With warm weather and summer activities right around the corner, you’ll want to eat foods that increase your energy and help you stay active. By incorporating these seven delicious options into your eating plan, you’ll have the energy to stay active and enjoy the summer season.

1. Almonds

Almonds are packed with healthy fats, fiber, magnesium and vitamin E. The combination of fiber and protein in almonds helps regulate blood sugar and slows the digestive process, giving you a steady flow of energy. Almonds can be purchased slivered, sliced, or flaked. Try adding them to salads, omelets, yogurt or rice dishes. They can also be made into an almond paste or eaten plain throughout the day for a quick energy boost.

2. Bananas

Loaded with glucose and fiber, bananas are an excellent source of energy that keeps you feeling full for hours. Since they don’t require refrigeration, bananas make great on-the-go snacks. They can easily be added to smoothies and go well with almost any type of cereal. Bananas can also be baked into a variety of recipes, including muffins, bread, cake and pancakes.

3. Salmon

Whether canned or fresh, salmon is a delectable food choice when the weather gets warm. Salmon can be cooked on the grill or thrown into a salad. Add some bread crumbs, an egg and your favorite spices for traditional salmon patties. Salmon provides a healthy combination of omega-3 fatty acids and protein, and is also packed with anti-inflammatory compounds to help reduce fatigue and improve energy. It should be noted that while salmon is healthy, it’s important not to eat too much due to the possible mercury content. The Harvard School of Public Health states that it’s safe to eat up to 12 ounces of salmon twice a week.

4. Oatmeal

Oatmeal is truly a super food that helps boost both energy and metabolism. Thanks to its fat-soluble fiber, your body burns extra calories when digesting oatmeal. It’s also considered a low-glycemic food, which can help burn extra fat during exercise. Enjoyed solo for breakfast or mixed with yogurt, fruit or even avocados, oatmeal is a quick and easy addition to any healthy eating plan.

5. Hummus

Hummus contains a combination of garbanzo beans, olive oil and tahini that help stabilize your blood sugar and give your body the energy it needs. Hummus is often used as a dip for veggies, but it can also be used in place of ketchup and mayo as a healthy sandwich spread. It can be made into a delicious crust for baked chicken or fish. For interesting egg dishes, try mixing hummus with your scrambled eggs or adding it to your deviled-egg recipe.

6. Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is a flavorful food that’s often overlooked. This tangy treat is made of fermented cabbage, is low in calories and is full of vitamins K and C which work in the body to provide energy. It also provides much-needed iron, which can help increase energy. Eating sauerkraut with pork is a traditional way to enjoy this super food, but there are lots of other ways to incorporate it into your diet. Try sauerkraut with kale and coconut to make an interesting and delicious salad.

7. Yogurt

Yogurt is a versatile source of protein that keeps you feeling fuller for longer. Many people enjoy it plain, with cereal, in a smoothie or mixed with fruit and nuts. Yogurt, however, can also be baked into dozens of different dishes. It can be mixed with tomatoes, ricotta and olive oil to make an incredible pizza sauce. You can really get creative and make it into a dressing for potato salad or macaroni and cheese.

Sources:

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/269468.php

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3355124/

http://www.runnersworld.com/nutrition-for-runners/foods-that-boost-energycom#

http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/fish/

http://www.medicaldaily.com/benefits-oatmeal-why-you-should-add-power-food-your-high-fiber-diet-328788

http://www.everydayhealth.com/fitness-pictures/energy-boosting-foods.aspx#10

http://www.healthambition.com/vitamins-for-energy/

http://eatdrinkbetter.com/2015/08/05/4-surprising-ways-to-eat-more-sauerkraut/