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Plant-Based Energy Foods That Will Give You a Boost Forget the office coffee pot. Turn to these plant-based foods for an energy jolt instead.

By Lisa Evans Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


As an entrepreneur, the one thing you simply can't get enough of is energy. Long working hours and high levels of stress mean entrepreneurs need to pack their diet with energy-rich foods, ones that don't involve the office coffee pot. Gene Baur, co-founder of Farm Sanctuary and author of Living the Farm Sanctuary Life, says plant-based foods are an entrepreneur's best friend when it comes to getting energy needs met.

Eat the rainbow.

Variety is important to getting the most nutrients possible out of your diet. "By eating a variety of foods, you get the whole component of nutrients [including] vitamins, minerals and fiber," says Baur.

While Baur says we often focus on iron or protein as sources of energy, eating a wide variety of foods helps us to get the most bang for our buck when it comes to eating healthy. "[Vitamins and minerals] often work in concert. It's easier to absorb iron, for example, when you're also eating Vitamin C," he says. Filling your plate with a wide variety of foods ensures that you get complimentary nutrients that work together to keep you healthy.

Choose Fruit to Meet Sugar Needs.

Fruits such as berries, oranges and apples are loaded with natural sugars which give you as good an energy boost as caffeine -- actually, even better. Eating the whole fruit also gives you a great boost of fibre. Fruits are not only loaded with energy, but refreshing and can make you feel rejuvenated after a tough day. Fruits are packed with Vitamin C, a vitamin essential for energy. (Vitamin C deficiency has been associated with fatigue.) Vitamin C also helps fight off infections and aids in the absorption of iron, another nutrient that's necessary to meet our energy needs.

Related: How Sugar Is Sabotaging Your Success as an Entrepreneur

Make Your Breakfast Out of Complex Carbohydrates.

Carbohydrates are the body's primary source of energy, but too often, we eat "simple" carbs like white toast, muffins or danishes that digest quickly, sending blood sugar soaring and then quickly crashing. Foods with complex carbohydrates, like whole grains, fruits and vegetables, can provide your body with sustainable energy.

Eat organic.

Baur recommends eating from the organic section of the grocery store, or visiting farmers' markets for organic produce. Organic foods are grown from more nutrient-rich soils. "If the soils aren't healthy and there isn't a diverse microsystem in the soil [the foods are grown in], you're also not going to get the diversity of minerals and nutrients [in the food]," says Baur.

He compares the nutrient-density of organic produce to that of a vinyl record versus a CD. "With a vinyl record, there's more of a richness and there's different tones and more full-bodiedness whereas with a CD you have less richness and less fullness," says Baur.

Related: 8 Ways to Clear Your Mind of Stress

Lisa Evans is a health and lifestyle freelance journalist from Toronto.

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