How many of us feel drained in the evenings or ready for a nap mid-afternoon? Many of us regularly complain ablout feeling tired but few of us realise that our diets maybe effecting our energy levels…The Afternoon Show invited me to chat about which foods can help boost our moods…
Eating or drinking certain things puts your body under chemical stress and robs you of valuable energy. Some of the worst offenders we consume on a daily basis e.g. caffeine, sugar, alcohol and nicotine. If you wish to boost your energy stores you need to incorporate regular activity in your routine and rewrite your shopping list!
Now , we all now how hard it is to break old habits so instead on focusing what you need to take to take out of your routine start focusing on making some new habits.
1. Iron deficiency anaemia and poor B vitamin status are two common nutritional deficiencies in the Irish diet which can lead to tiredness and lethargy. The most common cause of iron deficiency is inadequate dietary intake. Great sources of iron include green leafy vegetables including broccoli, cabbage, green beans, kale, spinach and brussel sprouts.
2. B vitamins are required for the processing of dietary fats, carbohydrates, and proteins to convert these nutrients to energy. Basically we need B vitamins to convert food into energy. Good sources include meat, dairy products, spinach, broccoli, asparagus, grains and legumes. One particularly great source is wheatgrass. Wheatgrass is often described as a green superfood and contains all of the B vitamins, protein and immune boosting vitamins A, C and E. It can be taken in juice, powder or tablet form.
3. Oats are high in soluble fibre, low in calories, fat, salt and sugar and have a low glycaemic index which means they provide a slow steady release of energy which will keep you feeling full for longer and supply you with enough energy to keep you going until your next mealtime. Porridge is the most obvious way to eat oats but other options include muesli with added oats, oatcakes and oat based breads.
4. A great source of vitamin B6 and potassium bananas also supply magnesium which is thought to help regulate our mood. Incorporating a carbohydrate snack food with vitamin B6 is a great way to keep your energy levels up. Bananas are frequently avoided by people because of misconception that they are a high calorie food. This is not the case at all. Because of their high fibre they have a slow release of energy and their natural supply of vitamin B6 will help boost your mood and energy levels.
5. Oily fish, nuts and seeds provide essential vitamins, minerals and the all important Omega 3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential components of brain cell membranes, and their role in cell structure is thought to improve the powers of concentration and enhance our mood. Nuts are full of protein also considered a low GI snack so will provide you with a slow steady supply of energy.
6. Don’t forget adequate hydration is imperative for adequate energy. The first symptom of dehydration is tiredness not thirst! Make sure you drink plenty of water. The general guidelines are to include 1.5 to 2 Litres a day and it is best to hydrate yourself between mealtimes.