10 foods to give you an energy boost
I'm probably preaching to the converted, but I just want to say, being a parent can be exhausting! Even when you're keeping on top of everything (which isn't often for me), your head is constantly so full of appointments and everyone else's stuff that you lose track of time and before you realise it, Christmas is here!
We all know that it’s not going to stop, in fact quite the opposite, so we need to do something now to boost our energy, lift our spirits and rev our engines. And what better way to do that than eat our way to superhuman energy levels?
These snacks are great for a quick pick-me-up but if you can, try to include them in your daily diet so you'll never run on empty!
1) We go nuts for... Nuts
Particularly walnuts, almonds an pecans. The high protein levels in nuts give you sustained energy by evening out blood sugar levels. Copper, calcium, selenium and magnesium are also nutrients found in nuts, which help fight fatigue. Add them to a salad or make homemade almond butter to spread on your toast.
2) Lean red meat
We all know that red meat is a great source of iron - which in turn boosts energy levels and keeps tiredness away. Cut down the fat by choosing a lean cut, and for better iron absorption include some vitamin C by squeezing some lemon on your salad or chopping up tomatoes and capsicum. Find our tips for cooking the perfect steak on the BBQ.
For a slow release of energy you want to reach for complex carbohydrates like wholegrains. Multigrain bread, oats, brown rice and quinoa are all perfect for this and will help you feel fuller for longer too. Have bircher muesli for brekkie or throw some quinoa into a hearty stew or salad
Legumes are a good source of protein and iron for vegetarians, but meat eaters should make the most of these energy-boosters too! Baked beans, lentils, chickpeas and peas are all packed with fibre which is great for overall internal health and promotes slow digestion – giving a long term source of energy. Make these gorgeous chickpea meatballs or smokey homemade beans on toast.
Now that you've got the protein and iron sources covered, time to look for fructose, which is easily absorbed as energy into the body. Apples are full of fructose and as with all other fruit, are also a great source of fibre and antioxidants. For the best energy eat them fresh, but if you want them cooked you can make an apple tea cake or cook them with pork.
Again with the fructose, bananas are a good afternoon energy boost. They're also high in potassium and low on fat. Gorgeous in banana bread, but of course best on their own, uncooked for energy.
We're just going to include vegetables as a whole category because you can't go wrong with them! They're full of necessary vitamins and minerals, and are best if you include a good variety of colours because each colour will offer your body something different.
Known mostly for its calcium and probiotic properties, yoghurt is also full of amino acids that relieve fatigue. Try go for natural yoghurt without the added sugar if you can. Make a smoothie, drizzle homemade yoghurt over a spicy curry, or dollop over fruit salad.
It's sooooo easy to make your own granola which you can either eat for breakfast or snack on when you feel a little low and lethargic. It combines a bunch of the super energy foods mentioned above, like oats, dried fruit and nuts!