You know how we often have a go-to to wake us up? Tea? Coffee? a sugar kick? Well, here's a doozy - what you eat/drink doesn't always 'wake you up'. It can just as easily bring you down. Here is what you need to know about how your energy levels and food you eat work together.
Is Your Productivity Related to Food?
Yes, very much so! Your brain requires more energy since it's always working, even when you sleep, consolidating what you learned and experienced throughout the day into memory. Brain cells then consume more energy than the other cells in the body. And what's even more amazing is that while your brain makes up just 2 to 3 percent of your body mass, it utilizes 20 percent of calories burnt by our resting metabolic rate i.e. the total amount of energy our bodies expend in one very lazy day of no activity. So when people say you are what you eat, they are speaking directly about your brain. You want to pick foods that give energy straight to your mind to avoid that 2 p.m. crash.
A balanced diet is one that gives your body the nutrients it needs to function correctly. Your daily food plans should be a low-salt, low-fat diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables and fibre to keep your body moving and your brain alert. Those include:
- Whole grains
- Legumes and pulses
- Fruits and vegetables
That also means there's some food you should avoid. Those include:
- Heavy cream and dairy
- Simple carbohydrates such as white rice
- Fried foods
Start Your Day With a Healthy Breakfast
To start this energy process, you need a hearty breakfast that won't weigh you down. Mental exercise drains glucose, so feeding your glucose level in the morning with fruit is a great way to maintain high energy levels all day. Some fruits are high in fibre while others are complex carbohydrates and antioxidants, which reduce your risk of cognitive impairment. Cereal or paneer with a banana and pistachios are quick and easy breakfast options to start your day with the boost you need.
Rethink Dinner and Lunch
Make smart choices by embracing a healthy Indian diet comprising of lean proteins over regular meat. That means eating more chicken, fish, beans and chickpeas. You also want to choose complex carbohydrates over simple sugars, eat more vegetables, grains and fruits and steer clear of drinks and foods with added sugar. For example, try adding some almonds and seeds to your raita or palak matar instead of spinach with a cream-based curry dish.
What Snacks to Pack
Having snacks between meals is a great idea to maintain energy levels. Digesting a large and heavy meal means your body has to use extra energy to convert those nutrients into glucose. If you can, commit to eating about five smaller meals throughout the day instead of three large ones. Healthy snacks like fresh vegetables, yoghurt, walnuts can help you maintain a steady level of energy throughout your day. Also, green tea not only will you give you a caffeine jolt, it can help relax your brain and enable mental alertness.
What you eat is crucial for staying healthy and energetic throughout your day....and life. Cultivating good eating habits and avoiding foods that deplete your energy helps you get more done without leaving you feeling depleted. Most of our 'snacks' are more a function of convenience and not nourishment. While the hunger pang does go away, lethargy tends to take its place, leaving you in not so great a state for work or much else. A little attention and prep approach to food overall and snacking can help you be more energetic and focused; with the added benefit of better health. Ditch the heavy foods and start thinking (and eating) lighter.
Disclaimer: This publication / article / editorial is meant for awareness/educational purposes and does not constitute or imply an endorsement, sponsorship or recommendation of any Products. Please consult your doctor/ healthcare practitioner before starting any diet, medication or exercise.