Everyone's talking about energy efficiency for their cars, refrigerators and houses... but what about our bodies? Here's a brief primer on what to eat to keep your body movin' and energized...
Low Glycemic Index Foods
The 411 - These foods release energy slowly, so the energy-boost you get from them lasts longer than energy from high glycemic index foods (refined pasta, soda, candy, etc.). Simply put, it's more bang for your buck.
Best Bets! Leafy greens, red peppers, onions, beans
HG Pick - For a low-GI mini-meal, why not whip up our Chicken Fajita Lettuce Cups? With lettuce, onions, and red peppers all represented, it's a feast of energy foods for only 190 calories and a POINTS® value of 3*.
The 411 - High-fiber foods take a nice long time to digest. So, like low-GI foods, the energy from these is released over a longer period of time than fiber-lacking foods. As if we needed another reason to love fiber...
Best Bets! Fruits, vegetables, whole grains
HG Pick - We just discovered a seriously good oatmeal that is chock-full of energy-enhancing fiber. It's called Holly's Au Natural Oatmeal, and it comes in a bunch of great flavors. We're nuts about the Apricot Maple Nut -- you get a large, filling portion for 210 calories, 0.5g fat, 43g carbs, 8g fiber, and 9g protein (POINTS® value 3*). And even though the directions say to make it with a cup of soymilk, we made it with 5 oz. water and 3 oz. Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Breeze and it STILL rocked!
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
The 411 - Fats provide energy, but too often the fats we're not getting enough of are the ones we really need (boo!). These fatty acids provide energy to your muscles, heart, and other organs -- all areas we'd like to keep energized, thankyouverymuch!
Best Bets! Salmon, halibut, boiled cauliflower, baked squash, flaxseeds
HG Picks - Even we were surprised to see that our cooked cauliflower and squash creations have omega-3s, but it's true. So next time you need energy, throw together some Bake-tastic Butternut Squash Fries or I Can't Believe It's Not Potato Salad! Or check out the flaxseed-fortified Naturally More Peanut Butter -- 2 tablespoons serves up 169 calories, 11g fat, 8g carbs, 4g fiber, and 10g protein (POINTS® value 3*), and it tastes GREAT.
The 411 - B vitamins support the cells and enzymes that break down your food. In order to convert your food into energy, those enzymes need a good supply of B vitamins to keep 'em going. It's a crucial part of refueling your body.
Best Bets! Whole grains, low-fat yogurt, tuna, bananas
HG Pick - To get your Bs, grab a Kashi GOLEAN Crunchy! Bar. Those things are loaded with B6, B12, iron and more. We're VERY into the Cinnamon Coffee Cake one -- 160 calories, 3g fat, 28g carbs, 5g fiber, and 11g protein (POINTS® value 3*). Yummmm!
The 411 - Improved digestion = increased energy. It's as simple as that. A lazy digestive system leaves the rest of you feeling lazy as well. So eat foods that promote good digestion!
Best Bets! Ginger, garlic, rosemary, cinnamon, pepper, chili
HG Picks - Going out for sushi? Load up on that pickled ginger! And if you're staying in, our WOW Kung Pao recipe packs a punch with both garlic and red pepper flakes. Feel free to kick the spices up a notch... if you think you can take it!
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*The Points® values for these products and/or recipes were calculated by Hungry Girl and are not an endorsement or approval of the product, recipe or its manufacturer or developer by Weight Watchers International, Inc., the owner of the Points® registered trademark.