Tired of being tired? Use these ideas to fight the fatigue and boost your energy by eating the right foods. But before you think about food choices, remember that it’s important to eat at the right time (never allow your tank to become empty) and regularly in order to maintain normal blood-sugar levels throughout the day. Carry healthy snacks and water with you at all times and, most importantly, fuel your body for the whole day by eating a healthy breakfast.
The natural sugar (fructose) in fruit delivers an instant pick-me-up when energy is lagging and maintains steady blood-sugar levels due to its high-fibre content. Fruits such as bananas, apricots, berries, rockmelon and kiwifruit are particularly high in potassium, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Whip up a super smoothie with the fruit of your choice, natural yogurt, a splash of low-fat milk and a few nuts or seeds to inject good energy into your day.
Tree nuts, like cashews, almonds and hazelnuts, are high in magnesium, which plays an integral role in converting sugar to energy, not to mention high levels of fibre, keeping your blood sugar steady, and protein to ward off hunger pangs.
Top tip: Keeping a bag of mixed nuts in your desk at work or in the car will gives you a quick, healthy option if you get hungry throughout the day. A daily intake of about 30-50 grams is ideal, which is equivalent to a small handful of mixed nuts or around 15 cashews, 20 almonds or 20 hazelnuts.
Carbohydrates often receive a bad rap, but it’s recommended adults eat between three and six serves a day in order to get the energy their body needs. It’s the processed or refined carbs you need to restrict. Whole grains, which have not been refined, are jam-packed with vitamins and minerals and provide a steady supply of energy rather than sudden surges, which means fewer energy fluctuations than when you eat refined carbs. Start your day with whole grain toast or cereal and snack on whole grain crackers in the afternoon to get you through until dinner.
There’s nothing wrong with a small amount of chocolate – but make it dark. Scientists have found dark chocolate can be good for vascular health, boosts your energy and your mood.
It’s also worth mentioning that water is one of the most vital, and often overlooked, sources of energy for your body. It is thought that many Australians are chronically dehydrated, limiting our physical and mental capacity. It’s recommended that the average adult consumes between two and three litres of water per day. But if you’re exercising and sweating through an Aussie summer, chances are you may need to consume much more than that amount. Add a squeeze of lemon to your water first thing in the morning and you’ll fill your body with electrolytes, which are needed for our cells to produce energy.
We often think it’s normal to feel an afternoon lag, or even an all-day lag. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Eating the right foods at the right times can put that extra spring in your step, so use these tips to kick-start your day.