Winter months can sap your energy. With fewer hours of sunlight, your body needs additional fuel to make it energetically through the day. That’s why winter is the perfect time to start providing your body with foods that are naturally stimulating.
So, if you’re ready to defeat the winter blues and afternoon energy slumps, try these six foods and beverages for a boost. Also check out Dr. Kara’s energy-enhancing supplements Revive Reds and UltraBeets for added benefit.
• Strawberries: The sweet taste of strawberries can be enjoyed raw, as part of a salad or smoothie, and baked into desserts. This versatile fruit contains antioxidants, carbs, fiber, and natural sugars that fight fatigue, promote energy, and help prevent inflammation. Get a healthy dose of strawberries at the supermarket or try out Dr. Kara’s Revive Reds supplement for a healthy mix of strawberries and other fruits.
• Coffee: The caffeine in coffee passes quickly from blood to brain, resulting in feelings of alertness and focus. However, this caffeine can also produce jitters, so over-drinking isn’t recommended.
• Dark Chocolate: Reward your sweet tooth with a dose of dark chocolate. The cocoa it contains is thought to regulate the use of energy and can also increase blood flow throughout the body. This delivers oxygen to the brain, ultimately improving brain function and alertness. Flavonoids, caffeine, and other compounds found in dark chocolate can also improve your mood and even your skin appearance.
• Beets: We love beets and mention them often as an ingredient that delivers health benefits. No exception here. The nitrates found in beets convert into nitric oxide. In turn, nitric oxide improves blood flow and increases the delivery of oxygen throughout the body, which can boost energy levels. We’ll admit, beets aren’t the best-tasting item on this list, but they’re certainly among the best. That’s why we’ve created UltraBeets, a dietary supplement designed to give your body its daily dose of beets without the tart taste.
• Beans: Did you know that farmers in the U.S. plant between 1.5 to 1.7 million acres of dry edible beans each year, according to The Bean Institute? These beans contain healthy amounts of antioxidants, iron, protein, and fiber that impact energy levels by delivering nutrients to cells within the body. Better yet, beans are full of slow-digesting carbs, meaning you’ll enjoy steady energy levels throughout the day. Out of the thousands of bean variations, chickpeas are among the tastiest energy enhancers; try snacking on them during a wintertime afternoon slump!
• Green Tea: The last energizing item on our list is green tea, a beverage regularly enjoyed and cherished for its numerous health benefits. Like coffee, green tea contains caffeine that energizes the body. However, green tea differs from coffee because it also contains L-theanine, an amino acid that moderates the effects of caffeine by reducing the jitters and bolts of energy commonly associated with coffee. Combined, caffeine and L-theanine provide more consistent feelings of energy and can improve brain function.