Do you also feel the drain after you’ve stepped into the house after a long working day? Unnecessarily fatigued even though you may not have done too much to stay active? Lazy and immobile at an odd hour of the day when you should ideally be active and bustling? All of these could be symptoms of low energy creation in the body.
Energy created in our bodies is a direct result of the food that we consume on a daily basis. This is why eating is also known as fuelling the body to be active and perform all its functions at the most optimum level. The human body digests the food that is eaten throughout the day by amalgamating it with fluids including acids and enzymes in the pantry of the body also known as the stomach. When the stomach manages to break down and completely digest the food, the carbohydrate content in the food including sugar and starch also disintegrates into another type of sugar, called glucose.
This glucose is the fuel on which the body runs and operates. The stomach and small intestines absorb the glucose and then release it into the bloodstream. Once the glucose is in the bloodstream, the body uses it immediately as an energy supplement and stores it for reserves, to be used later. So now that you have the general idea on how the body produces energy, let’s also give you a look in on what kind of foods give the body instant energy to work with and how you can incorporate them into your daily diet.
Top Foods for Instant Energy
Brown rice is considered to be far more nutritious as compared to white rice because of the fact that it is less processed. This helps brown rice retain higher nutritional value in the form of fibre, vitamins, and minerals. Just a half cup of brown rice contains 2 grams of fibre and provides a large portion of your recommended daily intake of manganese which is a mineral that helps the body generate energy.
Have it with daal, or make a porridge out of it, if you’re Indian you hardly need to be told on how best you can eat rice.
Aside from being a delicious treat all through the winters, sweet potatoes are also a nutritious source of energy for those looking for that instant and extra boost. A 1-cup serving of sweet potatoes packs up to 25 grams of complex carbs, 3.1 grams of fibre, 25% of manganese, and a whopping 100% of vitamin A. Sweet potato is also high in fibre and complex carbs which means that your body absorbs it slowly giving you a constant stream of energy.
Roasted sweet potato is a delicacy sold all over India especially in the North where the temperature seriously drops. It also makes for a yummy subzi or then as a filling for wraps and sandwiches.
Who doesn’t love the first scrunch of a juicy and taut apple? We believe that is one reason why this is a fruit that is beloved by people across the world and India is lucky to have some of the best apple production on the globe. Apples are also great sources of carbs and fibre. A medium-sized apple contains about 14 grams of carbs, 10 grams of sugar, and up to 2.1 grams of fibre and due to their rich content of natural sugars and fibre, apples provide slow and sustained energy for the body.
Eat them just as they were intended to be or use them to dip into your favourite nut butters and spreads. You could also dice them up into salads and fruit chaats or juice them if you prefer it that way.
Who says that energy high foods cannot also be delicious? Dark chocolate is a source of instant energy for the body and also a decadent treat that is not just healthy but also indulgent. Dark chocolate has a high cocoa content while its antioxidants have many several health benefits, such as increasing blood flow throughout your body. This aids the delivery of oxygen to the brain and muscles, and improves their functioning. Ideal just before a workout and not just as a guilt free dessert.
Bite into a slab, or shave it over a dessert, make a smoothie out of it or bake with it, a bar of dark chocolate is so innovative, we’ll leave its uses best to your culinary creativity.
Yogurt or dahi as we know it is an excellent snack to fuel your day. The carbs found in yogurts are mainly in the form of simple sugars, such as lactose and galactose. When broken down, these sugars can provide ready-to-use energy.
Have a bowlful just as is, or use it to smear your favourite chaats. Or make an almond butter Greek yoghurt bowl. You can make buttermilk, lassi, and fruit smoothies using yogurt too.
Lentils are a good source of nutrients and help boost energy levels apart from being great and inexpensive sources of protein as well. Lentils are rich in carbs and fibre. One cup of cooked lentils provides up to 36 grams of carbs and about 14 grams of fibre. Lentils can increase your energy levels by replenishing your stores of folate, manganese, zinc, and iron. These nutrients assist in cellular energy production for the release of energy.
Indians across the length and breadth of the country cook lentil dishes in their own inimitable style. Rajma chawal, Usal and Misal, Kali Dal and so much more come to mind. What comes to yours?
Seeds including chia seeds, flax seeds, and pumpkin seeds, are fantastic sources to increase your energy levels. All of these seeds are generally high in plant-based omega-3 fatty acids. Low levels of omega-3 fatty acids have been linked to increased inflammation and fatigue.
Munch on them generously or sprinkle them over your salads for some much-needed crunch. Elevate the texture of your smoothies or add them for an extra bite over your desserts or breads.
Nut butters not only make a terrific and indulgent snack but they are also packed with nutrients to promote energy. Most nut butters, including almond, walnut, and cashew, are known for their high calorie density and abundance of proteins, carbs, and healthy fats. Walnuts, in particular, are also high in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, as well as antioxidants that can increase energy levels considerably.
Bake your favourite desserts with them like chocolate almond butter bars, whip them up into yummy and thick shakes and smoothies, smear them over your favourite choice of roti, breads and parathas or just use some fresh fruit to dip into them, with a nut butter jar, you’ll never go wrong.
Leafy greens like spinach and kale are excellent sources of nutrients that promote energy. They’re high in iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and vitamins A, C, E, and K. It does not just stop there. They are also packed with folic acid, fibre, and antioxidants.
The winters are an ideal time to enjoy leafy greens an Sarson ka Saag is a North Indian favourite. You can also turn them into a smoothie or enjoy them as salads.
How often have you seen athletes across different sports take a break and bite quickly into a banana? That’s because bananas are probably the most potent source of instant energy and need not be cooked in any way either. They’re an excellent source of complex carbs, potassium, and vitamin B6, all of which can help boost your energy levels.
Banana shake, banana smoothie, banana desserts, banana bread, cooked banana, the list is endless.
There you have it, ten excellent, easily available and very palatable food choices to bring your energy levels up to the brim every time you feel a little low. Don’t give into the temptation of snacking on junk when you’re down. Instead grab one of these foods and feel alive again.