Healthy foods are something that we are told to eat all the time for lots of different reasons. Most people have that point in the day when they crash. They become tired, cranky and hungry. When this happens, one may reach for a number of things to help them make it though the rest of their day. Coffee, candy, snack foods, or energy boosters are some of the things someone may try. For most people, these things don’t work, though. High sugar or caffeinated consumables will give you a quick boost of energy but it is short lived. These are not healthy foods. Soon, you will be back to square one. Tired, cranky and wanting to lay down with your favorite pillow.
Why does this happen? Well, it’s simple. It is all about what we eat. Our bodies use food as energy. Both carbohydrates and proteins give our bodies energy. Carbohydrates are sugars, starches and fiber. There are two groups of carbohydrates, simple and complex. Simple carbohydrates are found in many cereals, snack foods, soft drinks, crackers, breads and even pasta. These food items are processed by the body quickly which means you will have a boost of energy soon after eating, however the spike in energy will only last for a short time. Healthy foods they are not.
Proteins and complex carbohydrates take longer for the body to break down. Complex carbs are things such as bran, whole grain wheat, lentils, peas, and beans. These food items take longer to break down so the body doesn’t experience spikes in energy instead it has a gradual release of energy.
Proteins are found in meats, eggs and nuts. Like complex carbohydrates, proteins take longer for the body to break down. Because of this, you will have energy for a longer period of time and not become hungry as quickly.
Physical energy is not the only thing that will benefit from eating complex carbs and proteins. Brain function will also increase by eating healthy foods.
So, now that we understand “why” we need to figure out how to avoid the midday burnout. First, read labels! Avoid foods that list sugar or high fructose corn syrup both are simple sugars (carbs). Eat more “whole foods” such as fruits, vegetables and grains. Look for products that are made with whole grains. You will be surprised at how many things that look healthy, are not. Remember there are reasons to eat high carb foods as well as low carb recipes.
Also, eat six smaller meals a day verses three large meals. Remember that your body is constantly burning the food you eat so we need to be feeding it. The trick with six meals a day is the word “small“. You can eat breakfast, lunch and dinner but down size them and throw in three snacks. This will keep your energy level balanced. Avoid prepackaged snacks like crackers, chips or candy. A snack of nuts will give you energy and a piece of fruit will help with your sweet tooth.
There is no one “food” that will give you the energy you need. Changing your overall outlook on food and how your body uses it will. Remember, everyone is powered by the healthy foods we eat. Cleansing your liver is a good idea but don’t forget other parts of your body.