The day to day demands of life can leave many of us feeling drained before the day is half over. A healthy way to tackle this tiredness is to make sure you’re eating the right foods to boost and sustain energy levels. Lee Holmes, a Certified Health Coach from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, has a few key recommendations when it comes to energy boosting foods.
Energy Boosting Foods
Omega-3 fatty acids make salmon a great food for lowering cholesterol. It also contains protein, vitamin B6, niacin and riboflavin, all of which aid the conversion of food into energy.
Mushrooms contain plenty of iron, which transports oxygen through the bloodstream. Holmes says that a cup of mushrooms contains almost half of your recommended daily iron intake and will give your organs the boost they need to function most effectively.
Spinach is a similarly helpful source of iron but also contains potassium and magnesium, which work together to aid digestion, and nerve and muscle function.
Pumpkin and Sunflower Seeds
A quarter cup of pumpkin seeds performs similarly to spinach, providing the body with enough magnesium to relax muscles and maintain healthy calcium levels.
Magnesium can also be found in sweet potatoes, along with iron, potassium, vitamin D and vitamin C – a collection of ingredients which can all help to raise energy levels.
Holmes says that eggs are great at ensuring your muscles recover properly from exercise, because they are the highest source of complete protein.
Raw, unsalted nuts contain a number of nutrients which give the body an energy boost. Holmes recommends soaking the nuts overnight to “activate” them, i.e. start the germination process that increases their nutrient value.
The probiotics in yogurt aids digestion, allowing you to get as much energy as possible from the various foods you consume. It also enhances the immune system and keeps your gut healthy. Holmes suggests adding a little natural goat’s milk yogurt to your breakfast, your favourite salad or on top of curry.
Holmes also advises eating produce seasonally in order to get the biggest reward from your vegetables, as well as the best taste. She says that seasonal produce is at its maximum nutrient potential, making it the best at fighting fatigue. She also highlights the importance of drinking plenty of water – preferably eight cups a day for women and ten cups for men.