It’s no secret that eating a well-balanced diet benefits the body in many ways. When you provide the body with the right fuel, i.e. nutrient-dense foods, it can run more efficiently. You wouldn’t put low-level gasoline in a high-performance race car, would you? The human body is the ultimate race car that deserves the best possible fuel to run smoothly without becoming sluggish.
The foods you put in your body directly influence how it performs. What you eat can impact your overall energy levels, which explains why you can experience fatigue or sluggishness after specific meals. The body uses all of its energy to digest those heavy foods, and minimal fuel is left to power the body. As a result, people reach for sugary or caffeinated beverages to give them jolts of energy. They lack nutrition and can have long-lasting effects that impair sleep and blood glucose levels.
There are better options to help the body avoid sluggishness or fatigue. Stay alert and awake when you eat the foods that are detailed below.
Bananas receive praise for their potassium content, but they are also great sources of fiber and complex carbohydrates. The duo of fiber and carbohydrates helps to provide the body with long-lasting energy. A small study found that cyclists who ate bananas before biking performed equally to cyclists who drank sports drinks during a 47-mile ride.
Whether you consume a large bowl of oatmeal or incorporate oats into a smoothie, oats offer a healthy dose of fiber and small amount of protein. It’s easy to experience blood sugar highs and lows after eating processed breakfast cereals. This is not the case with oats, so long as you go for real oats and not the processed, sugary oatmeal packets.
Nuts & Seeds
The great thing about nuts and seeds is that they offer protein, fiber, and essential fatty acids. Chia seeds, almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, hazelnuts, and macadamia nuts are great options. The combination of protein and fat helps the body feel full, which can enhance energy levels. When you choose nuts or seeds, though, opt for raw unsalted versions because they are the most nutritious. Chili lime cashews, honey roasted almonds, or candied pecans contain processed ingredients and excess sugars, which can induce fatigue.
It seems like kale is good for everything, and rightly so! Kale offers an array of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which assist with various bodily functions. Kale also happens to be an excellent source of iron. Red blood cells contain iron, which the body needs to transport oxygen throughout the body. The iron energizes cells and lacking in this mineral can cause a person to experience fatigue.
When the body experiences dehydration, the most common symptom is fatigue or dizziness. Research on watermelons confirms that they are 92% water and provide a variety of nutrients, including vitamins A & C. Eating water rich foods like watermelon, cucumber, and tomatoes can help hydrate the body to avoid fatigue from dehydration.
As a part two to the above point about hydration, drinking enough water can help facilitate the energetic processes in the body. Water doesn’t directly give you energy, but it does encourage the processes that make you feel energized. Sip on water throughout the day instead of sodas, sugary drinks, and coffee to help you feel better overall.
Unprocessed foods are all of the foods that are detailed in this article. Focusing on whole foods versus processed foods will help you sustain energy levels and avoid fatigue. Processed foods, which come in packages, boxes, or cans, contain additives, sodium, trans fats, artificial ingredients, and preservatives that slow you down.