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The next time you need a quick energy boost before or after an intense workout, consider choosing natural energy boosting foods.
There are several all natural, vegetable based foods that can jumpstart your energy levels without the harmful side effects of added sugar, caffeine, or artificial preservatives. Protein bars and energy drinks may work for a short burst of energy, but will not have a lasting effect on your body. Australian fitness site Body + Soul offers a guide to the top five natural energy booster.
One tasty snack that packs a lot of energy are Edamame beans. Typically found in Asian supermarkets, these healthy, protein-rich soy bean snacks are full of B-vitamins, copper and phosphorous, providing for low-fat energy boost. Fresh vegetable soybeans generally have around 36 percent protein, which is 86 percent higher than mature soybeans. Edamame is also known for its anti-inflammatory properties.
Instead of caffeinated energy drinks, health and fitness experts recommend drinking coconut water to replenish electrolytes. The natural isotonic drink provides most of the same benefits as formulated sports drinks such as Gatorade, without all the artificial ingredients.
Another healthy natural snack that nutrition experts recommend is Spirulina, a blue-green algae that grows in salt water. Spirulina packs 50-70% of pure, extraordinarily digestible protein.The edible algae packs over 100 minerals and vitamins, including copper, vitamin K, vitamin E, selenium, vitamin D, zinc, gammalinolenic acid (GLA), beta-carotene and other B vitamins.
Quinoa is another superfood recommend by Body + Soul. The grain is high in Riboflavin, which sharpens energy metabolism within brain and muscle cells. Quinoa has healthy level of iron, which helps supply oxygen to your body’s muscles, increases brain function, regulates body temperature, aids enzyme activity and increases metabolism.
Cacao is a popular substitute for chocolate and a natural energy booster to boot. Cacao contains theobromine, a central nervous system stimulant similar to caffeine. Eating cacao also helps to release endorphins, the body’s natural opiates. Cacao contains 621 antioxidants, making it a favorite among individuals on a raw food diet. Eating Cacao has also been known to release endorphins in the human body.
Read Body + Soul for more healthy recipes and snacks.