Studies report that eight out of ten Americans report feeling tired on a regular basis. Take a look at your life and see what is zapping your energy. Are you working too hard? Sleeping too little? Nourishing yourself sufficiently? Getting enough fresh air?
There is no doubt about it, stress and fatigue are becoming more of a problem for us. Juggling the responsibilities of career, family, and life we are left feeling tired, with little time for ourselves.
We put so much on our “plate” that we have little time to prepare what’s on our meal plate. We reach for quick and easy foods that take little time. But what are we choosing?
Unfortunately, most people turn to foods containing caffeine, sugar or refined carbohydrates to give them a lift. These foods actually exhaust and deplete the body further, leaving you even more drained. However, there are natural energizing foods that will not only give you the boost you need, but will support your body to function more efficiently.
HERE ARE 10 SIMPLE WAYS TO BOOST YOUR ENERGY
- Stay Hydrated: The first sign of dehydration is often fatigue. Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day, preferably before you feel thirsty. I recommend consuming half your body weight (in pounds) in ounces of water daily. For example, a 150 lb. individual would consume 75 oz. of water daily. However, if you spend a lot of time outdoors, are very active, or live at a higher altitude, you should increase your water intake accordingly.
- Green Vegetables: The high chlorophyll content of green vegetables helps to purify the blood and improve energy circulation. Green plants are among the highest nutrient packed foods and dark leafy greens have the highest levels of chlorophyll. Lightly steam or sauté greens like kale, collards, chard, spinach, bok choy, arugula, or watercress.
- Fresh and Raw: Fresh, live foods such as leafy lettuces, crisp green beans, ripe tomatoes, and juicy fruits will help bring your energy up while their high water content works to cool your body down. Put simply, heavy foods make you feel heavy while light foods make you feel light. Try snacking on some celery, snap peas, and carrots or make a fresh summer salad for lunch.
- Whole Grains: Whole grain foods such as quinoa, amaranth, brown rice, and millet break down slowly in the body providing you with more sustained energy and endurance. In contrast, the rush that you get from highly refined grains (i.e. refined flour products) and sugars is often followed by energy depletion. Increasing your consumption of whole grains will naturally balance your blood sugar and your energy levels.
- Vitamins B & C: B Vitamins, found in meat, fish, brown rice, oats, walnuts, and lentils helps your body deal with stress. Vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant found in broccoli, cabbage, leafy greens, squash, red and green peppers, cantaloupe, strawberries, oranges and grapefruit is crucial for tissue healing and optimal adrenal health. Getting adequate levels of Vitamins B and C is essential to maintain health and feel energized.
- Potassium & Magnesium: Foods high in the minerals Potassium and Magnesium help to fight fatigue. Potassium and Magnesium rich foods include leafy green vegetables, broccoli, peas, tomatoes, potatoes (especially the skins), beans, nuts, seeds, oranges, bananas, apples, avocados and whole grains. These mineral rich foods work to regulate energy levels, enhance immune response, and improve physical performance.
- Iron: Iron is a trace element essential for energy production and proper immune function. Good sources of iron include high quality meats, poultry, and fish, as well as seaweeds, nuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, whole grains, and leafy greens, especially kale and spinach.
- Eat Regularly: Your blood sugar level is directly correlated with your energy level. Eating regularly scheduled meals will ensure that your body has the necessary fuel to run all day. When you skip meals you fail to replenish your energy reserves. Try to bring a good lunch to work and always keep healthy snacks on hand.
- Prioritize Nourishment: If you don’t give your body what it needs, how can it give you what you need? Set aside time to prepare meals and eat without rushing. Invite a friend to cook with you or make a meal for someone you love. Appreciate that you are nourishing your body. Your food will digest more efficiently and you will feel both relaxed and energized afterwards.
- Take Time for You: Stress contributes to fatigue. Schedule time for you—to relax, get outdoors, exercise, sleep late, or read a good book. Allowing yourself down time will help replenish and re-energize your body.