Beat Fatigue with Healthy Eating for Energy
When you’re feeling drained out and worse for wear, you need a healthy energy boost to make you feel invigorated and lively again. It’s not easy keeping your energy level high while you’re balancing your hectic daily schedule, especially when you consider how big of an impact your eating, diet and nutrition have on your energy.
Most people tend to rely on processed foods and eat quick meals to get them through the day and be their fuel for overcoming everyday challenges. Unfortunately, not all foods are equal and healthy, just some of them are sources of vitamins essential for boosting energy.
Whether you decide on supplements or healthy wholesome foods rich in energy-boosting nutrients, here’s the list of vitamins that will aid your healthy eating for energy plan and help you get back in the game:
Vitamin B Complex
Maybe the most important in your body’s production and maintenance of energy, B vitamins affect how your body metabolizes nutrients and converts them into healthy energy.
There are 8 different B vitamins:
Boosting Your Energy with Vitamins
The best way to obtain all the vitamins your body needs to stay healthy and energized is through a well-balanced healthy eating diet. Wholesome foods have all necessary nutrients to keep you on the go and maintain your well-being.
It’s no wonder we feel energized and lively after spending some time out on a sunny day. Vitamin D, or as some call it, the sunshine vitamin, is one of the vitamins essential for our body’s healthy production of energy, and the best way to obtain it is to spend time in the sun. However, proper absorption requires spending time out in the sun without wearing a sunblock, so people with sensitive skin might find it challenging to increase their Vitamin D levels through sun exposure only. Fortunately, vitamin D can be obtained from eating cod liver oil, salmon and tuna, as well as from D3 supplements, so you won’t have to rely on sunshine only to keep you vivacious and energetic.
This vitamin acts as an antioxidant in our bodies, helping us to fight off the free radicals and boosting energy levels. Without enough vitamin E in your diet, the free radicals would take their toll on your energy and leave you feeling constantly tired and lethargic. Healthy levels of vitamin E in your body promote energy and help you feel more vibrant.
Foods that help you keep vitamin E levels in check are nuts, seeds, spinach, and broccoli, as well as vegetable oils.
If your diet consists of nutrient-rich foods in balanced ratios, chances are your needs for energizing vitamins are being fulfilled, and you won’t need to make any changes. However, if your busy life leaves little room for cooking and planning meals, you can rely on supplements to help you include necessary vitamins in your health diet and give your body a push in the right direction.
The combination of these fatigue-fighting vitamins will keep lethargy at bay and create and overall feeling of revitalization, so don’t underestimate the effect of proper nutrition on your healthy eating for energy plan.
Do You Skip Eating a Healthy Breakfast from Time to Time?
If you do, then you certainly wouldn’t be in the minority.
Many people don’t eat breakfast, or they simply glug down a coffee and call that their breakfast. Put simply, most of us don’t eat breakfast in the correct way, and then suffer from an energy slump later in the day, which leads to unhealthy snacking and glucose spikes.
It’s all a bit of a vicious circle in many ways, but the answer is easy – eat a balanced, healthy breakfast every single day and you will have more energy to last you until the end of the day.
Why is breakfast energy important?
When you have been sleeping for around eight hours your body is running on empty when you wake up. Yes, you haven’t used as much energy as you would have done if you were awake, but your body is busy repairing itself and resting after a busy day, so a certain amount of energy is still used. When you wake up, your body is ready for a boost of power, and that means fuel, e.g. eating healthy food.
Experts say that breakfast should be consumed no more than two hours after you wake up in the morning, and that what you eat is just as important as the fact you are actually eating. Your breakfast should make up a huge 20-35% of your daily allowance of calories, which means you should certainly be eating healthy food like a king or queen in the morning. If you needed a reminder, men should have around 2500 calories per day, and women should have 2000 calories per day.
Right kind of food for energy
Those who eat a healthy breakfast, which is balanced and full of the right kind of healthy foods (which we will discuss shortly), are much less likely to give into temptation later in the day, which leads to snacking on sugary and fattening foods, such as crisps and chocolate, or making unhealthy choices when it comes to lunch and dinner. Giving into this temptation leads to spikes in your glucose levels, which is a diabetes danger, as well as being a quick road towards weight gain. Breakfast basically helps you feel energetic and fuller for longer.
Breakfast also has several other important jobs to do, including topping up glucose levels, which is important for healthy brain function; not only does eating breakfast give you the energy for your body to function, but it also helps your brain function in the best possible way too.
You are what you eat
It’s no good grabbing the nearest cereal bar and considering it to be healthy, because these are often sugar-laden, which is never a good thing; instead, you need to be considering what you eat at breakfast, in order to keep your stomach fuller for longer, your energy levels high, and your brain functioning at the right level.
Breakfast needs to be a balance between carbs and protein essentially, with fruit and vegetables thrown in to top up that five a day level. Carbs need to also be complex, which means they gradually release glucose (or energy) into the blood stream, which keeps you feeling fuller and energized for longer. Wholegrains are a good source of complex carbs, such as brown or wholemeal bread. On top of this, oats, pulses, seeds, and nuts are fantastic for this.
These types of food can also be described as low GI, which is another fancy way of saying that they release energy slowly, rather than in one bulk effort. If you throw in protein too, this means your body will receive all the energy it needs to kick start your day, as well as kick starting your metabolism, helping you burn more calories at the start of the day.
All of this basically serves brain and body, giving you the important energy you need to get through the day without feeling tired, irritable, or as though you need to head to bed for a quick power nap. So, the next time you feel the need to skip eating breakfast, stop and consider these points, and then re-assess your decision!
Try Whole Grains to Achieve a Healthy Eating for Energy Plan
We are bombarded with dietary advice these days, to the point where much of it begins to conflict itself – how can you know which advice is completely true? And how do you know which foods are ideal for your overall health and well being, whilst giving you the energy boost to get you through the day?
Well, one piece of advice which is certainly true and proven is that eating whole grains within your diet can do wonders for your health, but can also improve your energy levels, avoiding that mid-morning or mid-afternoon slump.
What are whole grains?
Whole grains, such as bread, pasta, quinoa, oats etc, are made from the entire seed, so that means that none of the good stuff is left out. 100% whole grains are packed with vitamins and minerals for good healthy eating, whereas refined grains lose out by about 25% of the natural protein – for this reason, always stick with 100% whole grain wherever possible.
Whole grains are packed with key nutrients for health and wellbeing, whilst also being the ideal way to keep your waistline in check. The Whole Grain Council reported that eating a healthy diet which is packed with whole grains can help to reduce the risk of having a stroke by around 30%, cut the possibility of type 2 diabetes by around 20-30%, and also reduce the risk of future heart disease too. As you can see, there are many fantastic reasons for eating whole grains, aside from the fact that your energy levels will thank you too.
Why do whole grains boost energy levels?
Whole grains are full of important fiber and protein, which the body needs to fuel itself and carry out important cellular repair. The body uses carbohydrates generally for energy and fuel, and because whole grains are a healthy carb, chowing down on them can do wonders for creating that naturally occurring source of energy, without resorting to sugary energy drinks, which will only serve to provide a very short term fix, before resulting in a glucose/sugar spike and drop. Eating whole grains also help you feel fuller for much longer, which means you won’t resort to unhealthy food choices and snacks later on in the day.
Being high GI, which means they release energy slowly throughout the day, you won’t have that mid-morning or mid-afternoon slump you might have had if you’d chosen to eat something else at breakfast or lunch, so overall your energy levels will be much higher.
How can you get a good range and amount of whole grains into your diet?
The optimum time to eat and enjoy whole grains is without a doubt at breakfast time. Never skip this important meal, because whole grains eaten at this time give you important fuel for the rest of the day. The slow release of energy which whole grains gives you means your metabolism will be kick-started, allowing a steady drip of energy across the rest of the day, and therefore you won’t be reaching for the biscuit packet half way through the morning, to get you over to lunch.
On top of this, switch white bread and white pasta for whole grain options, and remember to go for the 100% whole grain option, rather than the refined choice. It’s not difficult to make these slight changes to your health diet, without impacting on flavor or selection, as any health food store, or indeed any supermarket, will have both the white and whole grain choices in stock. It’s also no costlier to go for the whole grain choice, compared to the regular one.
Porridge oats, whole grain bread, quinoa – these are just three choices which will give you endless energy to pack into your day, without needing to rest mid-morning or mid-afternoon, and without resorting to unhealthy choices either.
In terms of healthy eating energy, it’s whole grain all the way!