The Other 23

Two Stealth Energy-Boosting Foods

By Mike Roussell, PhD

When you think of boosting energy, you probably think of caffeine. But the caffeine high is often fleeting. If you want a better way to crush the day and stay driven 24-7, aim to find foods that help you focus and diminish your stress levels. This leads to sustainable energy, without that typical midday crash. Here are two easy foods that can help you get it.

Pistachios for focus:


Pistachios are a true performance superfood, packed with protein, fiber, and potassium, and rich in a unique antioxidant, the carotenoid. Research on carotenoids has found that they improve executive brain function. It’s no wonder a national survey of 1,000 people found that snacking on pistachios in the morning at work led to greater levels of focus and concentration.

Carotenoids (and pistachios) can help you sustain energy for longer and longer periods of focused work.

YOUR PLAN: Keep a bag of pistachios near your desk and ready to go. Grab a handful of them whenever you’re hungry, or add them to a cup of Greek yogurt for both antioxidants and a solid protein hit. They can also add an addictive crunch to a rice/chicken bowl.

Avocados to destress:


Sometimes getting more energy isn’t about stepping on the gas; instead, it’s about taking your foot off the brakes. Stress is a major energy-sucker, depleting levels of key vitamins and minerals and killing off gut bacteria.

Your fix is the avocado. Avocados are rich in Vitamin B, which is used by your brain to make serotonin and other feel-good neurotransmitters. They’re also a stealthy source of fiber (10 grams per medium avocado), which feeds gut bacterias that may buffer the negative effects of stress in our bodies, according to research from the University College of Cork (in Cork, Ireland).

YOUR PLAN: Eat an avocado a day (a bonus: Research shows this won’t add to any weight gain). Mash it up and eat it guacamole-style with lime juice, salt, and cumin, alongside your breakfast. Or add it to your morning omelette.


AUTHOR BIO: Mike Roussell, PhD

Mike Roussell, PhD, is an author, speaker, and nutrition strategist who has spent more than 20 years transforming complex nutritional concepts into practical habits that change lives.

His clients have included NBA all-stars, tech execs, and TV personalities.

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