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As we enter the colder and darker months of the year, most of us will start to feel a little run down and lethargic. Thankfully, there are small ways in which you can boost your energy levels without turning to black coffee or worse, energy drinks that are loaded with sugars and potentially harmful chemicals.
Natural superfoods hold the key to keeping your energy levels on track - they help fight off infections and viruses, keep your immune system in tip-top condition and your energy levels on an even keel. Combine these foods with regular exercise and plenty of fresh air and you'll soon see and feel the difference.
So next time you start to feel sleepy at your desk, munch on one of these energy powered superfoods to get you back on track.
For on-the-go energy snacks a handful of mixed nuts is brilliant. Try to choose nuts in their raw form - unsalted and without any flavouring or spices. Not only are they packed full of muscle building protein and omega-3s, but nuts contain plenty of vitamin B and E which are both related to our energy stores. Almonds are particularly good for anyone looking for a pre- or post-workout pick-me-up.
Tipped as the must-have grain for celiacs, quinoa has so many energy boosting powers everyone should include it in their diet for autumn and winter. Quinoa is actually a seed, which makes it very high in protein and can make a great base for hearty winter salads or even morning porridge. Being gluten-free, it is gentle on the stomach and easily digested meaning you'll avoid that post-lunchtime energy slump.
Lemons fight the toxins our bodies accumulate over time through daily life - like city smog, processed foods, bacteria and viruses. Lemon works hard at helping flush out all these toxins before they have a chance to affect your body. So not only does it help boost your immune system, but it alkalizes the blood and supports proper liver function - perfect for the holiday season. Try adding a few slices of lemon to hot water every morning; it will help detoxify your body and prepare it for the day ahead.
There is no denying that when an energy slump strikes, the first thing we want to reach for is something sugar-loaded and tasty. But thankfully, chocolate is on the menu - dark chocolate that is. Cacao is full of antioxidants, natural good fats and natural sugars so you can have that little chocolaty treat in the afternoon without feeling too guilty. Just make sure it's of the dark variety.
We realise this is technically not a food, but so many people underestimate the energy-improving powers of H2O. Drinking more water can help improve feelings of sluggishness, lethargy, fatigue and even headaches so making sure your body is hydrated throughout the day will help regulate your digestion and an abundance of other bodily functions. Remember coffee and tea can actually dehydrate you, so make sure to replace any lost fluids from these beverages with more water.