Click Here To Go Back To The PEERtrainer Weight Loss Guide
High-Nutrient Super Foods
These Will Help You Have More Energy And Look Better
By Jackie Wicks PEERtrainer Founder
Most of us need a lot more energy than we have. And most of us use things like coffee or other caffeine based products to boost our energy. And we still end up exhausted at work at 3pm or tearing our hair out at the kids bathtime hoping they will magically fall asleep before storytime.
This is not a suggestion to cut out coffee. That would be cruel and unusual. But it is a suggestion to find ways of getting high doses of nutrient rich foods every day. We know to eat more fruits and vegetables, that the percentage of this stuff in the diet is highly correlated to weight loss and better health.
A Diet For More Energy
But how do we get more energy specifically, and how do we do this each day in a way that is actually doable? The first step to take is to think about what you are already eating on a daily basis. For example- you might be eating pasta, low fat chicken, skim milk, some vegetables each day, you cook with olive oil- and you're thinking you are eating the best way you can.
If you do eat this way and are still tired day to day then the odds of a nutrient deficiency are pretty high. This is doubly true if you are also hungry a lot of the time. Maybe you have started a low fat diet, following some trusted advice. And you still feel tired and hungry. You probably don't feel incentivized to keep doing that diet.
Foods That Make You Feel Good And Give You Energy
The second step is to start finding foods that you love to eat, that also make you feel good. These foods generally are those that maximize nutrients per calorie. This concept is important because most of us measure food simply by calories, fat grams, fiber and carbs. If you already do this, that is a great start. Lower or strict calorie, high fiber diets are the current mainstream of diet advice.
Weight Watchers for example is built around calorie restriction combined with high fiber intake. (And if you are seriously overweight and have not started losing weight, Weight Watchers and going to a doctor is an excellent first step). But working to boost high nutrient super foods is critical to fighting hunger and improving energy. These foods are also generally low in calories and high in fiber, so adding them into any existing diet should be seamless.
How Do I Identify High Nutrient Foods?
As a general rule any green vegetable is insanely good for you. The green stuff packs a powerful punch. Spinach, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Romaine Lettuce, Broccoli and the like have some of the highest levels of nutrients. If you already eat these things on a daily or weekly basis, try as hard as you can to eat a lot more. This will help boost your energy level. If you have a salad bar at work or near work, making spinach the base of the salad is an easy step.
Vegetable Juice Is A Great Shortcut
Something that also works well is vegetable juice. V8 is okay, but if you check the produce section of most supermarkets you will likely find other vegetables juices. Wheat Grass shots are widely available, and are claimed to contain the nutrients equal to several pounds of green vegetables in each one ounce shot! Whole Foods is most likely to have some excellent options in this area.
Consider A Trip To Jamba Juice
There are many fruits and berries that are considered "Super Foods". Blueberries, Pomegranate Juice, Strawberries, Grapefruit, Orange, Cantaloupe, Watermelon
. Most fruit will give you energy and improve your appearance, but these are the ones you typically read about. Each one of the fruits (and vegetables) listed here have extremely powerful health effects, but the important thing is that you find stuff that you like, that it is easy to do on a daily basis. Maybe you replace your morning trip to Starbucks with a trip to Jamba Juice or the Whole Foods juice bar.
Maybe there is another juice bar near you. One thing to know about the juicing process is that it helps to chop up the cell walls
of the fruit or vegetable, which is something the body does a bad job of. Thus, juicing can release more of the "good stuff" into your system.
After you get comfortable with the basics of making these foods part of your daily routine, you can begin to incorporate them more thoroughly. The average American gets about 7% of their calories from fruits, vegetables and legumes. Ideally one will increase this percentage to a very high level over time.
What If My Health Problems Are More Serious Than Just Low Energy?
It should be noted that low energy could also be a warning sign of greater deterioration of your health in the future. One should not dismiss being tired as a sign of age, a tough job or being a parent. The risk of diseases like heart disease, diabetes and cancer can be dramatically reduced with a great diet, but they are tough to treat after they take root.
If you are currently taking medications under the care of a doctor there are nutritional approaches
to the prevention and management of chronic disease. The medical community is starting to come around to the idea that certain approaches to nutrition can be used along side pharmaceuticals to treat disease.
Next: Get Moving- Easy Ways To Start Exercising