It’s been a popular joke over the last year and a bit: the idea that, with everything that happened in 2020, it was not so much a year as an entire decade squeezed into 366 days. We can all sympathize with that concept – things seem to be much more tiring at present than they used to, and we could all do with a bit of a boost. And, like anything else in life, it is possible to get this boost from what we eat.
Below, we’ll look at the foods to prioritize when it comes to feeling more energized for longer. While the temptation is often going to be reaching for caffeinated drinks or sugary options to give us a turbo boost, there are some very good reasons why we should resist that temptation. We’ll talk about that in just a moment, but the priority here is to list the things that you should be eating, and fortunately, there is a lot of choice available.
Fruit and veg are often recommended as the healthiest snack foods, and their natural providence makes any fruit or veg a better pick-me-up option than a chocolate bar. However, bananas are the smartest choice: most fruits contain some amount of sugar, which isn’t metabolically beneficial. Bananas, from a nutritional point of view, contain lots of potassium, which is what your body uses to create slow-release energy. So you’ll be feeling as uplifted at 6pm as you were at breakfast, if you time things right.
Salmon and tuna
A recent study showed that in patients in treatment for, and in recovery from, cancer, levels of fatigue were reduced when patients ate fish that was rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. Two of the best choices in that regard were salmon and tuna. The beneficial effects of these foods extend beyond the subjects of that study, and whatever your personal health status you can benefit from fun easy recipes harnessing the Omega-3 and Vitamin B12 that is present in oily fish. Among the major benefits are increased red blood cell and iron production, which will make you feel stronger for longer.
Brown rice and/or pasta
It’s not uncommon to see athletes, particularly those in high-endurance events, tucking into platefuls of pasta, rice, or potatoes – and these are excellent options if you’re about to run a marathon or cycle 100 miles. However, the complex carbs in white pasta and rice make them tough to digest, and this will slow your body down rather than give a boost of energy when it’s needed. Swap these for the brown versions of your preferred pasta or rice, and their lower glycemic index (GI) will keep blood sugar levels regulated, meaning you should experience a steady release of energy all day long.
Why not high-caffeine and sugary drinks?
While many of us do get a pick-me-up from a tall, sugary coffee or a can of something aggressively fizzy, their effects are exceptionally short-term. The latter in particular have also been associated with serious health issues, so for the minor benefit they deliver up front, they take a lot away and are best avoided.
This is a contributed post