Are you struggling with fatigue?? In need of energy to make it through the day? If you’re like many, you may have relied caffeine and fast carbs for a quick energy boost. The problem? They’ll give you a quick burst of energy but two hours later leave you feeling tired, brain fogged and craving yet more carbs. Maintaining steady and consistent energy levels require eating less rapidly digested carbs (sugars, breads, pastas) and more proteins and healthy fats. The goal is to avoid the rapid blood sugar fluctuations that steal your energy.
But here’s another tidbit you might not know. Chronic fatigue has been linked to high levels of inflammation in the body, thus eating foods which fight inflammation (i.e. antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids) can also help! Here are foods that can have you running on cruise control all day long!
WATER – Get into the habit of drinking 6 to 8 glasses of water a day. Why? Mild dehydration has been linked to a reduction in mood, energy levels and mental functioning! When you start craving sugar, drink a glass of water first!
EGGS – Start your day with eggs! This high protein food provides essential B vitamins and choline, a substance critical in reducing inflammation throughout the body. Choline helps boost brain health and functioning. It is also used to make acetylcholine, an essential neurotransmitter in our nervous system. Anything that improves both brain and nerve function can help us be more alert.
WHOLE GRAINS – Unlike white bread, whole grains contain complex carbohydrates which release energy throughout the day! If you struggle with gluten sensitivity, look for the many, new gluten free breads on the market today!
BLUEBERRIES – Loaded with antioxidants, blueberries are a staple in most IC patients diets. A study published in the Annals of Neurology suggests that antioxidant-rich blueberries can reduce cognitive decline in older adults by up to 2.5 years. Antioxidants help with cognitive function and mental agility! The great news is that they are low in sugar, making them an excellent snack for diabetics as well.
ALMONDS – Bladder and stomach friendly, almonds are high in protein, fiber, healthy monounsaturated fats, magnesium, vitamin E and calcisum. Eating almonds can help fight inflammation, lower LDL cholesterol, lower blood pressure and sustain energy throughout the day.
POPCORN – High in fiber, low in calories, homemade popcorn is a healthier snack and a great source of energy! Avoid the prepackaged, sweet or flavored popcorns that contain high amounts of sugar and, worse, artificial colorings and flavorings!
BROCCOLI & SPINACH – High in vitamin C, lutein, beta carotene and fiber, broccoli contains potent anti-flammatory and antioxidants. Spinach is an excellent source of vitamin A, iron, folate, vitamin C, magnesium, selenium, zinc, niacin and riboflavin.
SWEET POTATOES – Sweet potatoes contain mostly complex carbohydrates that don’t cause sudden spikes in blood sugar. High in fiber, B6, C, E, folate and potassium, sweet potatoes make an excellent snack, such as Danielle’s organic sweet potato chips!
SALMON – Salmon contains high levels of omega 3 fatty acids which have a potent anti-inflammatory effect. Eating salmon and other Omega-3 foods ell known to elevate your mood and fight depression.
GRASS FED BEEF – Unlike beef fed on grains, grass-fed beef is leaner, richer in protein, vitamins, minerals and omega-3 fats. Beef is also the best form of iron in our diet.
LOW ACID COFFEE’s – Coffee is popular for a reason, it can help increase energy and alertness when used in SMALL quantities and without the sugar or milk based flavorings. The challenge is that it’s relying on chemistry rather than good nutrition to maintain your health. If you have to use it, use a very small mount, preferably a LOW ACID coffee with Prelief instead! You can find a variety of low acid coffees in the ICN Shop!