Earning money, spending time with family and having some personal ‘me’ time is responsible for lack of sleep, excessive stress and less time. What you should remember is that even if you are busy, a healthy diet must be maintained, this ensures that your body gets the energy to fight the daily stress and fatigue of life.
Energy and Diet: How The Body Turns Food Into Fuel
Our energy comes from the food that we eat and the liquids we drink. Nutrients that are responsible for energy are carbohydrates, protein, and fats. Carbohydrates are an important source. Protein and fats can be used when carbs are used up. On consumption, nutrients are further broken down into smaller components and absorbed, later they are used as energy to fuel our bodies. This process is known as metabolism.
Carbohydrates can be categorized as simple and complex, and both are converted to sugar (glucose). The sugar is broken in the blood and this is used by the blood cells to provide energy.
Energy and Diet: Best Foods for Sustained Energy
Complex carbohydrates such as high-fiber cereals like oats, whole-grain breads and pastas, dried beans, and starchy vegetables like Potato are the best type of foods for continuous energy because they are digested slowly due to the presence of fiber. Complex carbs also keep our bodies’ sugar level in control, which in turn causes the pancreas to produce less insulin. This gives us a feeling of satiety.
Proteins like chicken, fish, beans etc… and a moderate amount of healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats like nuts, and certain oils are important in a nutritious diet. Adequate fluids are important for sustaining energy. Water is essential for absorption, digestion and the transport of nutrients for energy. Dehydration can cause a lack of energy. The average person needs to drink six to eight glasses of water every day.
Energy and Diet: Foods to Avoid
Simple carbohydrates should be consumed in control. Ranging from chocolates and cookies to sugary beverages and juices, simple carbs are broken down and absorbed quickly by the body. This leads to an initial burst of energy for some time, but the digestion is so quick that it can lead to a person feeling drowsy.
Alcohol and caffeine should also be avoided. Alcohol is a depressant and reduces energy levels whereas caffeine provides an initial burst of energy, followed by a crash.
Energy and Diet: Scheduling Meals for Sustained Energy
We should have three meals and three snacks a day. The idea is to eat at intervals but in sufficient amounts and skipping of meals should be avoided. It is important that a wholesome meal should be consumed with food items from different categories.