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Need More Energy? Here’s the Foods to Avoid and the Foods to Fill Up On!



Need More Energy? Here’s the Foods to Avoid and the Foods to Fill Up On!

How are your energy levels? If they’re feeling a bit deflated and you feel like your batteries are running low on a daily basis, it could be down to your diet. Just like any engine, our own engines, be they biological ones, need fuelling in the right way. If we’re not eating what our body needs, it will start to feel low on energy and we’ll feel mentally lethargic. After all, food is fuel. 

But all is not lost! We can make some simple tweaks to our diets, to get back to firing on all cylinders once again. 

So to begin with, here’s some energy zapping foods…

Foods to Avoid that Deplete Our Energy Levels

  • Carbs most definitely aren't the devil, as they provide valuable nutrients and energy. But white carbs are an energy no-no. White bread, pasta and rice have been processed to remove the wheatgerm, or brown part. This turns them into very simple sugars that are quickly broken down by the body, flooding the blood with sugar. This might give us an instant energy boost, but before long, you’ll crash and you’ll be left craving more sugar. 
  • The same goes for breakfast cereals with added sugar and sugary ‘energy’ drinks.
  • In some cases - dairy. If eating cheese, cream, milk or yoghurt makes you feel bloated and gassy with stomach pains and tiredness, you might have an intolerance to the dairy sugar, lactose. Try dairy or lactose free versions for a few weeks to see if there’s any difference. 
  • High fat, processed foods tend to be high in calories but low in fibre. A diet rich in these foods means that even though you’re getting energy from the calories, nutrients will reach your blood more slowly, therefore making you feel energy depleted, due to the lack of fibre causing a lazy bowel. Plus of course, high calorie, low nutrient foods aren;t good when we’re on a health drive. 

And now to the fun bit…

Energy Boosting Foods to Fill Your Plates (and Bellies) With!

  • Brown, wholemeal bread, pasta and rice are packed with B vitamins that help to release the energy from our food as well as slow release carbs that keep us energised and sustained. 
  • Protein, protein, protein. Protein rich foods, including lean white meat, fish, eggs, beans, peas, lentils, chickpeas, tofu, nuts and seeds provide slow release, sustained energy to keep us full and going until our next meal. 
  • Bananas are rich in potassium that helps to regulate our blood pressure and water balance, but also fibre, that helps to keep our gut healthy and regular. A sluggish bowel will slow us down, so bananas are great for getting extra fibre, and make a fantastic snack post-exercise. 
  • Oats are also rich in fibre, in the case of oats, a fibre called beta glucans. Beta glucans help to manage a healthy heart, and as well as that, help to regulate blood sugar levels. Our blood sugar levels are directly related to our hunger and energy levels, if our blood sugar levels are erratic, then so are our eating habits and energy levels. Starting the day with a bowl of oats, such as this Granola Breakfast Vegan Style, is a very positive step! 
  • Not technically a food, but water is crucial for both hydration and energy. If we’re dehydrated, we’ll begin to feel sluggish and lethargic. We might not empty our bowels regularly, and that’ll make us feel even more stagnant. So make sure you’re drinking water, weak squashes and herbal teas throughout the day to stay topped up.

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