No matter what day it is, for some of us, the battery in our body may as well be flat. If you’re lucky, you’ll be so into your job that the work days fly by. While working isn’t always going to be fun, sometimes the energy dragging is our own fault because of the diet we choose to keep. These five suggestions prove energy-rich foods can defy the odds of give everyone more energy all day at work.
1. Opt for an Iron Boost
Approximately 10 percent of women between the ages of 20 to 49 need more iron. Health.com confirms that foods like beans, lentils and sesame seeds are rich in iron and help people — women especially — to eliminate fatigue, in addition to boosting mental and physical endurance.
On top of iron-rich foods being necessary for healthy skin, hair and nails, Web MD goes one step further by stating that iron is necessary to get enough oxygen in the body from healthy red blood cells.
2. Real food, not processed food
Teachers may have been onto something with those apples. Why drink a strawberry-flavored juice, eat processed applesauce or chew on watermelon-flavored candy when you can just eat the real fruit? Eating “real” food without all of the additives is an energy booster and an excellent source of fiber. Fiber helps the digestive system, which in turns helps with weight loss. Packing on the pounds can always slow a person down. Plus real fruits and vegetables are easy to throw into a bookbag, purse or drawer.
3. Select some seeds
The smell of fresh baked bread or those rolls that are included on the side of pasta dishes at lunch may seem like a great idea. The problem is if that lunch menu doesn’t include any kind of whole grains, your energy level will decrease even further than it already was. Noodles and breads aren’t all bad though. Look for whole-wheat, multi-grain pasta instead of plain pasta. Choose multi-grain or brown rice instead of white rice. Embrace the sesame seeds or flaxseed on top of those bread buns and rolls, too.
Whole grains will make you feel fuller for a longer amount of time, help the body absorb a meal, lower blood sugar and keep energy levels stable all at the same time.
4. Water coolers keep cool bodies
While water cooler conversations may be an excuse to gossip with co-workers, they’re also a chance to stretch those legs and arms and actually drink water. Coffee and energy drinks give people a false sense of energy the same way as chocolate. Imagine the stimulants in these three food options as a roller coaster. While they may temporarily make energy go up, as soon as the body digests all the fat, sugar and additives, the energy level goes right back down.
However, as our teeth whitening guide points out water helps to flush the body of any remaining sticky candy on your teeth or food that didn’t quite digest on its own. On top of giving a pat on the back to your teeth, water is necessary for the digestive system to do its job and keeps the energy flowing.
5. Get curious about quinoa
Quinoa and couscous are two of those foods that can blend in easily with many main dishes, including salads, chili or even as a cereal substitute. On top of being pretty easy to prepare with just a small cup of water, quinoa is also packed with complex carbohydrates and protein. Although the two don’t taste the same, quinoa is similar to tofu in that it takes on the taste of whatever other food is being eaten. It’s even good as a dessert. Cut up an apple, sprinkle raisins or add almonds to it, and it can be eaten similar to oatmeal but with a mildly firmer texture.
While these five foods and drinks can’t make a boring meeting suddenly become enjoyable or replace the hours of sleep you may have missed, they do help in providing higher energy throughout the day. Blend a reasonable amount of sleep, six hours or more, with about 15–30 minutes of exercise each day, and energy levels will improve and you’ll look great.