We’ve all experienced the dreaded mid-afternoon slump. You’re stuck at your desk, your eyelids feel heavy—and you reach for your coffee mug, right? While there’s no denying the power of a freshly-brewed latte when you need a pick-me-up, it’s also possible to get a natural burst of energy from some of your favorite fruits and vegetables. As spring growing season gets underway, we’re taking a look at the energizing properties of five favorite finds from the farmer’s market.
Peppermint: Research shows that even the smell of fresh peppermint can increase alertness and fight fatigue, but you don’t have to sniff a bundle of this invigorating herb when you need an energy boost. Energizing peppermint is a great addition to salads and fruity desserts, adding a burst of vibrant color and fresh flavor. You can also make an infused water by adding peppermint leaves and slices of your favorite fruit to your water bottle at the start of each day—this flavorful sip encourages better hydration, another key factor in maintaining consistent energy levels.
Sweet Potatoes: If you live in a colder climate, it can take some time for fresh spring veggies to start appearing at your local market or grocery store. But long-lasting root vegetables from the autumn harvest, like sweet potatoes, are likely to be plentiful year-round. That’s good news, because sweet potatoes are a great source of fiber and complex carbohydrates; your body digests these compounds slowly, giving you sustained energy for hours after you eat. Sweet potatoes are also rich in manganese, which helps your body break down nutrients for an additional boost. Try packing a roasted sweet potato for lunch alongside a serving of protein to keep your body fueled all day.
Watermelon: Though watermelon season is still a few months away, we’re already looking forward to the arrival of this quintessential summertime fruit. Watermelon is rich in vitamin B6 as well as minerals like magnesium and potassium, which help your body maintain healthy electrolyte levels, promote bone strength, and support your immune system so you can avoid feeling run down.
Eggs: If you’re lucky enough to find locally-raised eggs at your farmer’s market, pick up a dozen for an energizing source of protein. Eggs have a well-earned reputation as a healthy start to the day because each one contains around 6 grams of protein, a great source of sustained energy. Eggs are also rich in B vitamins, essential compounds that the body uses in energy production. Take a hard-boiled egg for breakfast on the go, or whip up an omelet with your favorite cheese and another energizing food on our list—asparagus.
Asparagus: Like eggs, this beloved spring vegetable is rich in B vitamins, which help your body transform carbohydrates into glucose during the energy production process. Asparagus also has a low glycemic index, meaning that it promotes a more gradual and long-lasting release of energy in your body. (That helps you avoid the energy spike and crash cycle you might experience after eating sugary or high-carbohydrate foods.) The growing season for this fresh and flavorful spring veggie is fleeting, so stock up as soon as you see it at the market!
Which foods do you choose when you need a burst of energy? Share your healthy favorites in the comments!
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