A Diet That Gives You More Energy

A Diet That Gives You More Energy

If you’re looking for the best source of energy to last you the whole day, your best bet is complex carbohydrates. In lieu of sugary snacks that could cause energy crashes, choose complex carbs to give you more energy.

When there are too many things going on in your life, from your work or business to your family life, your body may be subjected to too much stress and even lack of sleep. In the midst of it all, what you need to sustain yourself is a healthy diet. When your body gets the adequate amount of nutrients and energy from food, you will continue to function well day in and day out.

Where Does the Body’s Energy Come From?

The foods that we eat contain nutrients, which are grouped into three main types: carbohydrates, protein and fats. These nutrients are broken down by the digestive system into smaller substances and then absorbed by the body as fuel. The body uses up the energy from carbohydrates first. When it has been used up, the body uses the energy from protein and fats.

Carbohydrates, whether simple or complex in form, are converted to sugar or glucose. Glucose is further broken down to release energy that the body can use. All these processes mentioned in this section is actually called metabolism.

What Foods Should You Eat?

Foods belonging to the category of complex carbohydrates are the best to eat for prolonged energy. Some examples are whole-grain breads, high-fiber cereals, starchy vegetables and dried beans. Because complex carbohydrates have more fiber content, the body takes more time to digest and absorb them. In addition, this type of food helps to stabilize the body’s sugar level, which means that the pancreas do not need to produce as much insulin. This is good for those seeking to lose weight as they make you feel full longer and less hungry.

Don’t forget that including protein in your diet is important. The best sources include turkey, chicken, fish, pork tenderloin and legumes. It’s all right to have a moderate amount of fats also, provided that you choose monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, such as avocados, nuts, seeds and olive oils.

Expert nutritionist Suzanne Lugerner also emphasizes the need to consume adequate amounts of fluids, at least 6 to 8 glasses of water every day. All body processes, such as digestion, absorption and transportation of nutrients require water to proceed. That is why dehydration can make a person feel very weak.

What Foods Should You Avoid

Simple carbohydrates, such as candies, cookies, sugary treats and beverages, should be consumed in limited amount. These foods get digested and absorbed fast giving the body an immediate high energy level for 30 to 60 minutes. But, afterward, the energy level quickly falls.

Alcohol and caffeine intake should also be limited. With alcohol acting as a depressant, you feel less energetic; but with caffeine, you feel the energy burst for the first 2 hours, then a crash in energy levels.

How do you schedule your meals?

Registered Dietitian Tara Harwood from the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio recommends having 3 meals and 3 snacks per day. A good advice to remember is to eat something every 3 to 4 hours to avoid feeling so hungry that you tend to overeat.

A healthy meal includes food from each of the food groups. That means having fruits and vegetables, dairy foods, whole foods, meat and poultry to get enough of carbs, fiber, protein and fat.

Making wise food choices should be taken seriously, more so if you have such a busy life. It will help you sustain your energy levels and be productive at all times.

Photo Source: “Energy and life” by Mikael Häggström via Wikimedia, All images are of Public Domain

Categories: Nutrition

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