This blog is for you if you are prepared to consider that the culprit is probably your eating habits. There’s a compelling wealth of research that closely links the food we eat with our energy levels.
Simply, a few relatively easy tweaks will change the picture – especially now, when it should be winter but it’s so hot.
🍒 Power up with protein. Protein foods aren’t direct energy sources, but they boost levels of tyrosine – Supplementing with tyrosine is thought to increase levels of the neurotransmitters dopamine, adrenaline and norepinephrine. By increasing these neurotransmitters, it may help improve memory and performance in stressful situations. Protein sources include free range chicken (we have frozen free-range chickens from Nemvelo farms), lean meat (preferably grass-fed and hormone free – venison might be your best choice), and fish. Fish deserves a special mention because oily fish like salmon, sardines, pilchards and fresh tuna are high in Omega 3 fats, vital for brain power.
🍒 Magnify Magnesium. If you’re low in this mineral, you’ll feel depleted. Magnesium is the ignition that starts your body’s engine – it stimulates an enzyme that sparks the entire energy-making process. Leafy greens like spinach and kale are loaded with magnesium. Also include figs, avocado, banana and raspberries. Don’t neglect nuts, seeds and legumes (black beans, chickpeas and kidney beans). Vegetables high in magnesium include fresh peas, broccoli, cabbage, green beans, artichokes, asparagus, brussel sprouts. Here’s another great reason for getting some pelagic fish on the braai – salmon, mackerel & tuna are high in magnesium
🍒Friendly fats like avo, banana, coconut and nuts can add to the satiety of a meal and sustain energy for longer periods of time. MCT oil is extremely beneficial if your active or participating in endurance exercise.
🍒 Eat local seasonal fruits. Imported fruits have been sprayed to retard ripening during their long transport; artificially ripened fruits are poor providers of natural energy and antioxidants.
🍒Dilution is the Solution to Pollution. Water is crucial to almost every function in the body. Without it, we can’t absorb nutrients or eliminate toxins. If you’re even mildly dehydrated, your body will alert you with fatigue. The WHO recommends 30ml per kg of body weight, but use your common sense here – over drinking washes away precious minerals and can also leave you depleted.
🍒 Energy drinks are your Enemy! The concentrated level of sugar, caffeine, and other dodgy pick-me-up ingredients in these products can result in a boomerang effect of headache, sluggishness, and irritability when consumed in excess. Once you’re over the caffeine addiction, you might get the same benefit from a Kara Coconut water. If you’re depleted, a glassful of the delicious Nature’s Nutrition Superfood will set your energy up for the whole day
I have borrowed some of these ideas form Dr Ana Cabeca, and here’s her recipe for a Fatigue-fighting Superfood smoothie
Island Green Smoothie
1 cup mixed greens (or green smoothie mix from our freezer)
Juice of 1/2 a lime
Fresh ginger to taste, approximately 1cm
1/4 avocado, peeled
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1 tablespoon coconut or MCT oil (available in plain and vanilla)
1 1/2 cups water
1–2 tablespoons powdered maca (optional)
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
🍒MAKES 1 SERVING