We could all use a little more pep, whether it's when we wake up in the morning or when the 3 p.m. afternoon slump takes hold. Eating specific foods can help give you more energy to get through the day and make it easier to get moving in the morning. We spoke with dermatologist Nicholas Perricone, founder of Perricone MD and Super by Dr. Perricone, for his expert advice on what we should add to our grocery lists today for more energy tomorrow.
"Muscle strength and stamina is critical for energy," says Dr. Perricone. "A number of studies indicate that the protein found in eggs helps support muscle strength and satisfies the appetite. Free-range eggs—not caged—are an excellent source of sustained energy."
"Old-fashioned oats, as opposed to instant or quick cooking oatmeal, provide sustained energy and also stimulate the release of serotonin, a chemical in the body that can lift mood and cut carbohydrate cravings. Oats are also rich in vitamins and minerals that protect against heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and a whole host of illnesses," says Dr. Perricone.
"One of life’s greatest pleasures is actually rich in heart-healthy antioxidants," says Dr. Perricone. "Extra-dark chocolate, containing 80 percent cocoa solids or more, is uniquely high in potent, heart-healthy antioxidants. Dark chocolate is also known for its energy-boosting properties."
"Although chia seeds are relatively new to the world food market, they have been a staple in Mexico for centuries," says Dr. Perricone. "Because of their high soluble fiber content, chia seeds release nutrients slowly into the body, giving you longer-lasting energy. They're also a staple food of many long-distance runners in the U.S."
"Coconuts and extra-virgin coconut oil are now rightly taking their place as not only a health food and a healthy type of fat but also as a food that appears to promote weight loss," says Dr. Perricone. "Coconut oil contains fewer calories than other oils, and its fat content is easily converted into energy. It also helps in boosting endurance."