Top 10 Performance Boosting Plant-Based Foods
Why eat performance-boosting plant-based foods?
The food we eat can have a huge impact on the health and structure of our body. Eating a healthy diet that includes plant-based foods guarantees to provide you with good fuel to maintain focus and concentration throughout your day.
To increase your productivity levels, switch to foods that give you more energy. Even though all foods do so, some of them are more likely to help you stay alert and focused and keep you active throughout the day.
Let’s look at the list of some plant-based foods proven to boost energy levels:
Bananas are power-packed with energy. You must have seen people eating a banana before a workout. It is a good practice, to begin with.
One study showed that eating a banana before a 75-km cycling trial was equivalent to consuming a carbohydrate drink for improving the performance of endurance athletes.
2. Brown Rice
Brown rice is highly nutritious. It is less processed and retains more nutrients like fiber, minerals and vitamins as compared to white rice.
One cup (195 grams) of cooked brown rice can give you 3.5 grams of fiber and about 88% of manganese, a mineral essential to break down carbohydrates and proteins to generate energy.
Also, brown rice has a high fiber content, which means it has a low glycemic index. This helps in regulating blood sugar levels and maintains steady energy levels throughout the day.
You can learn more about brown rice protein here.
Quinoa is a seed known for its high protein content.
One cup of quinoa can give you 39 grams of carbs, 8 grams of protein, 5 grams of dietary fiber and a significant amount of vitamins and minerals.
This is a superfood high in carbohydrates and it has a low glycemic index, which indicates that the carbs are absorbed slowly into the body and can provide sustained energy release.
Plus, quinoa provides 20% of the RDI for manganese, folate and magnesium, all of which are used by enzymes in the process of producing energy.
Edamame can be an easy and quick go-to snack option.
It is one of the plant-based foods that offer significant amounts of protein, carbs and fiber and is relatively low in calories. One cup of edamame gives you 17 grams of protein, 16 grams of carbs and about 8 grams of fiber on an average.
One cup of edamame provides 79% of manganese and 121% of folic acid as per RDI. Also, it has high amounts of vitamins and minerals that can help increase energy in different ways.
Lentils are an inexpensive source of protein that provide you essential nutrients to boost your energy levels.
Lentils and legumes are known to be rich in carbs and fiber. One cup can provide up to 16 grams of fiber and 40 grams of carbs.
The fiber in lentil is absorbed slowly into the stomach and gives a controlled increase in blood sugar levels. Which means you will experience a steady flow of energy throughout the day and feel satiated for longer.
You can find out more benefits of lentils here
Nuts are a great snack option. They are rich in carbs, proteins and a healthy amount of fats that provide you with a slow release of energy throughout the day.
Most nuts like cashews, walnuts and almonds contain high amounts of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, and antioxidants that can boost energy levels and reduce inflammation in body.
Moreover, the energy provided by nuts can be sustained for longer hours and is absorbed slowly by the body.
Nuts also give a healthy amount of vitamins and minerals like manganese, iron, vitamin B and Vitamin E. These help in reducing tiredness along with keeping your energy levels high.
Beans are a great source of natural energy. Even though there are many different types of beans, probably hundreds of them to start with, their nutrient profile is quite similar. They are highly rich in protein, carbohydrates and fiber.
Beans digest slowly into the system, which helps in maintaining blood sugar levels and gives you steady flow of energy. They also contain antioxidants that help fight inflammation.
Black beans and black-eyed peas are the most popular kind of beans available in the market. These plant-based foods are a good source of folic acid, manganese, iron and help in easy delivery of energy into the cells.
8. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolates are known to be so because of the higher cocoa content in it.
The antioxidant in rich cocoa is known to reduce the flow of free radicals by neutralising them, which otherwise might cause more oxidative stress in the body.
This process helps in the delivery of oxygen to the brain and muscles, which improves their functionality. This is especially helpful during exercise.
Increased blood flow produced by antioxidants also helps reduce mental fatigue and improves moods.
Dark chocolate is also known to contain stimulatory compounds like theobromine and caffeine, which enhances mood and provides mental energy.
Coffee serves as a concentration aid for many – it helps you stay awake and focused.
The reason behind it is because the caffeine in coffee blocks a substance in the brain called adenosine, which is responsible for making you sleepy.
Other than boosting alertness, a 2018 study found that caffeine may also increase brains capacity for processing information.
The researchers found that caffeine actually causes an increase in brain entropy, which is linked to complex and variable brain activity. When entropy is high, the brain is able to process more information.
Coffee is also a rich source of antioxidants and improves brain activity as a person gets older. One study has shown coffee consumption to reduce the risk of several diseases.
- Cognitive decline
- Parkinson’s disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
Avocados are natural superfoods that provide significant health benefits.
Avocados contain about 84% of the healthy fats in the form of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. They are also rich in soluble fibers.
These healthy fats help in maintaining the optimal blood fat levels and enhance the proper absorption of nutrients. They can also be stored in the body and used as energy sources.
The fiber in avocados can have as much as 80% of carbohydrate content, which helps in maintaining uniform energy levels.
Additionally, avocados are a good source of Vitamin B, which is significantly required at the cellular level for producing energy.