Getting older doesn’t mean you completely lose your mojo. You can boost your energy through diet, exercise and of course rest.
The energy we get comes from the food we eat which is in the form of calories but just because you eat enough food doesn’t always mean you feel full energised during the day. Some foods can impact on blood sugar levels which can leave you susceptible to energy highs and lows especially after eating sugary snacks. The quality of your diet also counts as certain nutrients are required for energy metabolism in the body while poor intakes of others can result in low mood and even depression. Other lifestyle factors also have a role to play in how energised we feel and that includes our ability to sleep well.
Here are ten simple habit changes you can use to try and boost your energy levels.
Establish a regular eating pattern
Try and avoid erratic eating patterns such as skipping meals or relying too much on snacking
Establishing regular mealtimes will help you to maintain a steady supply of energy across the day. Don’t feel you need to conform to traditional mealtimes just try to spread your meals out evenly during the day to avoid hunger pangs which could lead to unhealthy snacking.
Choose foods in their most natural state
Aim to get eat highly nutrient dense foods so you get the most out of your mealtimes as every mouthful offers a rich supply of nutrients. Foods such as beans, pulses, lentils and wholegrains are a great base for meat, fish, tofu and vegetables to create a nourishing meal. You don’t have to cook from scratch and if you’re using ready-made sauces or meals then just think about what else you can add to pimp your dish such as a handful of frozen or fresh veggies, nuts (almonds) or seeds or serving of salad or vegetables.
Focus on staying full
Choosing foods such as those high in fibre (wholegrains, beans, nuts), protein (meat, fish, tofu) and healthy fats (nuts, seeds, avocado, olive oil) can help to keep you feeling full and energised between meals. These foods will also ensure a good supply of nutrients associated with energy metabolism in the body such as B vitamins and magnesium.
Choose healthy snacks to boost your energy
Some people need more food across the day or prefer to eat little and often. Snacking is a useful way to boost your energy between meals if you feel hungry or after a workout. Healthy snacks include yoghurt, hummus and chopped vegetables or nuts and seeds. High protein snacks (lean meat, eggs, yoghurt) are a good way to stave of hunger while carbohydrates (banana, oat bar, breakfast cereal) can offer a quick burst of energy when needed.
Avoid the downers
Some foods and drinks do your energy levels few favours and this includes sugar and alcohol. Try to wean yourself of sugar by switching confectionary for fresh or dried fruit or swapping sugar in your coffee for sweet spices such as cinnamon. Alcohol does little for your mood or your waistline so watch how much you’re drinking. You don’t need to avoid completely but try to cut back as every little counts when it comes to how energised you feel.
Get your circadian rhythm back on track
Sleep obviously has a key role to play when it comes to daytime energy levels. Try to apply good sleep hygiene methods to your nighty sleep ritual such as taking a bath, drinking herbal teas or ensuring your bedding and mattress are in a good state. Also try to establish a set pattern of sleep by going to bed the same time every night and waking up the same time every morning to get your circadian rhythm back in sync. Failing to do so will undermine any efforts to boost your energy throughout the day.
Explore the magic of magnesium
Magnesium is used by the body for many different reasons which include the conversion of food into energy. This mineral is also useful to relieve anxiety which may be disturbing y9our sleep patterns. Stress can also deplete the body of magnesium. Try to include foods such as dark green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds to your diet and you may also want to consider a supplement such as Healthspan Opti-magnesium (£8.95 for 90 tablets).
Get a good supply of B vitamins in your diet
This group of vitamins help the body to convert food into energy. Intakes of B vitamins amongst adults in the UK are normally pretty good but they are more rapidly repleted when under stress. Low levels of B12 can be an issue for vegans so a supplement may be useful for those following this diet. Foods particularly rich in B vitamins include wholegrains (brown rice, oats, barley), dark green leafy vegetables, beans, pulses and lentils.
Make sure you have enough iron in your diet
Iron is essential for the production of red blood cells which transport oxygen and nutrients around the body. Low levels of iron have been shown to be an issue for women according to the UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey. You can boost your iron intake with foods such as red meat, beans, pulses, lentils, tofu, nuts and seeds. You can increase the absorption of iron from plant foods by teaming with a source of vitamin C found in foods such as berries, citrus fruits and broccoli. Avoiding drinking tea with iron foods can also help improve the absorption of this mineral.
Low energy levels can seriously impact on day-to-day life so try adopting some of these simple strategies to keep you full energised.
If you want to boost your energy through healthy eating and positive living visit our Nutrition channel.Last modified: June 18, 2021