Livia Owens | HealthGreatness

5 Foods that give you natural energy.

Wind Up With Whole Grains

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Chock-full of vitamins and minerals, whole grains have three components–endosperm, germ and bran–that make them so nutritional and energizing. Refined grains found in white bread and white flour are not considered whole grains because their nutritional value has been drastically reduced by degradation caused by processing. True whole grain foods contain:

B vitamins
Vitamin E
Magnesium and selenium
Iron
Fiber and antioxidants
Whole grains are a great source of natural energy and can also suppress hunger pangs if you are dieting, since fiber provides a full feeling after eating. In addition, the combination of nutrients and vitamins in whole grain foods contributes to a healthy and properly functioning immune system. Examples of whole grains include buckwheat, rolled oats, long grain brown rice and bulgar wheat.

Blueberries, Strawberries, Blackberries and Just Plain Berries!

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Blueberries and nearly all types of berries are superfoods containing vitamin C, E, B, A and K that boosts functioning of your immune system and maintains your energy levels. Other health benefits provided by berries include potassium and phosphorous (maintains metabolism and nervous system functioning) and carbohydrates.

Bananas–Peel ‘Em and Eat ‘Em

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Bananas are one of nature’s healthiest foods, containing low amounts of fat and a good amount of vitamin C. They are full of natural energy due to their high natural sugar content, vitamin B6, manganese and potassium. In addition, B6 is involved in a variety of metabolic processes such as neurotransmitter synthesis and gene expression.

Get Peppy with Protein-Rich Foods

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You need protein to maintain nearly all body process as well as health of all your body tissues. Protein is also necessary to make amino acids, the “building blocks of life”. Amino acids are chemically similar to glucose except that they contain nitrogen. This means that even after protein is digested into amino acids, they must go through more steps to have the nitrogen removed. Once the nitrogen is gone, the amino acids are converted into glucose or fatty acids. Either way, they give you energy. Protein-rich foods include beans, eggs, cheese, milk, yogurt, seafood and poultry.

Gotta Have My Coffee

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To coffee drinkers, this dark, rich beverage is comparable to the nectar of the gods. Coffee’s claim to fame as a natural energy food comes from its high caffeine content. A phytostimulant that is probably the fastest working type of consumable natural energy, caffeine interrupts the breakdown of an enzyme called cyclic adenosine monophosphate, which encourages release of noradrenalin and epinephrine. These two neurotransmitters increase muscle contraction rates of the heart and make us feel that “fight or flight” energy we experience during times of excitement, stress or fear. Caffeine also increases blood flow, alertness and respiration rate, giving many of us that needed boost in the morning before we trudge (or skip!) off to work.