Winter is a time when our energy levels tend to drop and we can lack that vava voom of summer.
We may find ourselves naturally more drawn to foods which are generally starchier and more associated with comfort in the colder months. However certain foods may have an adverse effect on our energy levels causing us to feel sluggish and lack lustre which is certainly not the effect we desire especially with party season just around the corner!
Here is a starter list of foods that may contribute to feelings of depletion.
Processed grains: Those found in white bread, white pasta and white rice, processed grains contain lower levels of fiber and tend to be digested and absorbed more quickly than whole grains creating a quick rise in blood sugar and insulin levels, followed by a drop in energy. Whole grains in contrast help regulate blood sugar sustaining more consistent energy throughout the day.
Foods containing added sugar: Unsurprisingly sugar makes an appearance here consuming foods high in sugar may increase the likelihood you will crave more creating an energy depleting cycle, plus wreaking havoc on your skin. Breakfast cereals, flavoured yogurts and granola bars can often be the culprits as as it may not be obvious to us that such foods are loaded with added sugar, the bottom line being foods containing high amounts of sugar among other adverse health effects can drain our energy rather than boosting it. Opt for natural alternatives such as antioxidant rich berries, nuts or full fat natural yogurt.
Alcohol: Difficult to avoid during the festive season yes, however it is worth being mindful that alcohol although provides a relaxing effect reduces the quality and duration of our oh so important sleep, attempt to keep your consumption within low to moderate levels.
Fried and convenience food: Ideally best avoided altogether such foods and snacks more often than not are high in fat and low in fibre a combination that our digestive system isn’t comfortable with. Added to this such foods are low in the nutrients are bodies need to perform at it’s best. Nutrient-rich foods on the other hand will help boost and maintain energy levels.
Low calorie foods: Too many low calorie foods in our diet may lead to eating an insufficient number of calories throughout the day, severely reducing energy levels. disturbing hormone balance and metabolism ultimately leaving us feeling drained.
Nourish yourself wisely to feel your best during the coming weeks, next instalment some energy providing wholefood goodness.
By Emma Rice
Staying positive, healthy, focussed and self-aware, both internally and externally.