There’s just something about winter that is very draining. Perhaps the indoors and the cold does it, or maybe it’s the lack of sun. Feeling energized during the winter is just hard to do. Couple that with illnesses that like to breed during the winter months, and you probably find yourself dragging and looking for a pick-me-up. Here are some foods that will keep you energized all winter long, and really all year long.
Ten Foods That Energize You in the Winter
1. Water. You can’t forget to stay hydrated in the winter months. While it’s easy to remember to drink your eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day in the summer because you’re thirsty, you might need to force yourself to drink water more in the winter. Staying hydrated will keep your energy up, but that doesn’t mean with coffee either. Caffeine seems like the natural solution to energy, but remember it’s a drug and its effects will only last for so long. Stick to the water.
2. Nuts. With plenty of protein and magnesium, this is a great choice for a midday pick-me-up. Some good ones to try which will help pick you up and improve your mood are almonds, walnuts, or Brazil nuts. Pumpkin seeds are also a good source of energy-rich minerals. And since pumpkins are in season this time of year, you can get them pretty cheap. When you carve your pumpkins this year, save those seeds and roast them to snack on all winter long.
3. Whole grains. Start your morning off with a nice steaming bowl of oatmeal. The fiber and B vitamins make it the perfect breakfast choice. And who doesn’t love a nice hot bowl of oatmeal on a cold winter morning? Brown rice, whole wheat pasta, and whole wheat bread are also great energy-rich foods to eat throughout the day and help keep your energy up.
4. Leafy greens. You need iron to help transport and store oxygen in the body, which is what you need for energy. Spinach, lettuce, and broccoli are great choices. Make yourself a veggie smoothie if you’re looking for an afternoon pick-me-up. Don’t discount celery in those leafy greens either. Ants on a log are a fun snack to have which will really help keep you energized during the day.
5. Fresh fruit. An apple a day does more than keep the doctor away. Apples, blueberries, and bananas are perfect fruit choices. Blueberries might be hard to come by in the winter, but apples are a great fall and winter fruit. There are so many ways to enjoy fruit, too. A smoothie, added to your cereal, or a fruit salad and you have a delicious treat that will give you the energy you need throughout the day.
6. Lean meat and fish. Chicken, pork, turkey, and lean ground meat are all great sources of iron. And much like with the leafy greens, you want that iron to help store and transport oxygen in the body to keep you energized. Salmon contains riboflavin, protein, niacin, and Vitamin B6, which all have energy-converting properties. Poached salmon is a quick and easy way to prepare this energy-rich food.
7. Legumes. Lentils, beans, and peas contain iron, protein, and magnesium, making them a great food for energy. Chickpeas and black beans are full of fiber which slows down digestion. This helps keep you full and energized longer.
8. Eggs. What a great way to start out your day with an egg. Once upon a time it might have been recommended that you not eat an egg every day, but they have such a high amount of protein in them that it is the perfect energy-fueled breakfast. No matter how you prepare them, it’s the perfect choice to start your day with plenty of energy.
9. Yogurt. Greek yogurt is really becoming popular and there’s a reason for this. The amount of protein you consume from Greek or low-fat yogurt will multiply. And the probiotics in yogurt will help keep you healthy and keep your immune system strong.
10. Dark chocolate. Satisfy your sweet tooth with this treat. Make sure it’s dark chocolate, though. The caffeine in dark chocolate will give you that initial pick-me-up, but then it just keeps on giving. It helps increase blood flow to your brain and contains antioxidants, magnesium, and iron. So it’s really a natural choice to fill your cravings and give you energy.
If you eat these foods throughout the day, then there’s no doubt you will feel energized and able to get through the long winter months without a problem.