Tired of being... always tired? Believe us, we hear you. While it's hard to overhaul your sleeping habits all at once, science tells us that small changes — like eating certain foods — can help you feel more energized. Try these simple, study-proven food remedies that can restore your vim and vigor — fast!
1. Energize for hours with chia seeds.
Adding 2 Tbs. of chia seeds ($8 for 32oz, Amazon.com) to salads, smoothies or other foods will give you as much energy as a full bottle of Gatorade—and the energy boost from chia lasts up to four hours, say University of Alabama researchers. The seeds' unique blend of omega-3 fatcccs, copper and protein helps your muscles convert stored fat into fuel for energy, their research shows.
2. Avoid blood-sugar snafus with oat bran.
Oatmeal is a well-known breakfast staple, but research in the journal Nutrients suggests a daily bowl of oat bran actually chases away tiredness for almost twice as long! Oat bran is rich in beta glucans, nutrients that help prevent fatiguing blood-sugar woes by improving your ability to convert blood sugar into energy, says study coauthor Bob Steinert, Ph.D.
3. Pep up 35 percent with bitter melon.
Eating one small bitter melon daily could increase your get-up-and-go as much as 35 percent, reports the journal PLOS One. Bitter melon contains nutrients that energize your brain and body the same way exercise does—by burning food for fuel faster, says study coauthor Nigel Turner, Ph.D. To enjoy bitter melon, slice it in half lengthwise, scrape out the white pith and seeds, then salt liberally (the way you would eggplant.) Let set 15 minutes, rinse and then sauté, stir-fry or stuff and roast it! You can find bitter melon in grocery stores with an ethnic food section, in Asian food markets and online at Melissas.com.
4. Boost stamina with bananas.
Eating one medium banana daily could boost your brainpower and stamina as much as 20 percent, British studies show. These creamy, fat-free snacks are packed with potassium, natural fruit sufars and the amino acid tyrosine—a trio of nutrients that prevent muscle fatigue, plus accelerate production of the brain-energizing hormone norepinephrine.
5. Rev your energy with coconut.
Coconut oil is Mother nature's number one source of medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs), a rare group of good-for-you fats that are carried by your bloodstream directly to your liver, where they increase your energy production as much as 30 percent, according to recent Asian research. To reap this study-proven benefit: Eat 3 oz. of fresh coconut, add 2 Tbs. of coconut oil to your meals or drink 5 oz. of coconut milk each day.