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FITNESS

Eat Right

Skip the coffee, these common foods give you a natural energy boost

It's easy to grab your favorite Dunkin drink when you need a boost, but a healthier option is to update your diet. The following foods will give you the boost you need to get through online classes and that long list of chores that are piling up.

Brown Rice


Image: @nutriobox

Brown rice is more nutritious than white rice, containing more fiber, vitamins and minerals. Half a cup of brown rice (50 grams) contains 2 grams of fiber. With that alone, you can fulfill a large portion of your recommended daily intake (RDI) of manganese. Perf, right?

Manganese is the magic behind why brown rice gives you so much energy. Manganese is a mineral that helps enzymes break down carbs and proteins in order to produce some much-needed energy. It doesn't stop there—brown rice can also help regulate your blood sugar levels and promote steady energy levels throughout your day. This is a result of its fiber content, which gives it a low glycemic index.

Sweet Potatoes


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This super sweet food is a staple of autumn and gives us *all* the Thanksgiving vibes just in time for the season. Sweet potatoes are more than just a mouth-watering side dish to your turkey. A 1-cup (100-gram) serving of this delish food can give you 25% of the RDI of manganese, andget thisup to 564% of the RDI for vitamin A. As your body digests sweet potatoes slowly due to the fiber and carb content, your body gets a consistent stream of energy.

Eggs


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Poach, scramble or fry them—any way you decide to do it, eggs are bound to give you the energy you require. Shout out to protein. Leucine, the most abundant amino acid in eggs, is known to stimulate energy production in multiple ways. Eggs are also rich in B vitamins. The role of these vitamins is to help enzymes do their part in the process of breaking down food for energy.

Dark Chocolate


Image: @sony.side.up

With its cocoa content that's higher than that of regular or milk chocolate, dark chocolate actually has a lot of health benefits. The antioxidants in cocoa are to thank for these health benefits, which include increasing blood flow throughout your body. The increase in blood flow produced by the antioxidants can also aid in reducing mental fatigue as well as improving mood. The stimulatory compounds in dark chocolate, including theobromine and caffeine, have also been shown to increase mental energy and mood as well. 

Oatmeal


Image: @elizabeth.eats.gooood

Oats are rich in vitamins and minerals including B vitamins, iron and manganese. These vitamins and minerals help the energy creation process. All these nutrients combined help make oatmeal the perfect source for prolonged energy. Don't forget the brown sugar and berries!

Avocados


Image: @xtrafoods

The perfect top-off to an egg sandwich, avocados are an amazing source of energy. They're rich in healthy fats, B vitamins and fiber. The healthy fats in avocados help promote optimal blood fat levels and enhance the absorption of nutrients. These fats can also be stored in the body and be used as an energy source. In addition to this, avocados allow you to have steady energy levels due to the fiber in them, which makes up 80% of their carb content.

Strawberries


Image: @_sallys

Strawberries are an amazing energy-boosting food, thanks to their levels of fiber, sugars and carbs. One cup of strawberries will give you 3 grams of fiber, 13 grams of carbs and 100% of the RDI for vitamin C. It gets better: Strawberries also fight inflammation, and the antioxidants in them can totally give you energy. The next time you're having a strawberry smoothie, don't forget about the amazing benefits of this versatile fruit.

Beans


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Beans are packed with nutrients andyou guessed itthey have the potential to give you loads of energy. Like sweet potatoes, beans digest rather slowly, maintaining stable blood sugar levels, and giving you steady energy. Like strawberries, beans also help fight inflammation. 

Popcorn

Image: @kimhoeltje

Bet you didn't expect to see this one on the list. This snack favorite is a great source of energy due to its fiber levels. This promotes steady energy throughout the day. Contrary to popular belief, popcorn can be a pretty healthy food when it's cooked with healthy ingredients, using the air-pop cooking method. 

Tag us in *all* of your energy-boosting delish meals on Insta @girlslifemag!

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by Franca Akenami | 11/24/2020
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