A Diet for Better Energy
Our food is the most important contribution we can give to our body for maximum operating. We have the brain as our main organ, which is connected to our nervous system. Our lungs and heart that are interrelated. Actually, there is not one part of the body that stands alone on its own. We are wholesome and completely connected. The food that we eat helps our whole body sustain and maintain healthy. One of the main things we get out of the food we eat is energy. Energy comes from sugars in the body. These sugars are extracted from carbs that we consume. There are two different kinds of carbs. Simple carbs and complex carbs. Complex carbs are the key to keep energy throughout the day, while the simple carbs, also known as empty carbs can lead to energy crashes in the body.
With the different responsibilities of work, life, family and society, we tend to have less sleep, more stress and very little time for quality in life. We tend to forget the importance of a healthy diet and the benefits on our overall health and wellness. Our body needs food to function at its best and to fight the daily stress and fatigue of life.
What we eat becomes fuel for our body. Energy comes from carbohydrates, protein and fats.
Carbohydrates are the most important source. These nutrients are broken down by the body into smaller components and absorbed to be used as fuel. This process is called metabolism.
Carbohydrates come in two types, simple and complex, and both are converted to sugar (glucose). The body breaks the sugar down in the blood and the blood cells use the glucose to provide energy.
Best Foods for Sustained Energy
Complex carbohydrates such as high-fiber cereals, whole-grain breads and pastas, dried beans, and starchy vegetables are the best type of foods for prolonged energy because they are digested at a slow, consistent rate. Complex carbohydrates contain fiber, which takes a longer time to digest in the body as it is absorbed slowly. Complex carbs also stabilize your body’s sugar level, which in turn causes the pancreas to produce less insulin. This gives you a feeling of satiety and you are less hungry.
In a healthy, energy-producing diet is also important protein (preferably chicken, turkey, pork tenderloin, and fish), legumes (lentils and beans), and a moderate amount of healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (avocados, seeds, nuts, and certain oils).
Adequate fluids are also essential for sustaining energy. Water is necessary for digestion, absorption, and the transport of nutrients for energy. Dehydration can cause a lack of energy. The average person needs to drink six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day.
Foods to Avoid
Simple carbohydrates, on the other hand, should be limited. Ranging from candy and cookies to sugary beverages and juices. Simple carbs are broken down and absorbed quickly by the body. They provide an initial burst of energy for 30 to 60 minutes, but are digested so quickly they can result in a slump afterward. You should also avoid alcohol and caffeine. Alcohol is a depressant and can reduce your energy levels, while caffeine usually provides an initial two-hour energy burst, followed by a crash.
Scheduling Meals for Sustained Energy
Three meals and three snacks a day and to never go over three to four hours without eating something is a recommendation by many experts. If you become too hungry, this can cause you to overeat.
Also, try to include something from each food group at every meal, remembering that foods high in fiber, protein, and fat take a longer time to digest.
Even if life is hectic, it’s important to make wise food choices that provide energy throughout the day. Your body will thank you.