Let’s face it, a week full of work, meetings, or school can be brutal. We are all too familiar with the yawns that start on Monday mornings, the 3pm snack cravings, and the overall lack of energy throughout the weeks. Instead of reaching over for your usual bag of greasy chips or chocolate smothered candy, eat something that will get you through the day with a natural boost of healthy energy. Before you know it, the weekend will be near and you’ll feel that more energized and ready to take on the world (until Monday hits again, that is…)! Here are some of our favorite fruits and vegetables to increase our daily productivity, along with some delicious ideas and pairing options. Enjoy!
…Get a boost with your choice of fruit!
If it’s a sugary treat that you want, bananas are packed with glucose, fructose, and sucrose to satisfy your craving (in addition to potassium, fiber, and B vitamins).
Snack on: Mashed banana sprinkled with your favorite nuts
The oils from a coconut—thanks to the triglycerides—can quickly give you that energy boost without the sluggish feeling.
Snack on: Coconut flakes
3) Citrus Fruits
This category is always great because you have a choice of multiple fruits that you can have all at once or individually. Lemons, limes, and oranges are naturally rich in Vitamin C, and they give you a steady flow of energy over a period of time. No crash here!
Snack on: A citrus medley with a pinch of cayenne pepper
We all know that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but it also gives you more than the initial dose of energy. Since an apple digests slowly due to the high fiber, it’ll give you a dose of energy longer than most fruits.
Snack on: Apple slices dipped in greek yogurt
If you are suffering from a cold or joint aches and are in need of a energy boost, the papaya conquers all of the symptoms! Talk about a full body recharge.
Snack on: Papaya drizzled in honey
…Get a boost with your choice of vegetable!
This “superfood” isn’t quite done with being on lists just yet. Kale is high in vitamins and minerals, making it a great source of energy.
Snack on: Kale chips
2) Sweet Potato
A little bit of carbs never hurt anyone! Sweet potatoes, although high in carbohydrates, also packs in vitamin A & C, both of which work to help fight symptoms of fatigue.
Snack on: Baked sweet potato fries
Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum. Get that iron from spinach, which is a crucial in the production of energy in our body.
Snack on: Spinach dip with naan
Boiled or crunchy, soybeans are an easy go-to snack that are high in B-vitamins (they help break down those extra carbs you might have eaten) along with phosphorus and copper, which help with converting the food you have eaten into ready-to-use energy. If you are looking for a pre-workout (or post) snack, soybeans also provide “exercise-friendly carbs, fiber, and protein for muscles.”
Snack on: Crispy soybeans lightly dusted with sea salt
Not all salads are healthy and if you don’t know which “green” to add to give yourself an energy kick (while also feeling good about your meal), replace your romaine and iceberg lettuce for arugula—it’s healthier! With a combination of folate and A, B, C, & K vitamins, you actually know that you have a healthy salad. And although tempting, layoff on the croutons!
Snack on: An arugula salad with balsamic vinaigrette dressing