Are you feeling lazy? These 4 Vegan Foods Might Help

Unless you are superhuman, your energy level will go up or down throughout the day. However, it’s frustrating when fatigue hits and you still have things to check off your to-do list. There are many reasons why we feel tired, from the obvious lack of sleep due to nighttime vigils to not drinking enough water. If you need help dealing with morning dizziness and midday slumps, read on to learn about vegan foods that can give you an energy boost.

Can food help with low energy?

Practically speaking, almost all foods contain calories, a unit of energy. The calories you get from food provide your body with vital energy.

When you eat or drink, your body breaks down calories into energy through the metabolic process. This energy is then either used immediately or stored for later use, depending on your body’s current needs.

Calories give you the energy to walk and run and also allow your body to perform vital functions including protein metabolism, blood pumping and breathing. This means that calorie-free foods, like shirataki noodles, give you very little energy.


So what foods give you energy? Of the macronutrients (proteins, carbohydrates, and fats), carbohydrates are the winners. Carbohydrates are either simple or complex. Simple carbohydrates include sugar and complex carbohydrates are fiber and starch. The complex type is what you want. It may seem that a handful of sweets will make you more alert and energetic, but in reality, research shows that it is associated with higher levels of fatigue.

According to the FDA, most people need 2,000 calories per day. But your needs may be higher or lower depending on age, height, weight, gender, or activity level.

Other factors that affect your energy level

But food and drink aren’t the only things that affect your energy levels, Dana Ellis Hunnes, PhD, MPH, RD, senior clinical dietitian at UCLA Medical Center and author of the book Recipe for survival tells VegNews.

“How much sleep you received, your diet, whether or not you exercised, maybe the timing of your meals and maybe the timing of whether or not you drink caffeinated beverages,” she says.


It is also important to stay hydrated. Even though water is a calorie-free drink, staying hydrated can help keep you feeling tired throughout the day. In the opposite scenario, not drinking enough water can make you lethargic, irritable, and fuzzy. Why?

“Hydration is very important for fighting fatigue, and it may have something to do with blood pressure and oxygen levels. If you’re low on hydration your blood volume goes down so your blood pressure goes down and that can potentially tire you out,” says Hunnes.

What about coffee?

When many people wake up in the morning, the first thing they do is get caffeine one way or another: coffee, tea, matcha, yerba mate, caffeinated sodas, guarana, etc

Caffeine stimulates your central nervous system and takes about 30 minutes to an hour to peak. When it reaches your brain, it blocks adenosine, a compound that increases your need for sleep. Thus, the consumption of caffeine leads to an increase in feelings of alertness and energy. Research even shows that coffee can reduce your risk of dementia, Alzheimer’sand suicide risk.

But, there are some drawbacks. “Caffeine can help fight fatigue, but if you drink it too late in the day, it will do the opposite and prevent you from getting good quality sleep, making you more tired in the long run,” says Hunnes.


However, some people may experience nervousness or anxiety as a result of caffeine consumption. You should also know that you can’t cure a lack of sleep with a good cup of coffee. shows that if you only get five hours of Zzz, the caffeine stops working.

It is also not good to drink coffee too soon after waking up. Most experts agree that if you get up around 6 a.m., you need to wait until mid-morning, around 10 a.m., when your cortisol levels drop to get the most benefit from caffeine.

Vegan foods that fight fatigue

All of the above being said, some vegan foods can help you avoid dizziness.

“Most of the foods listed below are rich in vitamins and minerals that help maintain your metabolic level,” says Hunnes. “They’re also anti-inflammatory, and inflammation can sometimes cause fatigue, so having anti-inflammatory foods can combat that fatigue.”


1 Fresh fruits and vegetables

Fruit is packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber and complex carbohydrates, the latter providing your body with sustained energy. Bananas are one of the best types of fruit you can eat for energy. A study published in the journal PLoS One found that eating a banana before a long bike ride helps performance and endurance just as much as a carbohydrate drink.

Other fruits that can give you an energy boost are apples, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, avocados and oranges.

“They’re also very hydrating, as fresh fruits and vegetables contain a lot of water, which can also fight fatigue,” says Hunnes.

Vegetables can ward off fatigue, but only certain types. Starchy vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, peas, and corn are efficient sources of energy due to their high content of complex carbohydrates. Carrots, beets, and different types of winter squash contain less starch than tubers, but they can give you a little boost. Don’t rely on vegetables like lettuce, broccoli, and cauliflower to get your engine steaming, though, but they’re still a good source of vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber.

2 Whole grains

Avoid refined grains like white rice, white bread, and white pasta, and add whole grains to your plate instead. These are packed with complex carbohydrates and dietary fiber, especially oats, which your body slowly breaks down and absorbs. For a breakfast that will give you sustained energy throughout the day, try this slow cooker apple pie oatmeal and top it with nuts and fresh fruit.


3 Beans and lentils

Legumes like lentils and beans are rich in complex carbohydrates, protein, fiber, magnesium and iron. These last two nutrients are particularly good for providing energy to your body as they slowly digest food throughout the day. Legumes are also anti-inflammatory. Inflammation is often a marker for a number of chronic conditions, such as heart disease, so lentils and beans may offer a wide variety of health benefits beyond keeping your blood levels up. ‘energy.

4 Nuts and seeds

Walnuts, almonds, cashews, pecans, macadamia nuts, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, etc. are good sources of protein, fiber, fat, calories, and energy vitamins and minerals.

If you suffer from chronic fatigue, it may be a sign of an underlying health condition and you should see your doctor.

To learn more about vegan nutrition, read:
How to Get Iron on a Vegan Diet, Plus 13 Sources
Vegetable or animal protein: which is better?
Do humans really need milk?

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