Friday, April 27, 2012

5 Clean Foods You Should Be Eating Daily For Higher Energy Levels

     Eating Clean naturally gives your body a boost of energy - you are powering the machinery of your body with "high test" good quality fuel. Of course it will run at peak efficiency and performance. But do you ever find yourself tired mid-afternoon?  Everything is about balance - eating the right foods at the right times to lift your physical and mental processes above and beyond where you are now.

 Try incorporating these 5 Clean foods into your diet on a regular, if not daily basis.

1. Citrus

 Citrus is loaded with Vitamin C which your body needs to make a compound called carnitine. Carnitine shuttles fats in to the muscles where it can be used for energy - and when you use fats for fuel instead of glucose ( sugar! ), you can exercise for longer periods of time without feeling overly fatigued. A win-win all around!  Try adding lemon or lime juice to salad dressings you make, add them to your water or tea, or top salads and cereal with mandarin or clementine sections.

2. Oatmeal ( Steel cut or Regular )

 Whole grains are loaded with stress reducing B vitamins and soluble fibers ( the kind your body can digest! ) to offer more sustained energy than the refined grains in cold cereal or white bread toast. Oatmeal breaks down into the type of energy you actually can use in your body, If you don't need the carbs in oatmeal right away, your body will store up to 400 calories of the excess in your liver as glycogen, a molecule that acts like an energy reserve. Huh - a fun fact! Try eating oatmeal a few times a week with apples, cinnamon, and almond slivers.

3. Eggs

 Eggs have gotten a bad rap for a long time due to their high cholesterol content. However, they consistently outrank milk, beef, whey, and soy in terms of their protein quality. Make sure to eat the yolk, too - it is high in choline, a nutrient show to be critical in memory and thought processing. ( Perhaps I need to swim in a sea of egg yolks... ) Every weekend, boil a dozen eggs so they are ready to be popped into lunch bags, or incorporated into mid-afternoon mini-meals.

4. Tea

Sipping a caffeinated tea throughout the day can help you think more clearly, and according to the newest research, tea drinkers have the lowest risks of age-related dementia. When paired with caffeine, the L-theanine in tea increases alertness, reaction time, and memory far more than coffee.If you find yourself flagging while at work or having trouble focusing, reach for a tea bag.

5. Yogurt

The combination of protein and calcium in yogurt not only helps with focus, but it keeps you strong by maintaining muscle mass and many studies conclude yogurt assists in weight loss. Along with the well known yogurt/dairy attributes of protein, calcium, and Vitamin D - it is also a great source of potassium, phosphorus, zinc, and probiotics. Probiotics help boost your immunce system, so you are better able to fight off illness. Keep plain or vanilla Greek yogurt in the fridge at all times. Stir in a dab of honey, chopped fruit, even a few teaspoons of Dutch process cocoa. Eat with strawberries for an additional zap of Vitamin C ( as outlined in the Citrus section above! )

Special Thanks to LiveRight Magazine for some of the more scientific bits in this post!