We explain how you can change your diet to increase your energy levels.
Our energy level plays a major part in our lives. It impacts our happiness, our health, our family and our ability to achieve the goals we set for ourselves.
The food and drink that we consume has a huge impact on our energy level. If you often feel sluggish or bloated then you should look to make some changes to your diet.
So here are some simple changes you can make, to help increase your energy levels…
What to Eat for Energy
Replace white carbs for whole-grain, low-glycemic carbohydrates.
Why? These are easier for the body to digest. This helps avoid the “crash and burn” effect, and keeps energy levels up. Nuts, legumes, sweet potatoes, oats, and brown rice are all low-glycemic carbohydrates that provide the body with a steady supply of energy.
Sugar has been described as a brain sedative. Recently a study has shown that it inhibits orexin which is a brain chemical that helps keep you feeling awake. Evaluate the foods you eat to see their sugar levels- huge culprits are the hidden sugars in granola, yogurt, and drinks.
Increase your proteins
Proteins are important to your body and recently have been shown to excite brain chemical orexin into production mode thus boosting alertness and energy. Ensure that you have adequate protein at every meal will help with sustainable energy all day. General guidance shows that 15-25% of your kilo joules should come from protein.
Increase your greens
Vegetables contain a huge amount of vitamins and minerals needed by the body. Start to incorporate these however you can into your meals. Here are some easy tricks you can use..
- Add veggies to bulk up any soups
- Make a salad or a vegetable side with every meal
- Use fresh herbs to spice up any cooking
- Try cooking green vegetables (broccoli, beans, kale) with a little olive oil – then tossing in freshly diced garlic, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, a pinch of salt and pepper, and a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese!
Reduce your chemicals
We have complicated mechanisms in our body and brain that regulate our energy. Chemical-laden processed foods interferes and disrupts this process which saps our energy. Try to cut down on processed foods- it’s amazing how easy it is to make your own ingredients like pasta sauces, and swap processed foods for whole foods. Not only will you notice your energy increasing, you will also see your body start to feel full for longer and soon start craving healthier foods.
What to Drink for Energy
Are you drinking enough? Tiredness can be a sign of dehydration, so increasing your water intake can help boost energy levels. If you want to jazz up your water why not make a Sugar-Free Iced Matcha Tea or simply just add sliced fruit or fresh herbs like mint and rosemary to your water.
Matcha & Energy
Matcha is a natural energy enhancer because it contains a small amount of caffeine and high levels of the amino acid L-Theanine. The caffeine is released onto your blood stream slowly over a period of 6-8 hours. This means that is delivers energy sustainable and will not disrupt sleep or cause an afternoon slump. Also, the L-Theanine in matcha boosts the production of Alpha Waves, Dopamine and Serotonin in the brain which delivers a powerful boost to concentration, memory and mood. So, drinking 2-3 cups of matcha a day delivers incredible health benefits AND gives you long-lasting energy! You can buy our premium grade Japanese matcha here.
Reduce Coffee Consumption
If you’re a regular coffee drinker try to keep it to once per day and as early as possible. Coffee is known to disrupt your adrenal system and sleep which both can result in fatigue. (Check out our longer article on it here)
Try Vegetable Juices
Fresh vegetable juices – made with a juicer or a blender – are a great way to boost your vegetable consumption. Make sure youmake the primary ingredients vegetables, and not fruit – as this keeps sugar levels down. We love adding our matcha to our vegetable juice as an added health benefit. Click here for a vegetable juice recipe.
Don’t Drink Sugar
An easy way to cut down on sugar in your diet is to ensure you stop drinking it. Alcohol, soft drinks, fruit juices, or sweetened hot beverages all contain lots of sugar. Try to swap all of these to water, tea or sugar-free/chemical free drinks. And if you want to have an alcoholic drink, have your spirit with soda water and lime or limit your wine/beer to just one or two glasses once per week.
- The blog Move Nourish Believe has a great article which describes more of the foods to eat and which to avoid to increase energy. Read their article here.
- Carla Thomas has recently published her book – The Juicy Movement – about holistic health with some amazing recipes. Check out her “Day on The Plate” here, to see the recipes for her Green Staples Smoothie , Crispy Skin Salmon (yum!) and her Vege and Guacamole Nori Rolls.
- For additional healthy recipe inspiration, check out the Minimalist Baker blog as well as Jamie Oliver’s recipes.
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