Nutritionist Skye Macfarlane talks about how to boost your energy
The most common complaint most health professionals hear is that people are tired and lack energy. This can be from a multitude of things; lifestyle, stress, work/life balance. But the most important area it may stem from is actually poor diet. When we are tired we often make poor food choices as the effort it takes to make healthy and balanced meal sometimes feels like it is too hard so we rely on processed or quick foods like toast or takeaways.
Plant based nutrition can actually help to increase energy levels by providing the body with extra anti oxidants, phytochemicals, vitamins and nutrients that can help alleviate fatigue. Plant based is also kind on the digestive system. Digesting food actually takes up a lot of our energy to process and operate. Our digestive system helps with energy, cell repair and growth but some foods actually add extra stress to the system when being digested – and for many this is animal based products. Animal based protein requires a large amount of bile, enzymatic and stomach acid action to break it down as animal protein is quite acidic. This action can expend a lot of energy, and if you are already tired this is an extra strain you may not need.
Plant based diets are naturally high in complex carbohydrates which help with blood sugar balance so you do not get a massive sugar high then low throughout the day. Multiple blood sugar spikes can add extra stress on the body and burn through any energy reserves we have. Plant based also helps to support the thyroid which is in charge of our metabolism (how much energy we burn, our hormones and our energy levels). Plant based diets are often helpful for the thyroid as they support its natural function while also supplying minerals like selenium, magnesium and anti oxidants to help stimulate thyroid hormones to keep us feeling more energetic.