“Can’t decide if I need a hug, an XL coffee, six shots of vodka or two weeks of sleep.”
FOOD AS WORKDAY FUEL
Do you ever feel tired during the day? Do you find yourself wishing it was 5 o’clock around noon? Do your eyes begin to close during meetings? We all know the feeling. The good news is that there are foods we can consume that will naturally boost our energy levels and keep us feeling alert all day. Try these foods to up your energy for a productive and crash-free day:
Coconut oil. Coconut oil contains medium chain triglyceride fatty acids (MTCs) that are easily digested. These fatty acids help your body burn fat for energy in a quick 3-step process — compared with a 20+ step process for other oils such as olive oil. An easy way to incorporate coconut oil into your work life is to add it to a smoothie and drink before your day begins or to cook something delicious the night before work using coconut oil and pack it for lunch. Coconut oil is great in stir fries, soups and salad dressings.
Green leafy vegetables. We should add these to our diets if we want energy. Some examples include spinach and kale; they are loaded with chlorophyll known for giving plants their green color. Being alkaline, they help reduce acidity in our bodies which has been shown to lower energy levels. These green veggies are also packed with magnesium which is involved in energy production.
Chia seeds. Also known as ‘warrior food’ or ‘runner food,’ these seeds are packed with protein and omega 3 fatty acids. Impressively your body can turn these fatty acids into energy. Triathletes are known to snack on coconut oil blended with chia seeds and raw honey while they are training. If you can’t see yourself eating that blend at work, try sprinkling chia seeds over salad, into sandwiches, or adding a tablespoon to your breakfast oatmeal.
Fruit. Glorious fruit. In moderation, fruit will raise our energy levels because of the fructose content (sugar is fuel!). The daily recommended intake of fruit is 1 ½ to 2 cups, depending on your age (if you are diabetic, the rules are different). One cup of blueberries at breakfast (over cold or hot cereal or in a protein smoothie) and a banana at lunch and you’re done . Fruit is full of simple carbohydrates (again, sugar) which goes right from your gut into your bloodstream and gives you energy unlike complex carbohydrates such as pasta which take a while to be converted into energy. Be careful though, too much fruit will zap your energy levels as your body will have a sugar overload, so keep your portions in check. Some fruits, such as bananas, mango, papaya, and blueberries contain the mineral potassium which helps hydrate your entire body — important because dehydration causes lethargy and weakness.
Adaptogens. These are herbs that help your body better deal with stress. They have also been known to help with thyroid issues, adrenal fatigue, and other conditions related to low energy. Some to try are; ashwagandha, rhodiola, and ginseng.
Research shows that the type and quantity of food we eat plays an essential role in determining our energy levels throughout the day. So, if you’re looking for ways to boost your energy at work, without reaching for that ninth cup of coffee, incorporating ‘fuel foods’ into your work day diet is a great place to start.
This article is for informational purposes only, even if and to the extent that it features the advice of physicians and medical practitioners. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.