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If you have ever felt sluggish, tired and burned out, the lack of balanced food could be a reason for this condition. For humans, food and molecular oxygen is the richest source of energy.
While oxygen is available through respiration, energy from food is available through a balanced diet of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, alcohol, water, vitamins and minerals. They mainly derive energy through consumption of fat, carbohydrates and proteins along with organic acid, polyols and ethanol usually present in the diet.
- Dos and Don’ts To Boost Your Energy
- Things To Do To Boost Energy
- Things To Avoid To Keep Your Energy Intact
- How To Eat a Balanced Diet?
- What Type of Food Should You Include In Your Diet?
- Some Healthy and Tasty Recipes to Energize Your Body
Dos and Don’ts To Boost Your Energy
It is important to remember that one must consume fat, carbohydrates and proteins according to their need and lifestyle. For example, a daily wage labourer might need high quantity of carbohydrates as they are constantly on the move and need energy to keep them moving. An athlete might need high quantity of proteins to increase their energy.
But a person leading a sedentary lifestyle will not require high intake of fat, carbohydrates or proteins. All of this needs to be at optimum level. Thus, it is important to consume these components according to the lifestyle and age. Now let us look at some of the Dos and Don’ts that a person must follow to keep them energetic.
Things To Do To Boost Energy
#1 – Eat the right combination of food
Indians eat a combination called Dal, rice and vegetable for lunch. Dal is a rich source of protein, while rice is rich in carbohydrates. Vegetables mostly provide vitamins in the body, thus balancing your diet. A person can follow different food combinations to ensure adequate intake of fat, carbohydrate, proteins and vitamins in the body.
# 2 – Eat wholesome breakfast
As there is a long gap after having dinner, your body needs food to revive itself the next day. So make sure that you eat a wholesome breakfast, as that will keep you energized until lunch. A wholesome breakfast does not imply the quantity of food; by wholesome we mean the breakfast should be a rich source of protein, carbohydrates, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
# 3 – Consume fat
Contrary to popular belief, a small amount of fat is required to fight free radicals and keep your cells healthy. Sometimes it takes fat to absorb antioxidants from the gastrointestinal tract to the blood. So do not forget to add a small portion of butter, cheese and ghee to your meals.
Things To Avoid To Keep Your Energy Intact
#1 – Avoid Caffeine
Surprised? Yes, a cup of black coffee or tea might make you feel energetic. But in reality, caffeine is just a stimulant that gives your body the wrong signal of being energetic.
It provides temporary energy to your body. You will be surprised to notice that you are consuming more cups of tea and coffee without your own knowledge to keep yourself awake. When you reduce the quantity, you feel lethargic and drowsy. So try to avoid caffeine, as it does not provide real energy to your body.
# 2 – Avoid processed food
Processed food or packed juices are stripped of nutrients due to artificial agents and preservatives. Hence, it is advisable to avoid processed food and eat raw vegetables and fruits that are still full of natural nutrients. This will provide energy to your cells and keep you healthy.
# 3 – Avoid large quantity meals
According to research studies, people who eat large quantity meals feel sluggish because the blood flow is more towards the stomach to assimilate food, than to the brain. Another reason is the spike in blood sugar in the body, which causes your body to feel sluggish.
Hence, it is advisable to eat small portions of food at regular intervals. This will give your brain a steady flow of nutrients at regular intervals. Therefore, a cup of fruits or nuts at regular intervals will make you feel energetic throughout the day.
How To Eat a Balanced Diet?
Now that you are aware of the fact that a balanced diet is needed to keep you energized throughout the day, let us look at the type of food to be included in your diet to keep you energized.Before, we get into the details; here is a quick overview on what your diet must ideally comprise:
- 600 calories of carbohydrates per day – potato, yam, rice, and tapioca are known to be rich source of carbohydrates
- 300 calories of proteins per day – you must consume egg, milk and meat high in protein, such as chicken breast for sufficient protein
- 4% of omega-6 fatty acid – avoid consuming vegetable seed oil and instead consume coconut oil and meats such as beef, lamb, fish and shellfish low in Omega-6
- Saturated and monounsaturated fats – fish, shellfish, beef, lamb and dairy products are known to be the best animal sources, while coconut oil and coconut milk are best plant sources of saturated and monounsaturated fat. These fats are known to be healthy in nature and can be consumed in high levels
- Paleo diet – remember to consume high fibre diet such as fruits and berries to produce gut bacteria healthy for the body
What Type of Food Should You Include In Your Diet?
Our body receives energy from macronutrients, and we get them from food rich in carbohydrates, proteins and fat. Macronutrients are chemical compounds that humans consume in large quantities to get energy. So remember to include food rich in protein, carbohydrates and fat in your daily diet.
Animal sources are a rich source of protein, carbohydrates and fat
To help you understand the kind of food that you can consume regularly, we are enlisting the levels of macronutrient-bearing food. Level 1 to Level 2 represents food that is rich in macronutrients and can be consumed more than 5 days a week for energy.
Level 3 to Level 5 may not really be good sources of macronutrients, but are essential in terms of getting micronutrients. Foods that belong from Level 6 to Level 7 should be avoided if possible as they usually have a high content of natural toxins.
But Plant Sources Are Not Far Behind
While animal sources are considered to be rich in macronutrients, there are also plant sources and fats and oils which are good source of proteins, carbohydrates and fat. Let us look at each of these sources and their respective levels in the below table.
|Level||Animal Source||Plant Source||Fat Source||Oil Source|
|1||Fish, Shellfish, beef, lamb and goat||Safe starches i.e. food that contain no fructose: potatoes, white rice, taro, tapioca, sago, sweet potatoes, yams, winter squash||beef tallow, mutton, fat, butter||High-medium-chain, low-omega-6 oils: coconut milk or oil, palm kernel oil, low-omega-6 plant oils such as macadamia nut oil|
|2||Wild birds or game animals||Low omega-6 nuts: macadamia, coconut||–||–|
|3||Organic eggs; farm-raised duck or goose||Moderate-omega-6 nuts; avocados||–||–|
|4||Pork muscle meats and bellies or bacon; full-fat dairy products; organic heritage chickens||Buckwheat; yucca/manioc/cassava||Moderate-omega-6 tree nut butters: almond butter, cashew butter, pistachio butter, and Moderate-omega-6 animal fats: duck fat, lard from naturally raised pigs||Moderate-omega-6 plant oils: olive oil, avocado oil, palm oil|
|5||Industrially raised chickens and their eggs||High-omega-6 nuts and seeds||Higher-omega-6 animal fats: pork lard, chicken schmaltz||Higher-omega-6 tree nut oils: walnut oil|
|6||Pork liver, blood, intestines, or processed pork meats such as sausage or hot dogs||Beans; rye, oats; quinoa||–||–|
|7||–||Wheat, corn, and other grains; peanuts||High-omega-6 seed oils: soybean oil, canola oil, safflower oil, corn oil, peanut butter|
Now that we are aware of the type of food to be consumed and avoided, let us look at few healthy ways of consuming them.
Some Healthy and Tasty Recipes to Energize Your Body
1. Grilled Salmon and Zucchini laced with Red Pepper Sauce
If you are expecting a guest and you are in no mood to cook an exhaustive lunch or dinner, this simple recipe can save your day. It is also a rich source of protein, and Zucchini adds the cool element to this sultry weather. Try it out today!
Portion: Serves 4
Cooking Time: 70 minutes (35 minutes to prepare + 35 minutes to cook)
- 1/3 cup sliced and toasted almonds
- 1/4 cup chopped jarred roasted red peppers
- 1/4 cup halved grape tomatoes, or cherry tomatoes
- 1 small clove garlic
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar, or red-wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon paprika, preferably smoked
- 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
- 1 1/4 pounds wild-caught salmon fillet, (see Note), skinned and cut crosswise into 4 portions
- 2 medium zucchini, or summer squash (or 1 of each), halved lengthwise
- Canola or olive oil cooking spray
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
- Preheat the grill to medium temperature
- Blend almonds, peppers, tomatoes, garlic, oil, vinegar, paprika, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a blender till it becomes smooth and set aside.
- Coat salmon and zucchini (and/ or summer squash) with cooking spray on both sides, and sprinkle the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper on it. Grill till the salmon is just cooked through and the squash is soft and browned. Continue for 3 minutes per side.
- Transfer the squash to a cutting board. When cool enough to handle, slice it into 1/2-inch pieces. Toss in a bowl with half of the remaining sauce. Divide the squash among 4 plates along with a piece of salmon topped with some of the remaining sauce. Garnish it with parsley, if desired.
- To skin a salmon fillet, place it skin side down on a cutting board. Slip the blade of the knife at the tail end between the fish flesh and the skin. Hold the skin down and with your other hand, push the blade gently along at a 30 degrees angle, separating the fillet from the skin without cutting through it.
2. Coconut Mango Tapioca Pudding
Coconut and Tapioca are known to be rich source of macronutrients. And nothing can make it better than when it’s topped with mango – the king of the season.
Portion: Serves 4
Cooking Time: 1 hour 20 minutes (1 hour preparation + 20 minutes cooking / chilling)
- ⅓ cup small tapioca
- 1 cup non-dairy milk such as almond milk; coconut milk
- 1 can coconut milk
- ⅓ – ½ cup liquid sweetener
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- ½ a mango, finely diced
- Soak the tapioca in 1 cup of non-dairy milk for an hour.
- Transfer the soaked tapioca mixture into a saucepan and add coconut milk, sweetener, vanilla, and salt. Boil the content in medium heat and stir it occasionally. Reduce heat, simmer for 20 minutes and continue to stir occasionally.
- Remove the mixture from heat and allow it to cool. Pour it equally in some glass bowls or jars. If you like it hot, eat it immediately. But it is recommended to have it cold, especially during summer. So chill it overnight. Remember to stir the pudding with chopped mango and enjoy!
3. Egg Cup Recipe
It is summer and we know that you are in no mood to make a breakfast, so here’s a quick recipe that you can try to make your breakfast interesting and healthy.
Portion: Serves 4
Cooking Time: 15 minutes (5 minutes preparation time + 10 minutes cooking time)
- 6 organic eggs
- 3 slices of cooked bacon
- ½ ounce of raw cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400 F.
- Apply coconut oil in the muffin tin to grease it.
- Crack one egg into each muffin cup.
- Sprinkle salt and pepper over it.
- Add bacon crumbles and cheese over each egg and bake it.
- Bake for 8-12 minutes, depending on how you want your eggs to be done. If you like your eggs runny, bake it for 8 minutes. If you like your egg yolks firm, then bake it for 12 minutes.
We hope you find these recipes useful. Please try them at home and remember to eat healthy and stay energetic!