I love my morning cup of coffee like I’m sure many of you do. However, I don’t rely on caffeine to get me through the day and you don’t have to either thanks to some especially energizing vegan foods. The best part about eating plant-based foods is that they provide a long-lasting, steady stream of energy that lasts for hours on end, with no extra caffeine needed at all. Plant-based foods contain vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals that boost energy production and mental focus. Eat your way to energy with these foods and you’ll feel a huge difference in absolutely no time!
Most fruits, vegetables, superfoods, and healthy fats can give you all the energy you need to get you through the day feeling great with no pricey lattes needed. Try adding one or two to your day if you’re new to these foods and see what a difference they can make for you. What are your favorite energizing foods?
Leafy greens provide the body with iron, magnesium, B vitamins, and Vitamin C, which help boost energy along with aid in muscle health. They also help boost the immune system to make sure you stay healthy around the clock. Some of the most nutrient-dense leafy greens include kale, Swiss chard, romaine, spinach, and collard greens, but all leafy greens are a fantastic choice! Get your daily dose first thing in the morning with this delicious Beginner Green Smoothie or try other tasty options to get your greens in each day.
Chia is a common superfood used by many these days and it’s one of my go-to foods for boosting energy, enhancing brain focus, and helping me stay hydrated. Chia helps holds water in the body, and it also contains iron, magnesium, and potassium. This is important for your energy levels since dehydration, mineral deficiencies, and electrolyte imbalance can all lead to fatigue quickly. If you’re not already using chia seeds, start with one or two tablespoons in the morning in a smoothie or try mixing them in yogurt or some overnight oatmeal.
Speaking of oatmeal, try adding oats to your breakfast and see how much better you feel during the day. Oats boost endorphins to boost your mood and they provide the body with B vitamins, magnesium, and a nice dose of phosphorus. Phosphorus is a mineral that enhances energy and keeps your bones strong to prevent osteoporosis. Oats are also a very low-glycemic food, so they give you a long-lasting burst of energy without the blood sugar crash that refined grains cause.
Cacao is possibly the most energizing of all plant-based foods. The tiny cacao bean is one of the most complex natural stimulants nature has to offer, but doesn’t cause the crash that coffee does. Cacao contains an alkaloid known as theobromine that boosts blood flow, mental acuity, focus, and mood. It is also a natural energizer that’s the perfect replacement for excess caffeine. Though chocolate does contain a small amount of caffeine, raw cacao actually contains very little. Choose raw cacao nibs, powder, or a superfood mix containing raw cacao to get the benefits.
Maca is one of the best superfoods to consume for energy, making it the perfect replacement for coffee. This Peruvian superfood contains all essential amino acids, optimizes hormone levels, and provides all day energy that keeps you from wanting to take a nap every afternoon! It also nourishes the muscles and joints, so it’s great to consume before or after your workout. Maca also balances your adrenal glands which control a large aspect of your health and wellness, especially your energy levels. If you’re incredibly stressed, mentally, or physically fatigued, maca powder is something you might want to try. It has a delicious caramel and butterscotch-like taste that goes well in just about any smoothie you make.
Almost everyone loves bananas and it’s no wonder – these sweet, simple fruits contain an array of nutrients that make them the perfect energy food. Bananas are a great source of magnesium and Vitamin B6, which both help to boost energy and induce a positive mood. They’re also a great source of manganese and potassium, which balance electrolytes and lower your blood pressure. Plus, they make a killer banana bread or breakfast muffin!
Sweet potatoes are a great source of complex carbs that can energize you and help stave off hunger and low blood sugar. They’re also a top source of magnesium, Vitamin B6, and have even more potassium than bananas. Sweet potatoes are also incredibly easy to digest, which is important to maintain optimal energy levels as well. Have a stuffed sweet potato for lunch or perhaps roast some and serve them up on a sweet potato salad instead.
Coconut is one of the most powerful foods for boosting energy levels in a quick amount of time. Coconut’s healthy fats are immediately used for energy by the body, not stored as excess weight. Despite being high in saturated fat, coconut does not raise cholesterol or contribute to heart disease like animal-based saturated fats do. You can buy or make coconut butter, yogurt, or healthy breakfast bars with this delicious superfood!Lead image source: PB Granola Cookies