As the days get shorter and the nights get colder, even the best of us can get a little down. The commonly known “winter blues” can be characterised by mild depression, lack of motivation, and low energy that many people experience during the colder months. Fortunately, there is a lot you can do to prevent the blues from creeping in and keeping yourself energised throughout ready to bounce into the lighter and brighter days feeling fit and healthy.
Here are 5 food tips to boost your energy levels.
1. Get Your Carbs Right
Carbohydrates can often be deemed the devil, however that is not always the case. Some carbs are less than ideal such as conventional white bread, pasta, biscuits and cakes due to the lack of nutrients and how major sugar spikes can cause havoc on your energy levels. Instead focus on fruit, vegetables, starchy veggies such as squash and potatoes (white or the sweet variety), rice, oats, honey, beans, lentils, quinoa and buckwheat. These types of carbs contain many fantastic nutrients and will help to support longer lasting energy.
2. Protein is Key
Since our bodies need protein to help produce essentials in our body – such as enzymes, hormones, neurotransmitters, and antibodies – without an adequate protein intake, our bodies can’t function well at all. Protein also helps replace worn out cells, transports various substances throughout the body, and aids in growth and repair. For health reasons it is crucial to eat enough. All of this helps support energy throughout the body!
3. Forget Fat Phobia
Fats provide powerful effects within the body. Healthy sources of fat help energy levels to feel stable, support immune health, metabolism, moods, hormones and absorption of nutrients. All of these benefits will provide the body with energy. Great choices include avocado, olive oil, olives, coconut oil, coconut, flaxseed, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, nuts, cacao nibs and wild freshly caught oily fish.
4. Eat the Veg!
Vegetables contain essential nutrients that help our bodies convert food into energy. Prioritising vegetables (and fruit) is absolutely essential, so don’t avoid them during the colder months simply because a salad seems less than appetising. Roast, stir fry or steam vegetables. Make a soup with a delicious mix of vegetables. Mix vegetables with quinoa and avocado to cover all bases of the energising foods to feel vibrant during this season.
5. Snack Attack
If you need a little “pick-me-up” between meals, that is more than ok! Don’t think you have to deprive yourself or feel guilty for having a little bite between lunch and dinner. The key is to make smarter choices, such as fruit with a small handful of nuts, banana with 1 tablespoon of nut butter, a couple of rice cakes with greek yoghurt and fruit, hummus with raw veg sticks or a small bowl of greek yoghurt with berries and honey. Choosing foods similar to these examples will help to keep your energy levels up without the mid-afternoon slump!
Avoid losing all energy for the whole winter season and then having to dig deep for motivation when the weather and year changes. Follow the 5 tips above and you will be fully armoured ready to fight the winter blues.
What is your favourite energising food?