If your energy is flagging and you’re not sure why, assessing your diet is a great place to start! Here are the foods to eat and the ones to avoid when it comes to feeling energised:
Foods to support energy
- Protein (e.g.: eggs, legumes, raw nuts/seeds, dairy, lean meat, tofu)
Foods rich in protein are very satiating and help to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. To support energy during the day, aim to include a source of protein at each meal and snack.
- Iron: red meat, almonds, apricots, parsley, spinach, lentils and sunflower seeds
- Zinc: beef, capsicum, egg yolks, ginger, oysters, pumpkin seeds and wholegrains.
- Iodine: seafood, seaweed, asparagus, dairy, mushrooms and sunflower seeds
- Selenium: brazil nuts, alfalfa, celery, eggs, fish, garlic, cashews and tuna.
The thyroid gland regulates our metabolism and its function can impact energy levels. Iron, zinc, iodine and selenium are all nutrients/minerals needed by the thyroid to convert inactive thyroid hormone into active, the form used by the body. If our dietary supply is low, this conversion may be hampered and leave us with feelings of fatigue.
- Complex carbohydrates (rice, quinoa, wholegrain bread, oats)
Complex carbohydrates provide a slow release of energy and also contain B-vitamins. An adequate intake of B-vitamins is necessary for food to be used as energy by the body. Aim to include a source of complex carbohydrates at each meal and snack.
Foods to Avoid
- Biscuits, cakes and lollies
Biscuits, cakes and lollies contain refined sugar. As you would know, refined sugar is quickly broken down and whilst such foods offer an initial burst of energy, this energy is only temporary and will be followed by a crash. Not a great option if looking for healthy ways to fuel your day!
- Bottled commercial juice
More often than not, commercial fruit juice lacks fibre from fruit pulp. Fibre is necessary to slow down the absorption of sugar in fruit juice. Drinking fruit juice without fibre can cause a quick rise in blood sugar and provide little sustenance. Look for juice with pulp or try making your own at home and include the pulp or add another form of fibre, for example chia seeds.
- Diet soft drink and no fat products
Diet soft drink and no fat products are usually sweetened with artificial sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners provide very little energy to the body and when consumed trick the body into thinking its going to receive food. The body is then geared up to receive food so will feel excessively hungry and energy levels will drop if not provided with real food!
Zoe Bingley- Pullin is a celebrity chef and nutritionist who is also one of the experts on Channel 7’s new House of Wellness. She is also the author of several successful cookbooks.
If you want to learn how to make permanent changes to health and develop a healthy relationship with food, the next round of Zoe’s 8-week online Falling in Love with Food Program starts 16th October 2017. Each week members receive a 7-day meal plan, group coaching call with Zoe, 4 recipes and cooking videos, motivational interviews and access to an online community to support your journey.
Offer: Are you ready to Fall in Love with Food? Zoe is offering her 8-week program for $99 and members also receive 1 month free access to the Tribe Program. This access starts when the 8-week Program ends and signs you up for an ongoing monthly subscription to the Tribe. To read more visit here