What Foods Give You Energy?
An extract from the XTL Journals
Most people turn to sugar based products, energy drinks or a caffeine for a pick-me-up when energy levels drop.
This is the worst thing you can do when fatigue hits. Apart from leaving us with low energy, fatigue symptoms can affect our concentration, leave us emotional and bring on illness.
Instead, try incorporating these healthy foods to get the natural pick-me-up.
When you’re trying to keep your energy levels high, eating regular meals is one of the key steps. When you go more than 4-5 hours without food, your body lets you know and hunger takes over your senses leading to poor food choices and the closest fast food joint. Try snacking on small healthy snacks to help maintain your energy levels instead of the alternative yo-yo effect.
Energy foods are a fantastic way to keep the dreaded 3pm struggle at bay. You can integrate any of these energy foods into your daily diet to give that extra shot of energy to get you through the day. Eat them on their own or add them into your meal.
Food for energy
Start your day off with a small portion of whole grains. Whole grains are absorbed into the body at a slower rate, therefore giving you a more sustained energy release. Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of energy and they’re not as bad as the press makes them out to be. Add a serving of fresh fruit, berries or yogurt to enhance the flavour.
How could Popeye’s superfood be wrong? This healthy green is full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Spinach is loaded with iron which helps defeat the effects of being constantly tired. It also helps increases muscle efficiency.
Goji berries can be purchased as a juice, dried and fresh. Eating two or more servings per day are recommended for the best results.
Recent studies have shown people who have consumed Goji berry juice has reported increased energy levels, quality sleep and better performance compared to the people who did not consume it.
Try sprinkling them into your cereal, eat them as you would raisins or as a juice.
Just peel and eat! Bananas are full of fibre, B-vitamins and potassium which promote muscle function and slow-release energy.
Green tea helps boost energy levels and may help boost brain-power. Don’t buy green tea from the shop as they contain sugar, make your own at home.
Egg protein will provide a steady energy release, and are great for building muscle.
Almonds contain magnesium, which helps keep muscles stronger for longer Muscles with low levels of magnesium tire faster and may cause fatigue and cramping. The vitamins in almonds help convert food to energy.
Chia seeds are high in protein, fibre and good fats to help boost your energy. Soaking in water prior to eating also helps with hydration.
Blueberries are packed with antioxidants which help mental alertness. Eat prior to the 3pm slump.
Filled with iron, protein and fibre. Quinoa is the perfect energy boost when you know you are going to need one.
Hummus is a made from pureed chickpeas, olive oil, sesame seed paste and lemon juice. Hummus is filled with protein, fat and carbs. The carbs will give you energy and the protein and fat slow down the energy release giving you long term energy. Perfect for sandwiches or a dip.
Not a food as such, but without it dehydration sets in and causes fatigue. Poor hydration causes poor concentration and headaches. Keep hydrated before the symptoms hit. It also helps with food digestion.
Try a yogurt as a quick easy snack before a workout. Yogurt contains lactose, which is easily converted into energy. It also contains protein, making the energy last longer. Make sure you get yogurt without added sugar, such as natural Greek yogurt. Add some to some berries for a delicious snack anytime of the day.
Although not technically part of the energy foods family, a protein shake will assist the body in recovery and muscle growth before and after exercise or hard physical work. So, in a roundabout way, when your body recovers faster, you feel better, and thus more energised.
Try mixing some oats, a banana, a handful of blueberries, 1 serving of protein powder, milk or water and some spinach into a blender and presto, you have a delicious pre-and post-workout drink.
And, for the sweet tooth…Dark Chocolate
The darker the chocolate, the less sugar it contains, giving you an energy boost without the crash. Everything in moderation though.
Stay away from…
Energy drinks should be banned! Full of sugar and caffeine, they give a quick pick-me-up, but soon after a crash follows. They are also known to cause heart palpitations and other health problems.
The body was designed to consume nourishing natural foods and not highly processed foods. Apart from containing harmful preservatives, processed foods are low in the vitamins and nutrients required for energy.
Say no more, full of sugar and designed to crash. Made to taste good, but that’s the only benefit.
Honey has lots of health benefits, but is not good for long-term sustained energy.
White bread is made up of simple carbs which do not deliver long-term energy. Go for whole wheat for a longer-lasting energy.
In summary – To maintain a constant energy throughout the day, stick with Energy Foods that are natural and fresh. Don’t go too long between meals and never skip a meal. Choosing processed food for energy is a short and long-term recipe for potential health problems.
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Yours in Life,