlands of Peru, where it has been used for centuries by the local populace as an energy booster and mental cognition enhancer. It serves as a rich source of various minerals and compounds, including:
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin C and more.
The long list of beneficial components of this superfood includes elements that effectively boost energy levels and increase cellular durability.
The flavonoids it contains are useful in helping regulate mood and minimize anxiety.
It also stands as a renowned adaptogen, meaning that it reduces our cells’ sensitivity to physical stress, which is an excellent asset for those who engage in strenuous physical activities such as marathon running or looking after active kids.
Typically found in powdered form, maca powder makes for a great addition to an active lifestyle diet, more so since it also packs significant protein content. You can incorporate maca powder in smoothies, porridge, or your hot beverage of choice (hot chocolate works excellent).
This ranks among the most nutritionally dense super greens to be found anywhere, easily beating out the more commonly known spinach, kale, and broccoli. Many consider it to be the original superfood due to its sheer nutrient concentration levels.
It burst onto the spotlight back in the early days of NASA space programs when it was found out that astronauts would be kitted out with packs of it as part of their space diet since it was the most nutrient-dense food source available in a setting where cargo space was at a premium. Human beings had to be as well-fed as possible.
Measured gram-for-gram, spirulina has a higher protein content than red meat, possesses all the essential fatty acids our bodies require for proper function, and will provide a raft of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants to boot.
It is a freshwater alga mostly packaged in powder form that provides us with a slew of positive results, including arresting the buildup of plaque in or arteries, blood pressure reduction, and cancer prevention. You can incorporate it in any number of preparations such as smoothies or simply sprinkled and mixed in with your typical meals to give them a nutritional boost.
These little brown seeds might not be all that impressive to look at, but they happen to be nature’s most abundant source of plant-based Omega-3 fatty acids. These are vital nutrients that improve brain function, help manage inflammation, reduce the risk factors for diabetes, and help mitigate our cancer risks.
You will also find plenty of other beneficial compounds and minerals in flaxseed, including magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, and thiamine, as well as a significant serving of protein. Eating flaxseed will aid in cholesterol level regulation and manage sugar cravings while keeping your energy levels stable. All these make flaxseed a great addition to any active or health-conscious dietary regimen.
You will find that flaxseed is highly versatile in the ways it can be incorporated into your diet. Some simple ways are to mix them in with your smoothie preparations or sprinkle them on your desserts and salads.
This is sourced from the wheat plant’s sprouting leaves and is a significant source of beneficial vitamins and minerals such as calcium, iron, and magnesium. You will also find substantial levels of the plant pigment chlorophyll, which has positive roles in the body.
It is also packed with antioxidants that counteract the effect of free radicals in our systems. You can include wheatgrass in smoothies and fruit juices to amplify their nutritional value, eat it raw, or take it in pill form.
9. Shredded Coconut
Coconuts count as one of nature’s most abundant sources of medium-chain triglycerides, a very efficient fuel source for our bodies. The fact that shredded coconut comes with a substantial amount of fiber means that this energy will be gradually released into our systems, translating to consistent, long-lasting energy rather than a short-lived energy spike followed by a crash.
You will also find that coconut is an excellent source of protein, which is vital in developing lean muscle mass and contains significant amounts of zinc and iron. You may use shredded coconut as part of a smoothie blend or mixed into rice for Thai or Indian dishes.
It delivers a very satisfying fat taste sensation without the negative connotations of fat consumption, making it a useful dietary addition for those trying to keep their waistlines small. You could have it mixed with your fruit salads or porridge mixes as well.
10. Goji Berries
Goji berries hold a well-deserved place on the list of nature’s most nutritionally dense food sources known to us. It has over 12 times the level of antioxidant concentrations found in blueberries, which are significant antioxidant sources in their own right.
Goji berries have been a feature of Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years. It has been used due to its perceived benefits concerning increased longevity, vitality, and energy levels. They achieve these effects by stimulating increased blood flow throughout the body. This profusion of oxygen-rich blood to our muscles and organs translates to increased energy available for our use.
These orange-red berries are also known for their ability to help prevent the onset of eye disease, limit the growth of cancerous cells, as well as protect one’s skin against damage. You can find these berries in dried or powder form at many grocery outlets or online marketplaces. You can make use of them in virtually any way you wish, though they are incredibly wholesome when incorporated into fresh vegetable salads or blended into smoothies.
Aside from fighting off vampires, garlic has been a very well-known and widely-used natural remedy used in the treatment and therapy of various ailments and complaints in many ancient cultures all over the world. The benefits of garlic to modern man are no less plentiful and varied today.
We know of at least one ancient culture that would utilize garlic as a tool to help boost athletic performance and energy levels. The Greeks of olden times have records detailing how their athletes utilized garlic in this manner. It was known as a great help for those seeking to reduce the levels of fatigue induced by sustained physical labor or athletic activity.
You don’t have to be an Olympic athlete or a heart patient to enjoy the energy-boosting effects of garlic. Increased endurance can be a useful benefit in one’s day-to-day life, whatever that may consist of.
Modern science tells us that taking garlic on a regular basis might serve to increase a person’s peak heart rate by as much as 12 percent. This is particularly useful for those who might be suffering from heart diseases that interfere with the activity of their cardiac organs. The upshot here is that the person’s capacity to engage in cardiac-intensive activities and exercises would be significantly increased before they felt the onset of fatigue.
Incorporating garlic into one’s diet has been shown to help increase the amount of blood that flows to our organs and muscles. It does this by increasing the diameter (vasodilation) of the vessels that carry out this work. The effect of this action is that increased levels of oxygenated blood and nutrients will get to the muscles of the body, giving them all they need to work at high levels of intensity for longer periods. This also helps decrease levels of blood pressure.
Taking garlic will also result in lowering unhealthy cholesterol in your bloodstream. Heightened levels of this cholesterol type have been linked to increased chances of heart disease and a lowering of the heart’s ability to fulfill its role of pumping oxygenated blood and nutrients to the organs and muscles that need them to function optimally.
Of course, when our muscles are not getting these two substances, they will leave us feeling weaker and fatigue sets in a lot faster. Garlic can help us stave off the energy-sapping effects of bad cholesterol in our systems.
12. Acai Berries
These are a type of berry that ranks among nature’s most impressive sources of antioxidants, which help fight off potential diseases, especially those brought about by the presence of free radicals in our system. In addition to this, acai berries are also packed full of phytonutrients, which help counteract cancerous cells’ aggressive action in our bodies.
These berries come with a high concentration of other useful compounds such as:
- Healthy fats
- B vitamins
- Magnesium, and more.
Many of these play a significant role in our hearts and muscles’ function, meaning that acai berries can help ensure high energy levels for those with an active lifestyle.
They have also been shown to help decrease the harmful effects of such conditions as osteoarthritis, which primarily affects the patient’s bones and joints. It accomplishes this by helping increase a person’s range of joint motion and by reducing the severity of joint pains. The compounds found here will also help improve cognitive function, boost lipid profiles, and help regulate blood sugar levels.
You can make use of acai berries as part of a smoothie recipe or simply as a component of your fruit salads and bowls.
13. Green Tea
This is a kind of tea prepared using the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. This is the typical tea plant used to produce the more commonly known tea types, such as black tea, oolong tea, and white tea. Still, the difference here is that whereas these other tea types call for the processing and curing of these leaves, green tea leaves undergo very little processing.
This makes green tea capable of retaining the maximum levels of polyphenols and antioxidants it contains in its natural state. This tea variation is useful in regulating insulin sensitivity, improving oral hygiene, boosting metabolic functions, and mitigating some of the risk factors leading to heart disease.
Used for thousands of years as one of the critical remedies found in Traditional Chinese Medicine practice, green tea exploded in popularity as a standard inclusion in many health and wellness programs, especially those focusing on detoxification and weight loss.
Its action upon the user’s metabolic efficiency makes green tea useful as an energy enhancer since it helps us make more efficient use of our food.
Green tea preparation is as simple as heating clean drinking water and lets the leaves steep in it for the recommended period before drinking it, just like regular tea. It can be a very valuable part of one’s daily routine that will afford its drinker consistent daily benefits.
Ginger, otherwise known as Zingiber officinale, is one of the roots that has established itself in the health and wellness world as a superstar due to the variety of benefits and applications it has to its name.
This natural resource works to help keep our body running well and energetically in a number of different ways. For one, ginger contains elements that will help reduce the effects of fatigue and muscle pain.
Soreness is one of the factors that contribute to our inability to keep engaging in sustained physical activity. People who regularly take ginger will enjoy the ability to keep going for longer.
In addition to this, ginger has been shown to be effective in helping our bodies make better use of the insulin they produce. Insulin is a vital component in the processes our bodies use to regulate the amount of sugar in our bloodstreams.
By keeping our blood sugar levels at optimal levels, we allow our bodies to keep our muscles provided with the energy they need to keep us up and active. Lowered blood sugar levels will result in fatigue, sluggishness, and a general loss of energy.
Regular use of ginger has also been shown to help reduce the levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol in our bloodstreams, especially in the blood vessels that serve to take blood to and from the heart. When these vessels are clogged up due to the accumulation of such cholesterol, the efficiency of the organ is compromised, meaning that our muscles will no longer be receiving the nutrients and oxygen supplies they need to keep us active and energetic.
Side Effects and Potential Risks
The first rule of healthy living should always be to be very aware of what we choose to put into your bodies. Even though the foods we’ve listed here are super-healthy for human consumption, your particular case might turn out to be different.
People can be allergic to all sorts of foods. Should you know that you have allergies concerning any of the foods listed, it is better to avoid them rather than risk undergoing unpleasant side effects or allergic reactions.
Even if you aren’t aware of any allergies, should you happen to experience adverse effects from consuming any of these foods, it will be best to stop eating it and consult your doctor for further instruction.
Take note that even though we call these foods’ super,’ there is nothing supernatural about them. They are perfectly natural sources of some vital nutrients in unusually high quantities, but they cannot be looked upon to provide a quick cure to any illness or condition.
They might help prevent or manage various conditions, but it is essential to know what we can and cannot expect to avoid disappointment or potential harm.
Our Top Recommended Super Food Shakes
|Shakeology is our most recommended meal replacement shake because it's a nutrient dense shake that includes:
Thus, making it perfect for weight loss, increased energy, digestive health, reduced cravings, and overall better health.
Plus, Shakeology has stood the test of time as it has been around since 2009 without compromising its whole food ingredients. Instead, Shakeology has improved their flavors in taste and potency, and has even added vegan and gluten free options.
|Ample Meal is an interesting meal replacement as it focuses more on healthy fats. Ample Meal includes:
With Ample Meal, you can get a nice fulling 400 calorie meal with 2 scoops or do a single scoop of 200 calories if your goal is weight loss. Similar to Shakeology, it’s free of all the artificial junk that most meal replacement shakes have today.
|MacroMeal is another interesting meal replacement shake as it contains a blend of fast, medium, and slow digesting protein that delivers sustained energy. MacoMeal also includes the following core ingredients:
Although not technically a meal replacement as it’s low in carbohydrates, people have found it to be filling because of the MCT oils and slow digesting proteins.