When we get to the late afternoon of a long day, most of us are lacking in energy. We find that this is the dangerous time of day for us, as we reach for junk food or ample amounts of coffee with sugar. Let's discuss four foods that can give you a much greater energy boost than caffeine or sugary foods (and also happen to be a million times better for you!).
Legumes - such as chickpeas, red kidney beans, black beans, cannellini beans, butter beans, green peas, broad beans, snow peas, green beans and lentils - are packed with nutrition, including protein, vitamins, minerals and calcium.
Legumes provide lots of energy, prevent food cravings, and help protect your body against cancer, heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.
If you are short on time, you can purchase beans or peas in a tin, or frozen, and cook them in a matter of minutes. One of our consulting nutritionists advises eating the same number of grams in protein as your weight ie a person weighing 60-70-80 kilos, should be eating 50-60-70-80 grams of protein a day, as a minimum. Consuming legumes in your main meals twice a day will help you to reach this number.
Green leafy vegetables
Your mother and grandma knew what they were talking about when they forced you to eat up all your green vegetables at the dinner table! Green leafy vegetables are ideal for weight management as they are very low in calories and are a major source of iron, and therefore energy. They are also amongst the most concentrated source of nutrition of any food. and are almost completely carb-free.
Nutritionists recommend that we should be eating three cups of green leafy vegetables per week, as a minimum. Green leafy vegetables include foods such as spinach, kale, bok choy, broccoli and different types of green lettuce.
There is a whooping 14g of protein found in every 100g of quinoa, which will greatly help you to get to the percentage of daily protein you should be having. Quinoa also has lots of fibre and a low glyecymic index which means that it leaves you feeling fuller for longer and helps curb cravings. Quinoa also helps keep blood sugar and energy levels constant. is a healthier substitute for rice, noodles or pasta. Just remember quinoa is a carbohydrate, so eating in moderation is recommended to effectively lose weight and keep the weight off over the long term.
Maca. The Superfood
Maca (also known as Peruvian ginseng) is a root vegetable grown in the Mountains in Peru that has been getting a lot of good press lately. Maca powder contains phytochemicals, which help increase energy -0 and happiness - levels.
Maca powder has other benefits, such as improving physical endurance, contributing to overall well-being and regulating hormones.
Try mixing 1 - 2 tablespoons of maca powder into smoothies, yoghurt, cereal, oatmeal, muesli, fruit juice, or bake into cakes or cookies.
Recipe: Banana Cinnamon Maca Shake
In a blender, add 1 tablespoon Maca powder and 1 cup almond milk (or other milk/milk substitute) with 1 ripe sliced banana (freeze it the day before for a creamier result) and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Blend until smooth and serve cold.