In today’s society many people look to boost their energy with a quick fix by choosing things like energy drinks, sugary drinks and caffeine. These choices can provide a short-term boost but will ultimately cause the body to crash and can also create long-term negative effects.
When it comes to our health there are no quick fixes. We must commit to a consistent approach when taking care of our body and mind. When we choose to eat “superfoods” we can make a positive impact on our overall health because these foods contain high levels of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. These foods also can help to improve energy levels, enhance our mood, regulate sugar levels and increase metabolism.
Here are “superfood” options to choose from that can enhance energy levels:
- Blueberries, strawberries and cranberries are packed with vitamins.
- Bananas can slow digestion and are filled with potassium and vitamin B.
- Oatmeal, whole wheat bread and brown rice can help maintain healthy blood sugar levels. These foods are digested more slowly which can help keep energy levels more stable.
- Romaine lettuce, spinach, broccoli and arugula. These foods are high in folate, a mood-enhancing nutrient that has been linked to lowering depression.
- Salmon, turkey, grilled chicken. These protein rich foods can help repair muscles and strengthen bones.
- Almonds and walnuts are loaded with nutrients to help improve energy levels. They also contain unsaturated fatty acids that can help lower LDL (bad cholesterol levels).
- Sweet potatoes taste good and are inexpensive. They are filled with vitamins and are naturally sweet. The natural sugars are released slowly into the bloodstream to create a balanced source of energy.
In addition to choosing healthy foods we must also take care of our mind. Calming the mind and clearing it of stress and clutter is vital to energy levels. Below is a short 5-minute ritual to practice when first waking up and /or before bedtime.
Proper breathing can help reduce stress levels and improve energy levels, which is why I included breathing into this ritual.
- Find a quiet spot where you will not be interrupted and can sit comfortably. Keep your back straight to allow for deep breathing.
- Close your eyes and relax your body. Start at your feet and focus on relaxing each area of your body until you get to your head. Ex. Feet, calves, thighs, stomach, arms, shoulders, neck and jaw. Be sure to inhale and exhale slowly.
- Once you are fully relaxed, focus on your breath and begin to quiet your mind. If a thought arises, acknowledge it and then let it go. It is normal for thoughts to pop in, just refocus on your breathing and continue. The longer you practice the better you will become at clearing your mind. After a few weeks you will find it much easier and you will notice energy levels have improved.
While choosing a healthy food selection and calming the mind is important, don’t forget to include some type of exercise or movement to keep muscles and bones strong. Lastly, be sure to get adequate rest to allow the body and mind to properly recover from the daily demands.
Note: Please consult with your doctor before starting any new exercise or nutrition program.