Foods that boost energy

November 25, 2009 5:49:37 AM PST
Want more energy, naturally? These are foods that can help you be your best.

Eating for energy - fighting fatigue with food:
-Be sure to exercise and get plenty of sleep as a good foundation.
-Eat regular meals but don't overload at one time
-a couple of recent studies suggest a total diet approach with fat in check and plenty of fruits and veggies may just help improve mood/feelings of well being

Hydrating foods and beverages:

Water
- Think of body like a swimming pool - most of our processes happen with water involved
- Dehydration decreases both mental and physical performance
- Fatigue is one sign of dehydration!
- Calorie free water is a best bet - but you can hydrate through foods, too!

Fruits & vegetables
- Most of us don't get the recommended fruits and veggies a day - on average, a total of 4.5 cups combined.
- nutrient-rich, calorie small
- vitamin B-6 (plays a role in making serotonin- bananas, beans, many veggies)
- right kind of carbs
- magnesium
- potassium (banana, potato, butternut squash, legumes, dried apricots)
- high fiber which is great for feeling full without overloading
- go for fresh with the skins on for most fiber and fluid
- make in soup for an additional source of fluid - watch sodium

Good Carbohydrates balanced with protein and the right kind of fat
Carbohydrates are Serotonin boosters - calming, happy, relaxed feeling, mood, energy, maintain blood sugar level, only fuel for brain

Fiber
- Best bets are Whole grains/high fiber (popcorn, pasta/bread with whole grain stamp)

Protein (walnuts, salmon, beans)
-Nuts, seeds, legumes, fish
- Salmon and walnuts have omega 3 fatty acids (heart smart, may help protect cognitive function as we age, may play a role in mental health)

Other:
Dark chocolate
Small quantities of comfort foods like low fat version of Mac n Cheese

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