If you’ve got a normal, hectic American life, it’s likely you don’t eat as regularly or as well as you should. If meetings run long, a child needs to be picked up, or you’ve got a spreadsheet due, the first thing sacrificed is the regularity of square meals–and healthy eating.
The next time you’re feeling peckish, avoid the vending machine and instead indulge in one of these five healthy foods that give you energy.
Yes, these handy, easy-to-transport snacks are full of fruit sugars, but they won’t give you the sugar rush-and-crash that a candy bar would. That’s because bananas have a whole lot of fiber that help slow-release the banana’s bounty to keep you feeling full and energized until you can have a real meal. Smear slices with almond butter for an extra protein boost.
Available in handy packets (although try to avoid the packets with sugar added), a quick bowl of warm, thick oatmeal is full of carbohydrates. Carbs are a prime source of energy, and in the form of whole grain like oatmeal, those carbs are released much more slowly than, say, processed white bread. Oatmeal also offers up lots of B vitamins necessary for metabolism. Stir in a handful of blueberries for antioxidant benefits, as well.
This chickpeas-and-olive-oil puree delivers carbs, protein, and fats for a solid energy boost. The presence of bean protein and fat slows the release of carbs, offering you a steady and long-lasting input of energy. Hummus comes in lots of different flavors like red pepper and garlic, and can be used instead of mayo or avocado on many sandwiches. Use it as a dip with raw cut carrots, broccoli florets, sugar peas, and/or celery to boost your vitamin and fiber intake.
Almonds are nature’s perfect protein snack. Although they have few carbs, they do have vitamins and minerals that are necessary for peak metabolic function, such as manganese, copper, phosphorus, zinc, and iron. They’re also packed with B vitamins like riboflavin, thiamine, niacin, and folate, Vitamin E, and heart-healthy oils.
Eminently portable (when hard-boiled), eggs are packed full of protein. It’s the ideal composition of protein, as well, since our bodies can absorb nearly 100% of it. Included in the humble egg are also all the amino acids that our body needs to build and rebuild muscles. A single egg contains almost a third of our daily requirement of protein, which makes us feel full and helps reduce sugary cravings.
It’s important to note that food not only fuels our bodies but it also fuels our brains. Healthy eating can make a big difference in how we feel, both physically and emotionally.