Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Healthy Foods for an Energy Boost!!

By Jennifer Budd, RN
Fri, Mar 22, 2013

We've all had days when our energy levels were just not up to par. But for some people, having low energy levels is symptomatic of bigger health problems. Those who suffer from such conditions as low testosterone, anemia, depression, and hypothyroidism deal with low energy levels on a more frequent basis. While medications can help ease these symptoms, eating certain healthy foods can give you an energy boost.

Dark, Leafy Vegetables

People who suffer from iron-deficiency anemia frequently have low energy levels. Without adequate iron intake, their bodies do not produce enough hemoglobin, which helps deliver oxygen-rich blood to the body. This lack of oxygen leads to fatigue. Dark, leafy vegetables like spinach and kale are low in calories and fat and high in iron. If you suffer from low testosterone, kale can give your hormone levels a boost too. However, even though people with hypothyroidism would benefit from an iron-rich diet, certain foods like spinach and kale may interfere with thyroid function.


Sometimes billed as a 'superfood', quinoa is highly nutritious and can give you an energy boost. Much like dark, leafy vegetables, quinoa contains iron needed for the hemoglobin in your blood. It also has vitamin B2 and magnesium for energy production and energy metabolism. Diabetics should note that quinoa is a good blend of carbohydrates and protein, a combination that helps stabilize blood sugar and prevent symptoms of hypoglycemia such as shakiness, confusion, and fatigue.


Beans are like quinoa, with a perfect blend of carbohydrates and protein to give you an energy boost, which is great news for people who are diabetic. Beans also provide much-needed iron for people with hypothyroidism and anemia. It's worth mentioning that many beans are high in tryptophan, an amino acid that can elevate your mood and help those who suffer from depression. And although soybeans have been associated with lowering testosterone levels, there is evidence to suggest this is not the case.


Salmon is praised for its omega-3 fatty acids, which have numerous health benefits including reducing inflammation in the body, controlling weight gain, and preventing cancer cell growth. And what is one symptom of omega-3 deficiency? Fatigue. People who suffer from type 2 diabetes and depression may benefit from a little salmon two to three days a week as an energy boost. If you suffer from low testosterone, omega-3s can give your energy and hormone levels a boost. And much like beans, salmon contains a high amount of tryptophan to elevate your mood.

Dark Chocolate

If you need an energy boost, a piece of dark chocolate can perk you up with a lot less caffeine than your typical mocha-latte-blah-blah coffee drink. Dark chocolate has neurotransmitters like serotonin, which can elevate your mood and benefit people with depression. It also contains magnesium for energy production. But before you scarf down a dark chocolate bar, remember two things. Make sure you choose a dark chocolate with a high cocoa content (over 70 percent is ideal) and keep daily consumption to about 1 oz., since dark chocolate is higher in fat than milk chocolate.

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