Fatigue: The energy-zapping bread to avoid – and the foods to boost your energy levels
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Speaking to Express.co.uk is dietician Lola Biggs, who admits that “food is fuel”. Are you accidentally filling up on energy-zapping produce? Biggs warned that white bread, for example, “acts similar to sugar” in that a “quick sugar rush” is felt, quickly followed by a crash. “Refined carbs [such as white bread] are rapidly broken down to blood glucose in our bodies and cause an energy crash as the blood sugar drops,” Biggs explained.
Other examples of refined carbohydrates that could be zapping your energy include: white pasta and white rice.
When a person comes down from sugary foods, including sugar itself, they are more likely to feel “sluggish and sleepier”.
Biggs also cautioned about eating fried foods that are “difficult to digest”.
The dietician elaborated: “When greasy foods hit the stomach, blood is diverted away from the rest of the body, including the brain, leaving you unfocused and lethargic.”
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Another “big energy zapper” is alcohol, which can interrupt your sleep, disturb your metabolism, and leave you feeling tired and lacking any get-up-and-go.
Which foods give you energy?
Thankfully, Biggs knows a thing or two about energy-boosting foods you can enjoy.
One simple swap that could make all the difference is changing from white to brown rice.
Biggs explained: “Brown rice [is] less processed than white rice; it’s crammed with vitamins, fibre, and minerals.
“It’s also low on the glycemic index meaning it helps regulate blood sugar levels and encourages stable energy levels throughout the day.”
Instead of white pasta, you can opt for sweet potatoes, which are “high in potassium, vitamin C, magnesium and iron”.
Biggs added: “These sustainable complex carbs release energy into the body slowly over time meaning you stay fuller for longer.
“Roasting them is one of the easiest and tastiest ways to eat them. For added nutrition, eat with hummus, which is full of healthy chickpeas.”
Biggs also recommends eggs, which are packed with protein, B vitamins, and the amino acid leucine.
“They stimulate energy production in cells and up the breakdown of fat to produce energy,” Biggs explained.
Other energy-boosting foods recommended by Biggs include:
- Greek yoghurt
- Chia seeds
In addition to energy-boosting foods, Biggs is a fan of helpful supplements.
“Taking the right kind of supplements can help you stay energised and alert throughout the day,” Biggs said.
Biggs ideal supplements to help boost energy levels include vitamin B12, magnesium, and iron.
If you are eating healthily and still feel tired all of the time, book an appointment with your doctor.
Lola Biggs is a registered dietician and expert for natural, vegan health supplement brand Together Health.
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