Feel-good foods

What to eat for quick energy and good digestion, and easy recipes to try right now

Feel-good foods
Photo: Rob D. Brodman

How you feel depends in no small part on what you eat, and some foods are great at helping produce the result you're looking for. Our choices below are among the most effective in their categories.

They work best in moderation, so we've included portion-size reminders based on the USDA's recommendations for an average adult. Here's to a healthy new you.


Top choice: Pineapple (½ cup)

Easy recipe: Combine yogurt, pineapple, dates, honey, and a splash of milk in a blender for a quick energy-boosting smoothie.

Why it works: It's composed of easily digestible carbs, which break down fast into rapidly absorbable sugars (glucose), giving you a surge of energy shortly after eating.

Other great sources:

• Apricots (2 medium)
• Bagels (1 mini bagel or ½ large bagel)
• Crackers (7 crackers; about 1 oz.)
• Dates (5)
• Pasta (½ cup cooked)
• Potatoes (½ cup)
• Pretzels (1 oz.)
• Raisins (¼ cup)
• White rice (½ cup cooked)


Top choice: Lentils (½ cup cooked)

Easy recipe: Cook lentils gently in an equal amount of chicken stock, along with sautéed diced onion, celery, and carrots.

Why it works: The carbs here take longer to digest, providing a sustained release of energy.

Other great sources:

• Apples (1 medium)
• Bananas (1 medium)
• Beans (½ cup cooked)
• Bran (1 small muffin)
• Oatmeal (½ cup cooked)
• Whole-wheat pasta (½ cup cooked)
• Yogurt (1 cup)



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