Are afternoon energy slumps, groggy mornings and fatigue a daily struggle for you? The foods we eat dictate everything from our energy levels to our sleep cycles. You could be disadvantaging yourself if sugary cereals and highly processed foods are your meals of choice – here are the whole foods to put on your plate instead.
Eggs are high in healthy fats, iron and B vitamins – all of which play a role in our energy levels, along with helping keep our hormones regulated, another important aspect of hunger and sleep function. Eggs are rich in protein, packing in 30% of our daily needs in just one egg. This makes it an ideal satiating food, considering protein is a scientifically-backed energiser. Starting your day with a high-protein meal has been found to promote muscle health, support weight loss and manage our satiety hormones – meaning we’ll stay full between meals.
Avocado provides healthy monounsaturated fats, which studies have found help balance blood sugars and prevent insulin resistance. Healthy fats also keep us fuller for longer, especially a type known as medium chain triglycerides – these have been found to decrease appetite and curb sugar cravings.
Quinoa belongs to a group of foods that provide slow-release energy, also known as complex carbs. These carbs are less likely to spike blood sugar levels than their fast-release counterparts like rice white flour, they also provide more consistent energy through the day. They take longer to digest, therefore preventing blood-sugar spikes and keeping you fuller for longer.
With only 5% of us getting enough fibre – that slow-release nutrient that gives us energy and helps to balance blood sugars – it’s no wonder many of us fall prey to the 3 o’clock slump. 19 to 38 grams per day is the current daily intake recommendation, and just one cup of quinoa packs 5 grams of fibre.
Magnesium is another nutrient found in quinoa. It helps regulate blood sugar levels and intake has been found to decrease your type 2 diabetes risk by 22%.
Ghee, also known as clarified butter, contains greater amounts of omega 3 than other dairy products, and studies have shown that these fats can reduce inflammation and improve our gut health, in turn reducing the risk for autoimmune conditions and metabolic syndrome. Ghee also contains a range of other healthy fats, including linoleic acid, which researchers say helps with the fat loss process and appetite regulation.
Nuts and nut butters contain exceptional nutritional benefits, from omega 3s in walnuts to calcium in pistachios, you can’t go wrong. But these tiny, flavour-packed snacks are also one of the most satiating foods. Peanuts, for instance, are loaded with healthy fats, the kind that lower your cholesterol levels and improve your metabolism. They’re also packed with fibre, which, as we mentioned earlier, are the key to curbing cravings and giving you that long-lasting slow-release energy.
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