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Increase Your Energy Levels by Eating the Right Foods

Posted by SoundHealth on Wednesday, March 09, 2011
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If you're feeling tired all the time, a few simple changes to your eating habits could boost your energy levels and increase your vitality. Eating the right amounts of different foods, and keeping to a healthy, balanced diet is the key to tackling your fatigue. Here are a few simple dietary tips to keep you alert and full of energy.

Eat Complex carbohydrates

Complex carbohydrates provide slow-releasing energy. Foods like wholegrain cereals, brown rice, pulses and fresh fruit and vegetables keep you feeling full for longer than if you eat sugary foods, or refined carbohydrates like white bread, cakes and biscuits. These foods are highly processed, refined and lacking in their natural fiber therefore, once eaten, they are broken down very quickly causing blood sugar levels to surge. These surges are then followed by a sudden drop leaving you feeling tired, lethargic and lacking in concentration. Complex carbohydrates, on the other hand, release their sugars into the bloodstream at a more constant pace throughout the day.

Bump Up Your iron Levels

Women, in particular have an inadequate intake of iron and iron deficiency can cause a feeling of permanent lethargy, and a lack in motivation and concentration. Eating more iron-rich foods is one of the most significant energy-boosting moves you can make. This is because iron is essential in transporting oxygen via red blood cells to wherever it's needed in the body and without oxygen it's impossible to create energy.

Good sources of iron include liver, lean red meats, fish and shellfish, beans, lentils and green leafy vegetables.

Eat Regular Meals

Eating a light breakfast, a hurried lunch, and a huge evening meal is the least energy-efficient eating schedule. Instead, eat a good sized breakfast, a moderate lunch and supper, and add in a mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack such as a piece of fruit or a handful of mixed nuts and seeds.

Eating little and often is a great way to prevent tiredness as it provides your body with energy as and when it needs it throughout the day. Also, regular small meals help to keep your metabolic rate up - your metabolic rate is a measure of how quickly your cells are converting food into energy. Each time you eat, your metabolic rate increases approximately 10 per cent. This is even more marked after eating a meal rich in carbohydrate and protein.

Get Active

Getting active may be the last thing you feel like doing when you're feeling tired and run down but exercise is a great way to build energy. This is because, the fitter you are the more efficient your heart and lungs will be at getting oxygen into and around your body - and the more oxygen you can take in and utilize the more energy you can create So do some form of cardiovascular exercise whether it's cycling, swimming, running or walking for at least 30 minutes five times a week.

Drink More water

Drinking lots tea or coffee throughout the day will not only impair your body's ability to sleep and absorb essential energy producing vitamins and minerals, but they can also leave you dehydrated too. Dehydration results in reduced blood volume which ultimately means your ability to transport all the essential ingredients for energy such as blood sugars (glucose), iron, and oxygen around your body is greatly reduced leaving you feeling tired, heavy and listless.

Instead, drink plain water to re-hydrate your body and to keep energy levels up. Water is by far the most abundant nutrient in our bodies, so keeping well hydrated will ensure that your cells and enzymes have enough water to function properly and at optimum levels.

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