As the days get shorter and meals get heavier, you may start to feel less like exercising and more like snuggling up on your couch with a good book. While winter weather may encourage us to naturally hibernate like our animal brethren, we don’t have the luxury to let the pounds stack on during the colder months. Increased snuggling means increased fat buildup, which in turn means less energy and the “winter blues” that affect a large portion of the population this time of year. You can beat the blues by adding certain foods to your diet that promote energy and well-being. Here are the best foods for giving you a boost this winter.
In addition to healthy fat and protein, almonds contain magnesium, which is responsible for turning sugar into energy for the body. Unlike coffee or sugary protein bars, almonds can help naturally boost your energy without leading to a sugar crash later. Have a handful of almonds or combine with Greek yogurt for a healthy snack.
Brazil nuts contain a hefty dose of selenium, a nutrient packed with antioxidant properties that can promote healing by reducing inflammation and helping to bolster the body’s natural defenses. Just one Brazil nut can contain an entire daily serving of selenium. Other sources of this super nutrient include halibut, cod and tuna.
You’ve probably been told by doctors that carrots contain vitamin D and can be eaten to promote healthy vision, but a serving of carrots also contains nearly four times the recommended daily intake of vitamin A, too. Vitamin A helps create white blood cells, which aid in a healthy immune system.
4. Crackers & Peanut Butter
You may be tempted to avoid carbs altogether, but your body still needs them for energy. The trick is to eat complex carbs and combine them with a protein. Whole grain crackers are a complex carb, and peanut butter offers a healthy way to get protein. You could also use a low-fat cheese or Greek yogurt to achieve the same effect.
Fiber promotes digestive regularity as well as alertness and steady energy throughout the day. It’s recommended that adults consume 25 to 30g of fiber per day. Start your morning with a bowl of high-fiber cereal topped with berries for an excellent source of natural energy.
You might be surprised to learn that frozen vegetables offer equal if not more nutrients than their fresh counterpart. This is because freezing locks in nutrients whereas fresh vegetables begin losing their potency once picked. Look for varieties with no added ingredients that have been picked at peak freshness.
Red bell peppers, oranges and papayas contain high levels of vitamin C, which helps bolster the immune system and provide energy. Most important, vitamin C aids in the absorption of iron in the body.
In addition to being an excellent source of protein, salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids, which provide a healthy fat that can aid against depression. Salmon is safe to eat for pregnant women and offers a laundry list of health benefits.
Dark, leafy vegetables like spinach contain plenty of vitamin A and iron. Experts recommend consuming plant-based sources of iron over red meat due to red meat’s proclivity for saturated fat. Beans and lentils also provide healthy sources of iron.
If you think your holiday turkey is making you sleepy, then think again. Turkey on its own contains vitamin B-12 and tyrosine. Tyrosine promotes alertness because it boosts levels of norepinephrine and dopamine in the body, and B-12 helps fight depression. Chances are you’re sleepy thanks to the added fat and sugar in the dressing.
Experts suggest that you should also avoid drinking excess coffee and tea if you’re looking for energy because caffeine provides short-term energy boosts that may lead to crashing later. While you’re stocking up on frozen vegetables and canned nuts to help you stay alert and happier this holiday season, check out the awesome cashback incentive program offered by DubLi. From exercise equipment to stores of bottled water, you’ll save on everything you need to make the season brighter.