Whether you’re getting back in the groove of school and work routines, starting to move more, or trying to sustain your energy levels during these stressful times, the nourishment you put in your tank can make all the difference between feeling fully fueled or downright drained. Though there’s no magic bullet or single superfood proven to strengthen stamina, here are five satisfying, energizing foods to get you started…

1. Oats

Versatile and filling, this whole grain has the power to jazz up all sorts of meals. Though commonly consumed for breakfast as oatmeal, oats can also be enjoyed in baked goods or as part of a savory meal. A half cup of oats cooked with milk contains 13 grams of protein, 8 grams of heart healthy fiber, and plenty of energy-boosting carbohydrates. One cup of cooked oats also provides 50% of our daily thiamine, a B vitamin needed for digestion, immunity, and regulation of the nervous system…all important for maintaining adequate energy levels.

2. Full Fat Greek Yogurt

Yes, full fat! Fat in dairy products increases satiety, boosts nutrient absorption, and helps stabilize blood glucose levels to prevent energy crashes. Greek yogurt and other dairy products are loaded with nutrients like calcium, protein, phosphorus, and carbohydrates. In one day, aim for three servings of dairy: full fat Greek yogurt, a glass of 2% or whole milk, and cheese in a wrap are great options. 

3. Hemp Seeds

Tiny, soft, and nutty, these seeds pack a nutrition punch. One serving provides 10 grams of high quality protein, ideal for building and maintaining muscle mass. They also boast 10 grams of omega 3s and 6s, heart healthy fats that may have anti-inflammatory effects on the body. Hemp seeds are also an excellent source of fiber, which helps to sustain energy by increasing satiety, promoting a gut health, and aiding in the maintenance of balanced blood glucose levels. Here’s how to eat them:

  • Add to a bowl of cereal and milk
  • Sprinkle on top of avocado toast
  • Toss into a salad

4. Whole Wheat Bagels

Quick and satisfying, whole wheat bagels contain complex carbohydrates, fiber for fullness, and plant protein from wheat. Whole grains provide a great source of magnesium, a mineral that plays a role in improving brain function, mood, exercise endurance supports overall health by helping to regulate blood sugar and blood pressure. Try topping your bagel with the following for any meal or snack, savory or sweet…

  • Breakfast: cream cheese or peanut butter
  • Lunch: marinara & mozzarella or ham & swiss
  • Snack: mashed avocado or a mixed berry jam

5. Chocolate milk

Widely known as a tasty post-workout snack, this creamy rich beverage is loaded with nutrition. Because this protein and carbohydrate-containing food is in liquid form, it can be quickly digested and absorbed to provide immediate energy. Furthermore, whey protein, a specific type of protein found in milk, promotes growth and maintenance of muscle and helps to extend energy for hours to come.

At Memphis Nutrition Group, we believe food serves as fuel and so much more. Voltaire once stated, “Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if God has not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity.” Satisfying foods not only bring us pleasure, they also provide incentive to fuel well again and again. In the absence of restriction or deprivation, the most energizing foods to eat are often the ones we intuitively crave. Energizing your eating is more than just a list of nourishing foods to eat for a quick fix. Fully fueling means listening and responding to your body cues with consistent, balanced meals and snacks throughout the day.

Caroline Pruente, MS, RDN, LDN is a nutrition therapist and Registered Dietitian at Memphis Nutrition Group. Memphis Nutrition Group believes in a non-diet approach that promotes overall health and optimal performance without compromising the enjoyment of food. For more information call Memphis Nutrition Group at 901.343.6146 or visit MemphisNutritionGroup.com.