During the winter months many people including myself sometimes feel exhausted and tired. This feeling is caused by a reduction in our energy levels and this impacts our daily activity and production abilities.
The saying that “we are what we eat” is very true. Our energy levels are determined by the serving size and the type of food that we eat. Therefore, the more nutrient content food that we eat the better our energy levels will be.
If we are to stay focus, increase our alertness and enhance our energy levels, we must consume foods that have the right nutrients.
The following foods have been known to boost energy levels:
Green Leafy Vegetables
The following green leafy vegetables are pack with great nutrients that provide the body with energy. Let us discuss kale, collard greens and spinach.
Kale is known as a “nutrition powerhouse” and is one of the healthiest vegetable on earth. Kale is a great source of antioxidant vitamins A, C, K, calcium, folate and potassium.
There are also specific types of antioxidants called carotenoids and flavonoids which are known to provide health benefits for cancer patients. One cup of kale has 5g fiber, 0g fat, 10g carbs, 4g protein and 70 calories.
Collard Greens are laden with fiber which reduces the severity of LDL the “Bad” cholesterol in the blood. Collard greens if eaten regularly will help with acute bowel disorder problems, hemorrhoid disorder and also protects the body against free radicals and other types of infections.
This vegetable contains vitamin K, and other minerals which increase stamina and energy levels. The nutrients in one cup of collard greens: 25 calories, 5g carbs, 0g fat, 3g fiber, 2g proteins.
Spinach is low in calories, high in vitamins and is one of the most nutrient-dense foods in existence. It contains vitamins A, C and folate. The flavonoids in spinach work together as cancer-causing antioxidants, and to neutralize free radicals in the body.
The magnesium in spinach promotes healthy blood pressure levels and as a result good energy production is maintained. The nutritional content in one cup of spinach equals 0.12g fat, 4.3g fiber, 0.86g protein, 1.09g carbs, and 7 calories.
Brown rice is another great nutritious food that is high in fiber content and is low on the glycemic index. As a result, brown rice can help in the regulation of blood sugar levels and also normalize energy levels during the day. It is much healthier to consume brown rice, because it has minerals, vitamins, fiber and is a better choice than white rice which is more processed and less nutritional.
One serving size of long-tail brown rice (194 grams) contains carbohydrates (84%), fat (7%) and protein (9%) of the recommended daily intake of 2000 calories. The body utilizes these nutrients to generate energy.
One simple food that everyone is familiar with is Bananas. This food provides an abundance of potassium, carbohydrates and vitamin B6. These nutrients are well known for increasing energy levels in the body.
Bananas also contain an amino acid called tyrosine, which is utilized by the body to produce norephedrine and dopamine. A reduction of fatigue and an increase in mental performance are the result of these hormones.
Salmon or Tuna Fish
Including fish such as salmon or tuna in your diet provides fatty acids, B vitamins and proteins. One serving of either tuna of fish gives you the daily recommended amount of vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are known to reduce inflammation and as a result fatigue is also reduced. Studies have shown that omega-3 supplements might be responsible for reducing fatigue in patients recovering from cancer.
The combination of vitamin B12 and folic acid increase the production of red blood cells and enhance the function of iron in the body. When iron and the red blood cells are at correct levels, the body produces higher levels of energy and fatigue is decreased.
Water is known as the “liquid of life”. The body is made up of about 55 to 60 % of water. Water is essential in maintaining body temperature, blood volume and to transport nutrients.
Drinking plenty of water every day is very important in keeping the body hydrated, to maintain essential body functions and to also keep up energy levels. The Health and Medical Division of the National Academies of Sciences Engineering and Medicine suggests that adult women should have 91 ounces of water daily and for adult men around 125 ounces of water daily. This recommendation includes water from all sources, including the food you eat and beverages.
The foods mentioned above are just a few of the foods that can be included in your daily regiment to boost energy levels. There are many other foods that are known to support energy levels, but they are too many to include in this article.
In the fast pace society that we live in, it is really important that we consume foods that are laden with nutrients to increase your power and stamina. Foods high in fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants are the right foods to add to your diet.