Boost Your Energy Naturally
Check your Iron Levels
Low energy, muscle weakness, fatigue and irritability are common symptoms of iron deficiency anaemia. Iron has an immense influence on our energy levels as it transports oxygen through the blood stream. Low supplies send your energy levels plummeting, which can affect your mood and put pressure on your immune system. Your diet, certain medications, how much you exercise, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and whether you are regularly losing blood through heavy periods or illness are all factors that can affect your iron levels. The best food sources of iron are red meat, legumes, nuts and seeds, leafy greens, and spirulina. Consume these foods with others that are rich in vitamin C to boost your absorption of iron.
Boost your B Vitamins
Join the B team! B Vitamins are critical for energy production – helping to fuel the body with carbohydrates, protein and fats. Alcohol consumption, medications (such as the oral contraceptive pill), excessive coffee consumption and food processing can all affect your B vitamin status. To make sure you are getting enough – consume foods such as wholegrains, legumes, meat, poultry, salmon, eggs, milk and green leafy vegetables. Under stress or taking medication that may be effecting your levels? The best option is to take a B-vitamin complex that includes all the B vitamins.
Sleep is essential for good health and vitality. How much do we really need? Studies have shown sleeping somewhere between 7-9 hours per night is optimal. During sleep cells produce and release proteins essential for growth and tissue repair. This release occurs mostly, or in some cases only, during sleep. Lack of sleep not only causes fatigue, but also poor concentration, mood swings and weakened immune function.
Consume a low GI diet, with adequate protein. Certain carbohydrates are digested quickly, which in turn produces a quick delivery of glucose to the blood. These are more commonly named as refined carbohydrates and are found in sugar, processed foods, and white bread. These foods can give us an energy dip that typically occurs after eating quickly absorbed sugars. Complex carbohydrates exert the opposite effect; they are digested slowly and keep blood glucose levels at a constant level (keeping energy and mood nice and stable!). Your diet should include more of the complex carbohydrates, such as brown rice, legumes and vegetables and less of the simple carbohydrates such as sugar, processed foods, white bread etc. By choosing low GI foods, you will have more sustained energy, steady moods, better appetite control and weight control.
Regular exercise can improve your muscle strength and boost endurance. Exercise and physical activity deliver oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and help your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. And when your heart and lungs work more efficiently, you have more energy. And exercising causes your body to release epinephrine and norepinephrine (a.k.a adrenaline and noradrenaline); stress hormones, that in modest amounts can make you feel energised. Even a brisk walk is a good start.