Tired? Drained? Feeling like a slug? One truth to this lack of energy we feel can simply be related to what we are eating. Here are some simple ways to boost our energy when we are feeling on that depleted side.
1. Eggs/Chicken: A Lean Protein
The power of protein helps our body regulate the release of energy we get from fats and carbohydrates. Eggs, fish, chicken, lean beef and even dairy products, such as yogurt, are all good sources of protein. Try having a yogurt mid afternoon. It is portable, quick and easy.
2. Almonds or Brazil Nuts
A perfect anytime snack, nuts are a great source of protein that our body converts into energy. They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids that our bodies need to help maintain longer lasting energy. Raw, unsalted nuts such as almonds, and brazil nuts contain the most nutrients. When you are lacking in energy, grab a handful. You can also pack some in a container to take on the go in your gym bag, or the office for when you need that energy boost.
This leafy green vegetable is a high source of iron. Since low iron levels can contribute to lower energy levels both physically and mentally, this source of energy may just be what you are looking for. It also contains vitamin c which helps the body absorb the iron we are ingesting. Try tossing some spinach into your scrambled eggs, or substituting your regular iceberg lettuce salad for a spinach one.
4. Oatmeal: A Complex Carbohydrate
Having a well balanced diet is essential to sustaining your energy levels. So yes, having complex carbohydrates, which are slow burning, will fuel you up to help get you through the day. Your best choices will be complex carbs containing fiber such as oatmeal, whole grains, squash and pumpkin. Try some steel cut oats with nuts and raisins, or whole grain toast with a tablespoon of peanut butter.
5. Apple: A Simple Carbohydrate
For quick energy: these types of carbohydrates burn fast and therefore can help give you the quick source of energy that you are looking for. Good sources of simple carbs come from fresh fruit and fresh vegetables. In a rush to get out the door in the morning? Grab an apple on the go.
Dehydration plays a major part in the lack of energy our bodies may be feeling. Since our bodies are made up of ⅔ water, if our body is not adequately hydrated we pay the price. A dehydrated body starts pulling from other resources to try and maintain a natural water balance instead of allowing our bodies to utilize our resources for energy. So drink up and stay hydrated. Your body will thank you.
7. Avocado: Unsaturated Fats
We often hear the word “fat” and immediately feel stressed. But these unsaturated fats are the “good fat.” It can be found in olive oil, avocado, and seafood. Unsaturated fats provide us with a concentrated source of energy and are heart friendly. Try slicing an avocado into your whole grain sandwich. Or some shrimp into a spinach salad!
BONUS: Avoid long-term heavy caffeine use
Making good, healthy food choices to give you sustainable energy throughout the day may be all you need. A balance of eating fresh fruits, vegetables, carbs, proteins and unsaturated fats can help you get there.