Just about everyone needs a boost of energy from time to time. But consider this — reaching for that shot of caffeine isn’t necessarily your best choice, so sorry, but if you choose high energy food you will be healthier and more energetic. In fact, we know ways to naturally boost your energy when ‘tired’ seems to be your middle name. While it may surprise you, the actual energy-boosters are fresh fruits, vegetables, spices and whole grains. Because fruits and veggies naturally contain vitamins and minerals that fight off fatigue-causing toxins, natural fatigue remedies are not only healthier for us and more efficient than caffeine, chocolate, and other stimulants.
WHOLE GRAINS = An Energy Powerhouse
Rolled Grain Oats
Oats are an amazing reservoir of roughage and also offer a perfect mixture of both the two kinds of roughage – insoluble & soluble. Oatmeal also has an extremely low glycemic load, meaning this awesome grain has a virtually no effect on blood glucose. And oats are great for athletes because they can help to sustain anybody through even the most exacting workout. Add a small amount of fat like walnuts and a conservative amount of protein (like an egg) and you’re good to go!
Quinoa Cereal: The Grain Of The Aztecs
Quinoa is an extremely nutritious food that is actually a seed, but cooks up (and tastes just like) a grain. In fact, it’s darned delicious and probably my favorite so-called grain. Most folks don’t know that it provides a good deal of protein – not to mention that the amount and splendid quality in quinoa seed is frequently superior to that of our ‘usual suspects’ in the cereal and grain family, and the nutritive value of this crop is comparable to that of dried whole milk. It is as versatile as rice, and much, MUCH healthier for us, especially as compared to white rice. Quinoa has a lower amount of sodium and offers us more of such vital nutrients as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, copper, manganese, iron, and zinc than wheat, barley, or corn.
Beans and Legumes:
Beans are one of the best sources of roughage on the planet. Almost none of us get anywhere near enough fiber to keep our ‘innerds’ happy. Fiber protects us in ways that likely haven’t been totally comprehended, but by now we’ve discovered that high-fiber foods are associated with a lower risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Overall a modest serving of almost any cooked beans will offer up anywhere from 11 to 17 grams of roughage. That’s absolutely amazing! Just one serving of cooked beans a day can lower your total cholesterol by up to 10% in a mere six weeks. Also beans, beans are the very best low-glycemic food, since their very high fiber content signifies they raise blood sugar very, very slowly which is a huge advantage for athletic endurance. To make them even more desirable, beans are rich in antioxidants and are a good source of protein, generally containing a gigantic 15 grams for each and every cup.
Chickpeas Or Garbanzo Beans:
Garbanzos, alias chickpeas, are members of a food group known as ‘pulses’ or ‘legumes’, which also includes lentils of all colors, green peas and many kinds of beans. Eating more legumes is almost guaranteed to scale down the danger of coronary heart disease due to their elevated fiber content. Fiber can also lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce the absorption of sugar, a consideration which is enormously important both for people with diabetes and for those with blood sugar challenges (metabolic syndrome). Chickpeas provide both magnesium & calcium in a wholesome one-to-one ratio, plus a critical amount of folate, and a massive amount of heart-healthy potassium (477 grams per cup!). They also offer the knockout antioxidant selenium. All this, plus two ounces of protein.
Peas are actually legumes that developed in ancient Asia. There are more than a impressive 1,000 varieties of garden peas, the most familiar of which are the ‘common’ and familiar green pea that we usually find frozen in the supermarket. Peas are a little high in sugar as legumes (or vegetables) go, but that’s balanced by the fact that four ounces of cooked peas has 5 1/2 grams of fiber. Dried peas don’t retain their shape like fresh and frozen green peas do, and their taste a little more earthy than the sweeter fresh ones. They’re best when utilized in purees, soups, and dishes that must have some thickening.
Lentils are humble, disk-shaped brown, red or green legumes that mature on an annual bush like plant and they are native to Asia. They are dehydrated as soon as they ripen. There are at least 50 varieties, and they’re [fortunately] different from beans in that they don’t contain sulfur so we humans have no difficulties with belching. Their best characteristic is that they’re filled with fiber, so they help to reduce cholesterol and control blood sugar. A cup of lentils contains a substantial amount of protein – about 18 grams – as well as a monstrous 16 grams of fiber, both of which are important for athletes. Note: unlike beans, lentils need no presoaking and can be ready to chow down on in a mere 20-30 minutes, unlike beans which require much more cooking time.
HERBS, SPICES & CONDIMENTS
The “Common” Cinnamon Herb
Cinnamon contains phytochemicals [potent natural plant medicines] called “chalcone polymers” that increase glucose metabolism in the cells, thus giving this “ordinary” spice an a phenomenal ability to impact blood sugar. In addition, cinnamon contains “anthocyanin”, which dramatically help with capillary functions, as well as phytochemicals which help to withstand candida, the proliferation of yeast in the system that causes so many problems for so many unhappy women. Cinnamon is also really good for digestive difficulties and it perhaps may reduce blood pressure, making it the perfect anti-aging spice.
The Benefits Of Garlic:
Garlic is one of the oldest medicinal foods on the planet. Garlic is recognized even by conventional, traditional medicine as an agent for reducing cholesterol. It also helps lower triglycerides, trims plaque, and reduces the risk of blood clots. Garlic also has anticancer properties and can even help fight the common cold. And new research demonstrates that garlic might be a weapon for weight control! The reason for the brilliant wide mixed bag of health benefits of garlic is a component of garlic named allicin, which is brought out when the plant is mashed. Allicin starts to degrade as soon as it’s produced, so the fresher the better. Garlic researchers counsel crushing a little raw garlic and immediately mixing it with the cooked food right before dishing it up.
An important point: microwaving completely destroys allicin. Sorry all you microwave lovers.
The Ginger Herb: Good For More Than Cookies
For thousands of years the Indian system of medicine, known as Ayurveda, has revered ginger as the “universal remedy.” And no wonder. The gentle ginger plant contains an entire pharmacy of ingredients with incredibly potent wellness benefits. Lots of folks interested in natural health are already aware of ginger’s astonishing power to comfort a nauseated stomach. Ginger aids pregnant women who are battling morning sickness, and by inducing saliva, it may also help digestion.
The Fascinating Tumeric Spice:
Tumeric is often justly called a “super-spice”, not only for the almost encyclopedic number of health gains, but also for the taste! It is a important anti-inflammatory, well-known for easing arthritis and joint inflammation [including carpal tunnel syndrome]. Even more impressive, there are a minimum of 30 published studies proving that the active ingredient in turmeric, “curcumin”, has an antitumor effect. Curcumin also has a positive effect on cholesterol and has powerful antioxidant properties. Curcumin loves the liver, making it important medicine for folks with variable liver ills, including hepatitis.
Hopefully, at least a reader or two will choose a high energy FOOD, rather than reaching for the Snickers bar and the coke next time you’re tired. Yeah, yeah, you will get a quick rush with the sugary garbage – but your energy won’t last and the descent will be equally rapid. All you’ll get is unbalanced blood sugar, more calories and a load of toxins. Is it really worth it?