Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Eat for energy!

Ever felt energy levels dipping just halfway through work. The mind goes on a jaunt and work seems to be a big blur? One would look for quick fix solution in a cup of coffee or find solace in sugary treat. But wait! There could be a greater link between your food and energy levels. Trace back your eating pattern to get to the missing link.
  • Skipped meals?                                                                                                          
  • A harried schedule or a battle with the bulge - whatever the reason skipping meals could be the main cause for the energy levels to dip. Go with little or no food for long periods and the blood sugars required to provide energy to all the cells, plummets. A good fibre rich breakfast could fuel your muscles and brain throughout the day. Besides this, opt for small but frequent meals.
  • A vital drink – water:                                                                                           
  •  Many would give this essential nutrient a skip. It’s something the body relies on to throw out the toxins, absorb nutrients and to keep it fresh and hydrated. While plain water would be the best choice, juices could also be counted as fluid intake. Coffee, tea, alcohol and aerated drinks are more harmful than helpful since they can dehydrate the body.
  • Iron out the diet:                                                                                                       
  •   A deficiency of iron in the diet causes anemia. Iron is a nutrient used by the blood cells to carry oxygen to all the cells. When the cells are deprived of it the result is chronic fatigue like conditions. There are plenty of options to get the nutrient: soya beans, dried dates, pulses, green leafy vegetables, garden cress seeds besides meats. Make sure there is a wedge of lemon on the plate since Vitamin C in it helps to improve the absorption of iron.
  • Vitamin B in your plate:                                                                                         
  •   Vitamin B is involved in the process of metabolism and helps to derive energy from the food that is eaten. A deficiency of Vitamin B12 and Folate results in a type of anemia that can affect work output too. Getting these nutrients should be fairly easy since they are found in whole cereal grains, pulses, nuts and seeds, milk, eggs, fish and green leafy vegetables.
  • Smart snacks:                                                                                                           
  •   A balanced diet does make use of snacks in between the main meals. Nibbling on fried foods would not do much to perk up the energy levels. Some of the ‘pick-me-up’ foods would include fruits like banana, nuts, plain popcorn, cereal flakes, whole wheat bread sandwich and milkshakes.
  • Build up the energy levels throughout the day:                                                       
  • Sugary snacks, such as a piece of cake would be hard to resist! Occasional indulgence would not harm. However choosing foods that are sugar laden or are made with refined carbohydrates (maida) regularly would cause a rapid rise in blood sugar levels giving an initial burst of energy. But soon it goes into a nosedive and you are back with the jaded feeling.  Choose fibre rich foods that release glucose slowly to keep the energy levels at top all the time.  What’s the good choice? Fruits like apples, watermelon, cereals like broken wheat or dalia, ragi, steamed preparations like dhoklas, idlis, rice cakes etc.

No comments:

Post a Comment