Tuesday, September 23, 2014

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Looking At Foods That Give You Energy to Last Throughout the Day

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Instead of food for thought, how about food for energy? Certain foods can give you enough energy to last throughout the day without that midday crash. NY1's Jill Urban filed the following report.

Do you often have that midday energy crash, or are you dragging yourself out of bed each morning? Well, before you rely on energy drinks, bars or excessive caffeine, adjusting your diet may be the best way to stay energized.

Jaclyn London, senior clinical dietitian at Mount Sinai Hospital, says we are what we eat when it comes to energy. Making the right choices will help keep us healthy and energized all day long.

She says the biggest culprit for energy crashes is blood sugar, so try to avoid foods that cause our insulin levels to spike and fall.

"The biggest culprits are highly processed foods, so things that are high in white starches, white flours, white sugar," London says. "Those tend to be the ones that cause the really high highs of blood sugar and the really low lows, which tends to lead us to become more exhausted over the course of the day.”

She says the best thing we can do is mix foods that combine protein and fiber, so meat, dairy, seeds and nuts, along with complex carbohydrates, like whole grains and fruit and vegetables. Those are the most beneficial to blood sugar stability and can provide energy all day long.

She also says edamame is a great snack because it is protein and fiber all in one.

Another way to help maintain energy is to stay hydrated with foods that have a high water content.

"Things like watermelon, cantaloupe, any kind of honeydew melon. Berries are an excellent source of high water fruit," London says. "Same with any kind of citrus fruit, like oranges, grapefruits. Any kind of leafy green also will pack that benefit."

Also, B vitamins help with our body's metabolic process, which is how we turn food into energy, so foods high in vitamin B can also keep us energized, like leafy greens, sweet potatoes and berries.

Last, eating the right minerals can also help.

"The main minerals that we're really concerned about when it comes to energy levels are the counter balance to our diets, which are typically very high in sodium. That would be calcium, potassium and magnesium," London says. "So nuts, nut butters, fruits and vegetables, as well as dairy products."

So if you are looking or a sustainable energy boost, it may be time to wake up and change your diet.

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