5 Tips for Natural Energy Through Food
Veria Living Host and Nutritionist Peggy K Shares Her Advice on Upping Your Energy
01/30/2013 | 10:03 AM
Whether it’s first thing in the morning, or the mid-afternoon slump, a little more energy is something we have all craved at some time or another. Here are some tips to give you more pep in your step:
1. Drink Water
The most common cause of fatigue is dehydration! If there is not enough fluid in your body, blood volume can drop. As a result, your body (and heart) must work harder in order to supply your cells with oxygen and nutrients. And, if your body is working so hard on the inside, what do you think happens to physical and mental energy levels? Poor hydration results in mental fogginess, poor short-term memory, dizziness and fatigue. Rule of thumb: drink half your body weight in ounces each day.
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2. Eat Greens
One of the key benefits of greens is their rich chlorophyll content. Chlorophyll increases the number of red blood cells in your body, which help deliver oxygen to your cells. The more oxygen to your cells, the more nutrients will be absorbed and the more energy you will have. Chlorella (a green algae) is the highest concentrated source of chlorophyll on the plant. Sea veggies (such as Nori, kelp and dulse), Sprouts and dark leafy greens (kale, spinach and collards) are all excellent sources of chlorophyll.
3. Up Your Iron with Beans & Legumes
Iron deficiency is a significant cause of fatigue, low energy and anemia, especially in pre-menopausal women. Without enough iron, your body can't produce enough hemoglobin, which is a type of protein in red blood cells that enables them to carry oxygen throughout your body, giving it energy. Pairing plant-based sources of iron with foods rich in vitamin C, such as red peppers, parsley, black currents and strawberries helps to increase iron absorption.
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4. Go Nuts! As in Almonds
Almonds are an amazing energy boosting food. Not only are they high in fiber, fat and protein, which stabilize blood sugar levels and provide long-lasting energy, but they are also high in the amino acid tyrosine. Tyrosine is the precursor to dopamine production—the neurotransmitter responsible for energy, drive, motivation, reward, and pleasure. It’s what gives us that “get up and go!” Almonds are also rich in B vitamins which are our energy-boosting and stress-busting vitamins.
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5. Bring a Banana
This portable, easy-to-eat treat is your energy-boosting companion. Bananas provide a quick, effective form of fuel due to their rich carbohydrate content. Bananas (like almonds) are also high in energy boosting B vitamins, but they are also an excellent source of potassium. Potassium is an important electrolyte that provides cellular energy. When our body is depleted of potassium, that’s when the onset of fatigue and dehydration kicks in.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Peggy Kotsopoulos is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Health Educator, and Culinary Consultant focused on teaching REAL health through lifestyle and dietary choices that are easy and delicious. Originally working in investments in Toronto, Canada, Peggy found her true passion for nutrition and healthy eating by bringing her own guilt-free goodies to corporate meetings as an alternative to bagels and danishes. As colleagues and clients became intrigued, Peggy started leading seminars and founded a company-wide corporate wellness program. Seven years later, Peggy followed her passion to the United States where she became certified as a Health Educator, and graduated from Living Light Culinary Arts Institute in California. She is the founder of beVibrant consulting in Toronto, where she develops wellness programs for large corporate clients, schools, and food establishments. Peggy is the host of Veria Living's show "Peggy K's Kitchen Cures," and has been featured in major publications including Fitness Magazine, Shape and Yahoo! Shine.