Do you feel tired and listless during the day, or exhausted and disinclined to take another step as the day draws to a close? Do you feel completely drained and that also makes you short tempered and irritable? Chances are that your energy levels are alarmingly low and your body is not getting the right nutrients to boost your energy levels.
Energy is simply the power in the body that keeps us going, or the capacity to undertake various activities. People with high energy levels remain active, quick, and work continuously for hours, while those lacking sufficient energy are exhausted, are said to lack stamina and need breaks before they can continue.
Energy is produced in the body out of the foods we eat. So, more energy will come from the consumption of the right kinds of foods, in the right quantities. Also, the body must be able to absorb all the nutrients from the food that is eaten. Nutrition then has to be intentional and focused with serious thought to what is being put in the mouth, rather than accidental, which will happen by chance out of some of the foods eaten.
Ten foods to increase energy
- Whole grain, high fiber foods-The days of refined foods are over, and it is time to switch to whole grains that are rich in fiber and roughage. Besides fighting diseases, they provide the right carbohydrates which convert into energy. Whole grains include wheat, oats, bran, corn, brown rice, buckwheat, and many others, but they must be consumed in the unrefined form.
- Iron rich foods- Iron is one of the biggest energy suppliers to the body. It makes the body healthy and boosts energy. It is found in red meats, spinach, kidney beans and a number of other foods.
- Water- most people drink very little water while doctors believe that an adult needs at least 8-10 glasses of water every day to keep the body adequately hydrated. Water is the second most important need for the body after oxygen that rejuvenates, aids free flow of nutrients in the body and helps to flush out wastes. It is easy to see what thirst does-leaves the body and mind tired and worn out.
- Healthy fats- while it may appear that all fats are harmful and avoidable, but fats are what provide energy to the body. Healthy fats that must be taken include olive oil that has monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids contained in fish especially salmon. They also help to cut flab which again boosts energy.
- Protein rich foods- Fish, eggs, beans and lentils are great sources of protein.
- Nuts and seeds- These provide minerals and vitamins and the energy that is produced from them is sustainable for longer periods.
- Leafy vegetables- These greens are a goldmine of nutrition providing the entire range of B Vitamins, minerals like magnesium and iron, and specific vitamins are found in specific vegetables.
- Green tea- Known for its antioxidant properties, green works well for everybody function, but most importantly, has a rejuvenating effect when energy levels are low.
- Dairy products- Dairy products like cheese, buttermilk, yoghurt, shakes and smoothies, are all great energy boosters since they are rich in calcium and vitamins, and easier to absorb into the system.
- Lean meats- For non-vegetarians, lean meats trimmed of fat, chicken and fish are good energy sources with the wide ranging nutrients they bring into the body.
Energy comes from all good foods that are neither processed nor overcooked, and good eating habits, a regulated diet with the right mix of foods is bound to ensure high energy levels.
If you feel your energy levels start to drop while you are in work, a great way to perk them up again is to bring some snacks with you. To do that why not try a bento box, the big advantage with these cute lunch boxes is their tiered design, which will allow you to carry a wider variety of snacks.