Are power foods right for you? Energy rises and falls throughout the day, especially if you work at a desk. When a boost is needed, most people head for the coffee maker, coke machine or candy machine for that extra jolt to wake up and get on with the rest of the day. However, these stimulants don’t have a lasting effect. To hit on the right nutritional balance, most dieticians recommend 30 to 40 percent of total daily calories come from good fats like fish oil, nuts and seeds, 20 to 30 percent from lean protein and 40 to 50 percent from carbohydrates like whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
Some Top Power Food Picks to Pick You Up
Oatmeal: This is packed with stress-reducing vitamin B and soluble fiber. The whole grain offers more sustained energy than cold cereal and refined-flour toast. If your body doesn’t use this carb for energy right away,, it will store up to 400 calories of the surplus in the liver as glycogen. This molecule acts like an energy reserve.
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Try oatmeal in the morning with apple, cinnamon and almond slivers for toppings. Make your own granola by lightly coating rolled oats with apple juice, add dried fruits and nuts, bake at 325 degrees and occasionally stirring until toasted.
Eggs: In terms of protein quality, they outrank milk, beef and soy. And don’t forget the yolk which contains choline that has shown to be critical for memory and thought processing.
Cut up a hard boiled egg and sprinkle over your salad, scramble eggs with lightly fried vegetables or poach 2 eggs and make for a sandwich with whole-grain bread.
Power Foods to Help Power Through the Day
Citrus: Loaded with vitamin C, these fruits help your body produce a compound called carnitine that basically transfers fat to your muscles so it can be used for energy. This allows the body to use fat for fuel thus enabling the muscles to exercise for longer periods of time and not feeling fatigued.
Try squeezing fresh lemon juice over greens and pasta salads. Add it to your drinking water or tea. Top your salad with slices of mandarin. Have an orange with your lunch.
Yogurt: This helps you focus, maintain muscle mass and assist you with weight control. It has more nutrients than milk with high concentrations of protein, calcium and vitamin D. It is a good source of potassiuim, phosphorous, zinc and probiotics that help boost the immune system.
Keep some low-fat plain yogurt in the office snack room refrigerator. Flavor it up with a teaspoon of honey or peanut butter. Mix it up with cucumbers and lemon. Add pecans, apple sauce, pineapple or berries.
Tea: Sipping tea during the day can aid in concentration levels and help with preventing early dementia. Midlife coffee and tea drinking can decrease the risk of dementia/Alzheimer’s disease later in life. Read more here: See Science Daily>>
Beets: They have a natural sweetness and are high in sugar content for a vegetable. Beets are low in calories, rich in iron and high in fiber. The leafy greens are more nutritious than the root and used much like Swiss chard. Here’s a recipe for Lentils with Ginger, Golden Beets, and Herbs from MarthaStewart.com >>
Brussels Sprouts: Small in size, big on nutrition brussels sprouts can be beneficial for your heart, strengthen your immune system, and very good for the skin. Sprouts also contain glucosinolates which produces the derivative called Isothiocyanates which can cause the liver to produce detoxifying enzymes. Read more about isothiocyanates at OregonState.edu >>
Carrots: The popular, crunchy root contains more carotenoids than any other vegetable out there. A source for vitamin K, potassium and antioxidants, soluble fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C and calcium. Read more about this amazing health food at Healthline.com >>
Kale: Low-calorie greens kale provides a superior source of vitamins C, A and B6 as well as fiber, calcium and iron. Kale is easier for our bodies to absorb it’s calcium.Kale is also richer in vitamin K than Swiss chard, spinach or broccoli. The leafy green provides 2 effective phytochemicals, lutein and zeaxanthin, that shields the eyes from conditions like cataracts and macular degeneration. Get this recipe for Squash Salad with Kale and Cranberry Beans from MarthaStewart.com
Eating power foods daily can provide your body with the proper nutrients and energy you need to save on purchasing expensive vitamins and help keep you healthy to avoid costly medical bills.
Power Foods affect us in many positive ways.