To keep up with the busy lives we currently live in, many of us get our boost by drinking a high-sugar chemical cocktail loaded with caffeine. The problem with doing this is that your energy plummets as quickly as it was introduced, leaving you worse off than you were before. If you’re not looking for vein-popping, eye-bulging bursts of energy, if a natural alternative appeals more to your senses, this article is for you.
If you ever feel lethargic or fatigued after you eat, you’re eating the wrong foods. It’s that simple. Your body runs off what you feed it, so the best way to get the most out of your food is to make sure you’re feeding your body at the cellular level, which feeds your Mitochondria. Mitochondria are made up of living cells that gives you natural energy throughout the day. I’ve come up with a list of naturally energizing foods that give you a gradual boost of long-lasting energy.
Sweet potatoes provide a healthy dose of complex carbohydrates, helping to ensure a balanced and regular source of energy without the blood sugar spikes linked to fatigue and weight gain. They are also a good source of dietary fiber, which has a gradual, steadying effect on blood sugar.
Sweet potatoes also contain a good level of potassium which helps keep electrolytes balanced and allows us to stay maximally hydrated.
Sweet potatoes are highly packed with calcium, and iron, and are high in beta carotene, which, together with other essential antioxidants like vitamins A, C and E, helps with protect cells and muscles recover and regenerate.
Sweet potatoes are a healthy form of carbohydrate that provides fuel and warmth, plus, potatoes keep depression at bay, especially during the darkest months of the year.
Chia seeds are loaded with a perfectly digestible protein for muscle that has a higher percentage of protein than any other grain.
Chia seeds are an excellent food source of high fiber. When eaten with other foods it creates a physical barrier between carbohydrates and the digestive enzymes that break them down. This slows the conversion of carbs into sugar encouraging a more steady release of energy by other food.
Chia also contains a high source of omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids and has twice the potassium of bananas. Chia seeds are hydrophilic. They absorb and retain 10-12 times their weight in water and hence are great for hydration retention. Omega-3 essential fatty acids help reduce inflammation, lower risk for heart disease, regulate hormones, neurological function, strengthen immunity and ensure communication between cells.
With 92 percent water, 8 percent sugar content, and all of 48 calories per cup, watermelons offer a lot more than we know about.
The amount of Lycopene and Phytonutrients found in watermelon is even more that’s found in tomatoes – making watermelons nature’s best source of Lycopene. This and other powerful antioxidants found in watermelons help preserve the youth and health of the body.
Watermelon juice also does wonders in boosting energy levels. The presence of B6, B1, magnesium and potassium in watermelon can give you as much as a 23% boost in energy. Watermelons also contain L-citrulline, a compound incorporated into many sports drinks. The L-citrulline in natural watermelon juice, however, was found to be more bioavailable than the drinks enriched with L-citrulline.
Watermelons also help in regulating blood sugar levels and in maintaining the body’s insulin secretion with the potassium and the magnesium present in it.
Lastly, another way to increase your daily intake of water is to eat water-rich foods, namely raw fruits and vegetables. Watermelon is high on this list, along with apples, peaches, strawberries, grapes, sugar snap peas and cucumber.
Yogurt processes more quickly than solid food, making it a great source of quick energy. Also, because of its high protein and calcium content, it stays in the stomach longer than carbohydrates and provides a steady source of energy. Yogurt also provides gut-healthy probiotics that aid digestion. The more efficient your body is in digesting your food, the more energy you will have for other things.
Though, for those with MS, I highly recommend not consuming yogurt made with milk. Instead, substitute for Coconut or Almond Milk Yogurt. It tastes just as good as regular yogurt and is so much better for you. Organic Yogurt is a healthy snack on-the-go, mix with some gluten-free granola and fresh fruit or add it to your morning or mid-day protein smoothie.. It’s satisfying, and gives you long lasting energy throughout the day.
5.Oatmeal (Rolled Oats-Gluten Free)
Oats, as a carbohydrate, spends the least amount of time in the stomach, which means you get a quick boost of energy. Although oatmeal isn’t particularly low on the glycemic index, the high dietary fiber content causes it to release sugar slowly. In fact many medical practitioners and nutritionists encourage oatmeal consumption because it helps maintain normal blood sugar levels.
Oats helps you feel full longer, preventing overeating throughout the day, which can lead to weight gain, sluggishness, and fatigue. Oatmeal is also perfect for fighting fatigue because it contains protein, magnesium, phosphorus, and vitamin b1 all nutrients that help boost energy levels.
Start your day off right – with an antioxidant breakfast. At least you know you are getting a good start, even if you can’t plan the rest of your day. Try whole oats like oatmeal/granola (gluten free) topped with nuts or seeds, or a cup of berries or sliced banana on your oatmeal.
Eggs provide a nutrient-dense source of energy. Egg yolks are naturally rich in B-vitamins, which are responsible for converting food into energy. People with B vitamins deficiency often suffer from chronic fatigue, mental problems, nervousness, lack of sleep and other problems. However; the yolk in eggs can also cause inflammation in those living with MS, and until you know if your not sensitive to eggs, I suggest doing the elimination diet to find out.
Eggs also contain the amino acid leucine which aids muscle growth and recovery. The protein in eggs gives sustained energy over a long period of time due to the fact that it doesn’t affect the blood sugar or insulin levels. Hard boiled eggs make a great healthy snack on-the-go.
7. Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are nutrient-dense foods packed with high-quality protein and healthy omega-3 fats. Nuts and seeds generally have decent amounts of manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, copper, riboflavin, vitamins B1, B2, B5, and B6 and tryptophan. These nutrients are involved in the production of energy, help fight muscle tiredness, counter emotional fatigue and promote sleep (which can ease physical weariness). They are also packed with high levels of Phytonutrients (“phyto” meaning “plant”). Phytonutrients represent the power to enhance health and restore wellness through adequate consumption of fruits, vegetables, healthy grains, and healing herbs in the diet.
But what makes nuts and seeds such potent weapons in the war against fatigue is that they’re a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. These healthy fats not only lower the glycemic index of foods but are a slow-burning fuel that provides long-lasting energy.
Nuts have been found to reduce the risk of becoming obese and aid in weight loss by slowing digestion, which results in a prolonged feeling of fullness. This prevents extra snacking that can lead to weight gain, a common contributor to fatigue.
Despite its extremely low caloric intake, spinach is one of the most iron-dense super-food sources on earth and packed with fatigue fighting nutrients like magnesium, potassium and supporting B vitamins. Iron is used by red blood cells to carry oxygen, a lack of which would lead to both physical and mental fatigue.
The Nutrition Powerhouse: Greens, but more particularly dark leafy greens, including spinach, broccoli, bok choy, collards, green cabbage, kale, nappa cabbage, mustard greens and watercress – are all brimming with vitamins A, C, E, and K. They are also chocked full of calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorous and zinc and all help with muscle weakness, fatigue and hundreds of other enzymatic reactions.
9. Green Tea
Not only is green tea loaded with antioxidants, but when it comes to fighting fatigue, green tea may even have a leg up on coffee. It has the amino acid theanine, which research has shown improves cognition, alertness and reaction time more effectively than caffeine alone..
Tea is considered a plant-based beverage and can be compared to fruits and vegetables on some levels. While you don’t consume any fiber drinking tea, the amounts of antioxidants and phytochemicals are comparable to that of green vegetables. One cup of green tea has more antioxidant power than a serving of broccoli, carrots or spinach! (Prevention, Aug 1998) And….drinking four cups of green tea may help prevent cancer.
Have you found certain foods that help you fight fatigue? I would love to hear from you. Drop your comments below .