As the nights get longer and the air gets cold, it feels difficult to even get out of bed let alone maintain energy throughout the day. Holidays can cause even more stress and leave you feeling more than ready for a long winters nap. Often we gravitate towards comfort foods that will keep us warm and give us energy. Our bodies are telling us what we need, but unfortunately most of our choices include sugar, caffeine, alcohol, milk products, and other processed foods that have the opposite effect. They decrease our energy and deplete our bodies of essential minerals and nutrients which lead to colds, flues, and winter blues. Thankfully mother nature has provided us with amazing natural foods that help to boost our immunity and vitality. Try adding these 6 key energy boosting nutrients into your winter diet and start to feel alive and well! Even better, focus on local and organic foods. When the food is still alive, it provides more life force.
1. Kale: This amazing super food is high in calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, potassium, B6, C, E and K. It is also filled with fiber which helps stabilize blood sugar levels, and many other micronutrients. On top of boosting energy kale helps improved circulation, strengthen the immune system, and clear mucus and congestion especially in the lungs. This dark green veggie is almost an instant source of vitality.
2.Tangerines: These delicious winter fruits are packed with vitamin A & C, folate, potassium, and fiber which enhances immunity. The natural sugars also help stabilize blood glucose levels. It’s a great snack to choose when craving something sweet to avoid sugar crashes.
3. Cinnamon: This revitalizing spice can sharpen your cognitive abilities and counteract mood-swings. It contains calcium, iron, magnesium, and fiber which are all key nutrients for energy enhancement. It’s distinctive smell works directly with the brain to increase alertness, and it also helps prevent mood swings caused by fluctuating blood sugar levels. Try using this wonderful spice in tea, on nuts, or over fruit.
4. Brazil Nuts: A handful of these babies are rich in the mood-enhancing mineral selenium, which make them a perfect snack to help fight off the winter blues. They are also filled with magnesium, and copper which helps the body to use iron. Both of these minerals help to fight off muscle fatigue and stiffness from exercise and cold weather.
5. Pumpkin seeds: Pumpkin seeds are concentrated sources of protein, B vitamins, vitamin E, iron, magnesium. They also contain omega 3 fatty acids which help balance cholesterol and improve circulation which lead to increased energy levels.
6. Sweet potato: Hearty rooted vegetables such as sweet potatoes help to add warmth to the body. They contain vitamin C, beta carotene, copper, iron, potassium, and fiber. These nutrients help with muscle fatigue and stabilization of blood sugar levels. They also contain vitamin B6 which is know to help relieve depression. Sweet potatoes are a perfect comfort food that will not deplete your energy.