Energy Foods: our tips to increase your energy levels
The nutrition expert, Melanie Waxman, shares some tips to increase our energy levels.
Food has great influence on our energy, emotions, and mental clarity. The type and quality of food we eat is the key to determining our energy levels. Just like cars need fuel to move and go places, our body needs the energy from food to be active throughout the day. Understanding the energy of food is also understanding that all foods are unique and the affect they have on our energy levels will vary.
The most important thing to consider when choosing food is the quality. Let’s compare a head of organic, broccoli freshly picked from our gardens to an agribusiness grown, chemically sprayed broccoli picked over a week prior and shipped across the country in a refrigerated truck. They may look the same and even taste pretty similar but the difference in the quality is huge. Foods that are organic, local and seasonal still contain an aliveness. Whereas food grown with chemicals, preservatives or even genetically altered have the lowest quality and provide very little in terms of energy. We may not all be able to grow our own vegetables but we can chose local, organic, and seasonal produce from markets and farm shops.
Foods that are alive will give us the most in terms of nutrients and energy. Whole grains, beans, vegetables,nuts, seeds, and fruits are all examples of living foods. These foods are alive right up until we cook or eat them. Living foods come straight from the fields and are not processed in a factory. They still contain the energy necessary to grow and survive and can easily be sprouted. When we eat living foods we directly receive the restorative healing energy of nature.
Cooking also boosts our energy levels. The various styles of cooking will enhances our energy in different ways. Longer cooked dishes are great for strength and stamina. Baking, for example, brings out the sugar and fat in foods and is ideal for long cold winters when we need more warmth and energy. On the other hand, quick cooking is uplifting and refreshing. Lightly sauteed vegetables create an light, active energy which is perfect after a long day in the office. Soups for example sooth the emotions, relieve stress and provide long lasting energy, even more so than a sándwich.
Fermented foods such as sauerkraut or miso contain living bacteria (probiotics) which provide a fantastic energy boost to the system. The probiotics also help the digestion to be more efficient which means the body can work less to digest, and we are left with more energy.
Whole grains especially brown rice, quinoa, and oats keep you motivated all day long. The high fiber in whole grains slows the release of glucose into the bloodstream and provides more steady, consistent energy. Beans are also energy stabilizers. Full of fiber, protein and carbs they regulate blood sugar levels to keep you going for hours.
Apples take longer to digest than most fruit because of their high fiber content and as a result will give you a prolonged energy lift. Berries also provide that added zip and make for a great snack or as a tasty topping to your morning porridge.
Nuts and seeds, like almonds, walnuts, chia or sesame, are the powerhouse of energy and contain healthy fats, proteins, and minerals. A little goes a long way and a small handful of mixed nuts and seeds can keep you going for hours.
And don’t forget your greens. Kale, watercress, or spinach are go getters on the energy front and packed full of nutrients especially iron and calcium. Lastly water. The next time you’re feeling drained, try a big glass of spring water. Dehydration is often the cause of fatigue. It can lead to headaches, brain fog, and irritability. Keeping hydrated keeps your energy levels high so make sure to drink enough during the day.
Food is a vital way to increase energy but don’t forget to spend time outdoors especially by the sea or around trees, laugh with your friends, enjoy inspiring music, dance and do those things you love. They are all amazing energy boosters too.