Energy Giving Foods: List of Top Kenyan Foods to Boost Your Energy

  • Did you know that foods high in fat and calories can leave you feeling fatigued since they require more energy to digest! 

    In short, to stay alert all day and every time, you have to start by making smarter choices about what you're using to fuel your body. 7

    While all food will give you energy, not all food is equal in their energy content. 

    If you have a long day ahead and need all the energy you can get, you will need some energy-boosting foods.

    These are basically foods that encourage our bodies to convert food into energy. Omega-3 fatty acids and B-complex vitamins are especially good at this. 

    Speaking to Kenyans.co.ke, Annette Nthenya, a nutritionist, advised against taking soft drinks to quench thirst.

    She explained that about half an hour after taking a soda, the blood levels usually shoot up causing the insulin to convert the sugar into fats.

    Listed below are foods that will give you just the right amount of energy you need for a long day. 

    1. Water

    Do not underestimate the power of H2O. 

    Drinking lots of water hydrates you which helps prevent sluggishness. 

    Dehydration also causes fatigue so make sure to counteract that by taking healthy amounts of water.

    2. Leafy Greens

    Leafy greens are a popular food item for most people in Kenya due to their exceptional health and nutritional benefits. 

    Examples of the right energy giving greens include kale, spinach, chard, watercress among others. They are great at promoting energy due to their high levels of Vitamins C and K, calcium, Folate and beta-carotene. 

    The high iron content in these vegetables helps to increase the production of red blood cells, which are tasked with transporting oxygen to body cells. 

    Leafy greens also promote the formation of nitric oxide, which widens the blood vessels, leading to more blood flow. 

    The increased red blood cells and blood flow helps to enhance the metabolic process, leading to more energy production in your body.

    3. Eggs

    Their energy-giving capabilities make eggs the perfect breakfast option. They contain choline which is an important nutrient that is also a B vitamin. 

    Choline enhances metabolism and promotes the functioning of the nervous central system 

    4. Avocados

    Avocados are one of the top superfoods found in Kenya, which offer a wide range of health and nutritional benefits. 

    They are also an excellent source of energy for your body. They contain a high content of healthy fats (mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids), which are a good source of energy for your body. 

    Avocados also contain a high fibre content, which slows down the absorption of the nutrients to the bloodstream, thus allowing for a longer and steady energy release. 

    Therefore, if you are looking for foods that will give you an energy boost for a long time, avocados are one of the best options. 

    5. Sweet potatoes

    Cereals, bread, biscuits, and other breakfast foods can satisfy you, but most of them only offer a temporary energy boost.

    If you are looking for breakfast foods that can give you energy all day, sweet potatoes are a better alternative. They are high in complex carbohydrates, which makes an excellent energy source for your body.

    They are also rich in fibre, which ensures that you get a steady stream of energy. Sweet potatoes are also a rich source of vitamin A and Vitamin C, which help to fight fatigue and improve performance.

    And if you are looking for even more reasons to have sweet potatoes for breakfast, they are delicious and highly nutritious compared to other processed breakfast foods.

    6. Nuts

    Nuts are great healthy snacks that have a high nutritional value. They are also one of the best energy giving foods.

    Most nuts have a high-calorie value due to their rich content of carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats, and hence they provide your body with excellent sources of energy.

    Nuts also contain omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, which help to boost energy levels in your body. They also contain fibres, which promote a steady and sustained release of energy.

    Some nuts will also contain antioxidants, which fight fatigue – in addition to several other health benefits. Some of the different types of nuts you can find in Kenya include almonds, cashew nuts, peanuts, macadamia, and walnuts. 

    7. Mushrooms

    Mushrooms are a delicious and healthy food item, which is considered to be a great alternative to meat.

    They are a rich source of proteins and carbohydrates, thus providing your body with a good source of energy. Mushrooms also come packed with a load of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

    Among the vitamins it contains are B vitamins, which help to increase energy production in the body by promoting the breakdown of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins.

    For the mineral part, mushrooms are a good source of copper and iron, which are used in the formation of red blood cells. hence promoting efficient transportation of oxygen throughout the body.

    In Kenya, there are different varieties of edible mushrooms, with the most popular ones being Button, Oyster, and Shiitake mushrooms.

    You can find them in supermarkets, some markets and groceries stores, restaurants (mushroom meals), or buy them directly from mushroom farmers.

    8. Fatty fish

    Fatty fish such as tuna and salmon are loaded with proteins and B vitamins, making them excellent sources of energy for your body.

    The proteins help to make you feel satisfied for longer periods while guaranteeing a steady release of energy.

    B vitamins are used in several body processes, including breaking down of food into energy.

    Fatty fish is also one of the best sources of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, which fight inflammation (a top cause of muscle fatigue) in addition to the several other numerous health benefits they offer.

    9. Oatmeal

    Oatmeal is another healthy breakfast option that can offer you a good energy boost to last you through the day.

    It is rich in carbohydrates, the primary source of energy for your body.

    However, unlike most breakfast foods, oatmeal is a whole-grain food item, which contains good carbs that are digested and absorbed slowly, giving you a steady energy boost.

    Oatmeal is also a good source of B vitamins (thiamin, folate, and niacin), which promote the metabolic process.

    10. Chia seeds

    Chia seeds have taken Kenya by a storm, with several farmers cultivating them for their lucrative value.

    But, aside from being a goldmine for farmers, chia seeds are a healthy food item, not to mention a potent source of energy for your body.

    The seeds are rich in protein, which is broken down for energy, and fibre, which helps to slow absorption for a longer and sustained energy release.

    They also contain omega 3 fatty acids, which are an alternative energy source for the body. The omega 3 also helps to fight inflammation, which helps to reduce muscle fatigue and promote increased physical performance.

    11. Beans

    Beans are rich in proteins and complex carbohydrates, which are top sources of energy for the body.

    They are also rich in fibre, which helps to slow down their digestion and absorption, leading to a steady release of energy.

    Beans also contain anti-oxidants, which help to fight muscle fatigue, thus promoting increased physical performance.

    This is in addition to their (antioxidants) several other health benefits such as fighting inflammation and neutralising free radicals.

    In Kenya, you can find a wide variety of beans, with the most popular ones being kidney beans, black beans, soybeans, chickpeas, and lentils.

    12. Beetroot

    Beetroots are another top food that gives energy and stamina.

    They contain naturally occurring nitrates, which are used in the formation of nitric oxide, which in turn helps to promote blood flow and delivery of oxygen.

    Beetroots are also a rich source of carbohydrates and natural sugars, which provide your body with excellent sources of energy. And on top of that, they have a high fiber content, which allows for a sustained energy release.

    13. Oranges

    Oranges are popular for their high Vitamin C content. However, they are also a good source of energy, which can help to boost your productivity when your body energy reserves are running low.

    They contain natural sugars, which help to give an immense energy boost to your body. They also contain antioxidants, which fight oxidative stress, a common cause of fatigue, hence leading to increased physical performance.

    14. Bananas

    Bananas are another top energy giving fruit that can keep you going when fatigue sets in.

    In fact, they are considered to be one of the best energy giving foods due to their high content of carbohydrates, Vitamin B6, potassium, and natural sugars, all of which help to provide a boost in energy production in your body.

    Bananas are popular among athletes, who consume them before training or sports events to help increase their endurance and physical performance.

    15. Strawberries

    Strawberries are juicy delicious fruits that make up for a perfect snack.

    They are high in natural sugars (fructose), which is an excellent source of energy for your body.

    They also contain fibre, which helps to slow down their absorption, leading to a steady release of energy for a longer time.

    Strawberries are readily available in Kenya, and you can find them in supermarkets, grocery stores, and from fruit vendors.

    16. Apples

    Eating apples doesn’t just keep the doctor away; it provides you with a massive boost of energy to keep you going all day long.

    These fruits are rich in carbohydrates, which provides your body with an excellent source of energy.

    Apples are also rich in natural sugars, which provide you with an extra energy punch.

    Lastly, they contain fibres, which helps to maintain the energy production for a longer time.