3 easy diet tips to stay energized all day long

What you eat and drink can have a huge impact on your health and well-being. Here are three simple diet choices that you can make to lead a healthier life and stay energized throughout the day.

3 easy diet tips to stay energized all day long

1. Aim for a balanced diet

Your body obtains energy from food, so it's no surprise that your diet can greatly influence your energy level. Fortunately, you can help your body strengthen its resilience to the stresses of modern living by adopting a balanced approach to the foods you consume.

  • Eat a small amount of raw food daily.
  • Make whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds a regular part of your diet.
  • Don't skip meals.
  • Forget about quick energy fixes.
  • Eat foods rich in potassium like oranges, bananas and apricots to replenish your energy if you've been very active.
  • If you suffer from hypoglycemia, try eating an apple – they're excellent at stabilizing blood sugar levels.

2. Beware of short-term highs

There are several foods and drinks that can provide an instant lift when you're feeling low in energy. However, the effect of these pick-me-ups is usually short-lived and they may not be the best choice for optimal health over the long term. Where possible, try to minimize your intake of them and opt instead for healthy alternatives.

  • Coffee and tea: The caffeine in these beverages (much lower in tea) causes the release of several chemicals, including adrenaline, which prompts the release of blood sugar, making you feel energized and motivated. However, these effects don't last long, so within an hour or two you start to feel tired and unmotivated once more. Healthy alternatives: try drinking herbal or fruit infusions.
  • Refined grains: While easily digested and relatively quick to cook, these foods can release energy rapidly, causing rapid spikes – and equally rapid dips – in blood sugar. They are also lower in fibre than the whole grains from which they are derived. Healthy alternatives: try incorporating brown rice, whole grains, oats and quinoa into your diet.
  • Soft drinks: These are among the most problematic of all quick-hit substances because the sugar and calories come without any nutrients. The sugar provides a quick boost, as does the caffeine in some cola drinks. Healthy alternatives: try filling your glass with natural fruit juice, smoothies made with low-fat milk, rice milk or soy milk.
  • Sugary foods: Depending on the variety you eat, sugary foods can produce a rapid spike in your blood sugar level and then a rapid drop, leaving you feeling tired and hungry. In addition, they are often very high in calories without many nutrients. Healthy alternatives: try munching on dried apricots, sultanas or fresh fruit.

3. Stay hydrated

Water makes up 60 per cent of your body and is needed for carrying important nutrients and chemicals to cells and tissues, as well as regulating your body's temperature. With such important roles to play, it is no surprise that water consumption is essential for good health and vitality.

  • Check your daily water intake, particularly as you become older. As we age, we tend to lose our perception of thirst and drink too little water, so cells can become dehydrated.
  • Make a point of sipping water throughout the day. Aim to drink about two litres, or eight cups, every day.
  • To get in the habit, try drinking a half-glass of water every 30 minutes or a quarter-glass every 15 minutes.
  • Drinking water can be an effective antidote to feelings of fatigue or confusion. If you are feeling this way, it may be a sign that you are dehydrated.
  • Eating fresh fruit will increase your liquid intake, meaning you won't need to drink so many glasses of water. Try watermelon, which is 98 per cent water.

When you find yourself exhausted by the stress of work or daily life, it can be tempting to reach for quick fixes to boost your energy. But with a few simple tweaks to what you eat and drink, you can enjoy a healthier lifestyle that will leave you with plenty of fuel in the tank to seize the day.

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