Need more energy? Skip the sugar-add some protein.
To ensure you have good energy levels throughout hectic days, consider your protein intake? Protein is very important for growth and repair, maintenance of fluid balance and to strengthen the immune system. Protein is especially important when you are sick or if you are recovering from an illness. Involuntary weight loss after illness or surgery may affect wound healing and recovery. If your nutritional status is not optimal, wounds may take longer to heal and you may be at higher risk for infections and complications.
Lean meat, poultry, fish, dry beans and peas, eggs, nuts, and seeds supply many nutrients. These include protein, B vitamins (niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, and B6), vitamin E, iron, zinc, and magnesium. B vitamins found in this food group serve a variety of functions in the body. They help the body release energy, play a vital role in the function of the nervous system, aid in the formation of red blood cells, and help build tissues.
Iron is used to carry oxygen in the blood helping to avoid iron-deficiency anemia leading to low energy levels. Try including high in heme-iron (meats) or eat other non-heme iron containing foods along with a food rich in vitamin C, which can improve absorption of non-heme iron.
Magnesium is used in building bones and in releasing energy from muscles and zinc is necessary for biochemical reactions and helps the immune system function properly.
More tips? Avoid the energy roller coaster by replacing refined and simple sugars with healthy forms of carbohydrates, such as fruits and whole grains. Eat smaller meals throughout the day and drink lots of fresh water.
Kimberly Young, M.S. is a practicing Nutritionist in Dallas, Texas. Learn about her integrative and functional approach to diet and nutrition at kyoungnutrition.com