Put some fire in your belly
Your body is a hungry furnace which relies on fuel to keep it burning brightly. If you’re not incorporating the right nutrition, you’re going to find energy levels spike and crash, leaving you stuck in a downward sugary spiral. To fight fatigue and keep sparkling through the darker months, check out our top three ways to boost energy.
Cast your mind back to senior school and you might recall learning about mitochondria. They are the ‘cell’s powerhouse’ and are responsible for turning the sugars, fats and proteins we eat into energy. Unsurprisingly therefore, mitochondria health is important. So important in fact, that mitochondria dysfunction has been linked to serious diseases such as dementia, chronic fatigue syndrome, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
To optimize your cells’ ability to generate energy, try to include plenty of the following in your diet:
- Antioxidants. Foods like blueberries, pomegranate seeds and green tea will sponge up harmful free radicals and boost mitochondria function. Sulphur- rich veggies such as cauliflower and cabbage encourage glutathione production – an antioxidant which the body produces in the liver and gives energy levels a helping hand.
- B-vitamins. B-vitamins act as co-enzymes in energy metabolism. This means they kick start the process, similar to how a key kick starts a car’s engine. Great sources include grass-fed beef, organic free-range eggs and dark, leafy vegetables such as broccoli and spinach.
- Fabulous fats. As well as being crucial for good brain health, fats play an important role in energy production. Every one of your cells is surrounded by a protective membrane of fat. Extra-virgin, cold-pressed olive oil, grass-fed butter and wild Alaskan salmon are all excellent sources of high-quality fats so you can maintain and rebuild your cells’ structure.
Yes, sugar does provide you with energy. But beware: foods high on the glycaemic index (GI) will spike your blood sugar levels quickly, then bring them crashing down. This will leave you tired, irritable and reaching for the biscuit tin.
Foods to avoid include sugar-laden energy drinks, white bread, processed cakes, doughnuts and biscuits.
Try replacing them with wholegrain foods such as brown rice and bread, plenty of organic fruit and vegetables such as apples, plums, asparagus, green beans and mushroom, and snack on seeds and nuts such as almonds, brazil nuts and pumpkin seeds.
Water is essential for every aspect of your health, including your energy levels. Tiredness and fatigue are the most common signs of dehydration. And, as the body contains up to 60% water, it’s no wonder our major organs rely heavily on good hydration to function well.
The NHS advises us to drink 1.5 – 2 litre of water every day, yet most of us don’t meet this target. Furthermore, alcohol and caffeine are diuretics which means they will cause you to urinate more often than normal and contribute to dehydration. The solution? Boring but true – aim to drink eight large glass of water each and every day. If you’re exercising or frequenting saunas, you’ll need more. And go easy on coffee and alcohol. Not only do they contribute to anxiety (not good for mental health), they’ll leech your body of precious fluids and dent your energy levels
At Balance Box, we use only the freshest seasonal produce to create delicious and nutritious meals. So, if you’re feeling wiped out and want your mojo back, click here to order a range of balanced, energy-boosting meals delivered straight to your door.