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Healthy foods for more energy

Try incorporating more hummus and beans, both high in protein, into your diet

If you are always feeling hungry shortly after a full meal or need a little something to pick you up, we have got what you are looking for.

OATMEAL

Start your day right with a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast instead of the usual sugary cereal or piece of bread and you will find that the urge to snack before lunch has vanished.

Don't enjoy the taste of rolled oats? Try adding some yogurt or honey. Every 100g of rolled oats contains 1,590kJ (380 calories) of energy, perfect for anyone with a busy lifestyle.

HUMMUS

According to nutritionists, this dip is so high in protein that it can help your body fight hunger cravings and balance your blood sugar levels. Its high iron content serves as an energy booster, motivating consumers to exercise more. A blend of chickpeas, olive oil, lemon juice and salt, hummus can easily be paired with foods like pita, sandwiches and soup.

SWEET POTATOES

A much healthier choice than regular potatoes, sweet potatoes are higher in vitamins A and C and fibre and lower in carbohydrates. A medium sweet potato contains a staggering 483kJ (115 calories) of energy.

You can replace your regular potato in dishes - whether it is mashed potato or baked potato - and have more fuel.

BEANS

These greens are versatile. You can have them in a salad, soup or baked. Beans contain so much protein that they are also part of the protein food group. High in fibre, they provide long-lasting energy so you won't have to worry about a sugar crash later on in the day.

AVOCADO

Avocados contain more potassium than bananas. Half of a medium avocado (75g) alone contains 684kJ (163 calories) of energy. They contribute almost 20 types of vitamins and minerals to your diet, including fibre and vitamins E and C.

The best part is the mono-unsaturated fats - this is virtually the only fruit that contains fats that are good for your heart.

YOGURT

Jam-packed with protein, calcium, magnesium and vitamin B12, a 100g serving of yogurt provides 406kJ (97 calories) of dietary energy. Yogurt is also relatively low in fat (plain yogurt from whole milk only contains 5 per cent fat), perfect for daily consumption.

TUNA

High in Omega-3 fatty acids, tuna is also a great source of vitamin D and protein. Besides increasing your energy levels, it plays a part in reducing the cholesterol in the arteries and boosting your immune system.

CHICKEN BREAST

There is a reason why this is a go-to for health junkies and gym rats - it is a top source of protein, a key component that keeps hunger pangs at bay. Researchers at the University of Illinois have found that people who consume more protein had higher levels of energy compared to people who consumed a higher amount of carbs.

SALMON

High in Omega-3 fatty acids, this protein contains a large amount of vitamins and minerals, leading to a host of health benefits. It improves immunity and boosts the brain and heart.

Eating salmon with vegetables will help you stay full and energised for longer.

EGGS

As a major source of high-quality protein, eggs are often consumed by athletes before training to aid with the growth and repair of muscles. It's also one of the rare foods that contain vitamin D, which is essential for when trying to develop strong bones and muscles.

Experts recommend limiting your intake to one to two eggs a day, since over-consumption would cause a spike in your body's cholesterol levels.

This article first appeared in Shape (www.shape.com.sg)

Food & Drink