11 Ways to Boost Your Energy With Food
Eat for energy
Bad idea, says Dina Aronson, RD: "Fatigue breaks us down physically and emotionally and wreaks havoc on the immune system, making us more susceptible to illness, depression, and even chronic conditions like heart disease." Moreover, proper nutrition and the timing of what you eat can do wonders to make you feel alert and powerful, says Cynthia Sass, RD, Health's nutrition and weight loss blogger. Here, new rules for eating for energy.
Related video: How to Make No-Bake Energy Bites
Eat more iron from plants
A recent study found that over 10 years, women who consumed the most plant-based iron were 35% less likely to develop PMS than women who consumed the least. Great plant sources of iron include beans, lentils, spinach, and sesame seeds; eating them with vitamin C-rich foods can boost iron absorption.
Try this recipe: Spinach-Tomato Pasta Shells
Eat the right food combos
Sass says the right formula for maximum energy is: fruit or veggie + a whole grain + lean protein + plant-based fat + herb/spice.
She calls it the '5 piece puzzle' and it's the premise of her book S.A.S.S! Yourself Slim ($12-13; amazon.com). "Balance is key; your body loves to be in balance," says Sass. "Giving it less of something it needs throws things off, as does giving it more than it needs."
Try these energizing, balanced recipes: 12 Mouthwatering Meatless Meals
Eat an energizing breakfast
Find super energizing breakfast ingredients here: The 20 Best Foods to Eat for Breakfast
Eat more real food
"When I've had clients swap more processed foods for ‘real' whole foods, their energy has gone through the roof, and many lose weight, even if the swaps result in eating more calories," Sass says.
Get more energizing nutrition tips at Foods to Fuel your Body
Eat more superfruits
Find a variety of juicy, antioxidant-packed fruit suggestions here: 23 Superfruits You Need Now!
Avoid the energy traps
For more nutrition traps to avoid, see Common Dieting Mistakes, Solved
Choose the right energy bars
Check out our list of the Healthiest Energy Bars
Don't zap fat
Learn more about healthy fats and antioxidant-rich foods here: America's Healthiest Superfoods for Women
Eat in season
Find out how to cook with seasonal foods at: 11 Fresh Fruit and Veggie Recipes for Spring