Eating for Energy

Eating for Energy

Do your days drag on and on and on and on? Do you constantly feel exhausted and fatigued? Well, the good news is that there is something you can do right now to help you regain your get-up-and-go. A few easy tweaks to your diet can increase your energy. Here are some tips on how to eat for energy:

Skip the caffeine. While this stimulant can help in the short-term, it will leave you feeling tired after a quick burst of energy. If you can’t live without your cuppa, try to at least cut back. A study by Brigham and Women’s Hospital at Harvard Medical School found that frequent, small, frequent doses of caffeine (as much as a quarter-cup of coffee at any given time) kept energy levels more constant than large amounts.

Eat iron-rich foods. Sometimes fatigue can be easily explained by an iron deficiency. Great sources of iron include, red meat, beans, lentils, molasses, and spinach. Add a source of vitamin C (such as citrus) to help with iron absorption.

Don’t forget breakfast. The first meal of the day gets your metabolism up and running for the day. Make sure you choose a balanced breakfast, with a lean protein, whole grains, and fresh fruits or vegetables.

Eat whole foods. It may be easier to open a box or can, but processed foods often miss the energy mark. For example, choose an apple and nut butter over a protein bar and you should see a noticeable difference in your energy level.

Ditch the added sugar. Besides adding to your waistline, refined sugar also slows down our brains. Ironically, many “fat free” diet foods are loaded with sugar. Instead, reach for the natural sugars in fruits and other fresh foods.

Add protein. We are a carb-loving society. But carbohydrates on their own often lead to a quick burst of energy, followed by a crash. Add a serving of protein to your carbohydrate snack and you’ll see a more even distribution of energy because protein slows down the rate at which our body absorbs carbs. Try nuts and dried fruit, cheese with fresh fruit, or peanut butter on toast.

Eat good fats in small amounts. High-fat foods can leave you feeling sluggish, but good fats help maintain healthy brain function and reduce the risk of heart disease. So, which fats are good? Look for monounsaturated fats, which you will find in avocados, canola oil, fish, flax or hemp seeds, olive oil, and nuts.

 

Energizing Foods

  • Avocados
  • Beans
  • Blueberries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Citrus
  • Dairy products (low-fat)
  • Fish
  • Mango
  • Nuts
  • Oatmeal
  • Peppers
  • Soy products such as tofu

 

 

By Meagan Van Beest, Marketing & Member Services Manager