Tips & Foods for Avoiding Fatigue and Increasing Energy

BlogHer Original Post

Are you tired and sluggish all the time? If so, it could be something you're eating (or not eating). Knowing what foods can help keep your energy up might be just what you need to get through your busy day.

Before we talk about what food are best, lets take a quick look at what you should try to avoid...

Stay away from "quick-fix" foods that contain a lot of sugar or caffeine (like candy bars, soda, and coffee). Although these may give you a quick spike in your energy level, that energy will rapidly bottom out leaving you feeling even more lethargic.

Energy drinks are particularly bad because of their high levels of caffeine and sugar. Energy drinks may also cause...

  • Nervousness
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Rapid Heart Rate
  • Increased Blood Pressure

You can read more about the harmful effects of energy drinks at Body Ecology.

Consuming high levels of salt may also contribute to a sluggish feeling.

Those are the things you should avoid, now let's take a look at the foods with the most benefits. Try to focus on low-glycemic foods, because they release energy slowly. The best are foods high in complex carbohydrates and low in fat.

Whole Grains - These are high in fiber (which slow the breakdown and absorption of sugar) and complex carbohydrates, they also contain antioxidants similar to those in fruits and vegetables. In addition to increasing energy, whole grains are believed to reduce the risk of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. For the most benefit, try to eat 6 or more servings of whole grains per day.

Oatmeal is a whole grain that is also beneficial for its high source of soluble fiber.

Foods high in protein but low in fat will also help keep your energy up...

  • Salmon is high in protein, and is also high in omega-3 fats that can also boost your cardiovascular health.
  • Beans are packed with protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Dried fruit

Best fruits for increasing energy...

  • Bananas
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Apricots
  • Watermelon
  • Berries

Top vegetable for increasing energy...

  • Spinach
  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Yams

Great energy snacks...

  • Almonds
  • Peanut Butter
  • Soy Nuts
  • Trail Mix

Don't forget to drink plenty of water. Not only can dehydration lead to fatigue, but water also helps flush out toxins that can drain your energy.

Eating these high energy foods can have other benefits besides just reducing fatigue. When you avoid foods that cause fatigue and instead eat healthy high energy foods, you reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and possibly cancer. Eating these foods can also help you maintain a healthy weight. And don't forget that you are the role model for the children in your life, you can teach them by example how to make healthy food choices.

Also See:

Contributing Editor Catherine Morgan
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