May 25, 2018

Eating for Energy and Health | 3 Tips for Moms

brought to you by Vive Health

Are you looking for natural, healthy ways to boost your energy levels? With the end of another school year looming over you, you may already be fretting about keeping up with the kids this summer. Don’t miss these tips for incorporating smart, thoughtful food and drink choices into your daily diet for more long-lasting energy.

Address Digestion Issues

Are you snagging all the great nutrients the food you eat has to offer you? If you experience digestive issues, you might not be, and this can definitely affect everything from your health to your energy and overall wellbeing. Common signs of digestive problems include:

  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight management issues
  • Gas and bloating
  • Fatigue
  • Acid reflux and heartburn
  • Body odor and bad breath
  • Abdominal pain or cramping
  • Nutrient deficiencies (like anemia which contributes to low energy)
  • Thinning hair or skin issues
  • Conditions linked with systemic inflammation
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms longer than a couple weeks, talk to your doctor and incorporate more of these healthy eating habits in your daily meals:

Chew your food longer - scarfing down a quick meal may seem like the easiest way to keep up with the kids, however, chewing your food more thoroughly can aid digestion and help your body get more of the nutrients it needs. Plus, you learn to enjoy your food more!

Avoid processed foods - if you can’t pronounce the ingredients on the nutrition label, you might want to avoid it. Whole foods like fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts offer you more beneficial vitamins and minerals to aid digestion than processed ones. Sugar-laden, salty, and fried foods can also leave you feeling sluggish, bloated, and fatigued.

Monitor your fiber - did you know fiber is responsible for both intestinal motility as well as firming up stool to keep you regular? Consume lots of natural fiber sources throughout the day like brown rice and beans to avoid common digestion issues.

Stay Hydrated

Maintaining the delicate water balance in your body is critical to feeling your best. In fact, research shows that even mild dehydration (a loss of 1 - 2% of your total body water) can result in cognitive impairment.

Strong energy levels rely on you remembering to drink lots of water and replace any fluids you lose throughout the day via sweating or going to the bathroom. If you’re looking for clever ways to up your water intake, try:

  • Eating more water-rich foods like fresh fruits, vegetables, smoothies, soups, and stews
  • Carrying a reusable water bottle with you wherever you go
  • Setting water reminders on your smartphone or other mobile device
  • Drinking a full glass of water every time you use the restroom
  • Diluting sugary drinks with added water
  • Replacing soda with sparkling water or mineral water
Learn the Science

Food is fuel for your body, literally. When you eat, an array of biological processes take place, helping break down food and extract nutrients. Consuming a little knowledge about the science of eating could help you find practical ways to eat for more energy. For example, did you know that the saliva in your mouth has special enzymes in it that start to break down your food as you chew? Chewing food thoroughly gives your stomach a leg up in the digestion process.

Another important metabolic process is that of the stomach and intestines breaking carbohydrates down into glucose and delivering it to the bloodstream. From there, insulin (which the pancreas produces) helps to transport that glucose to cells for quick energy or to storage in the body for later use. If you load your morning breakfast with sugary sweets, your the level of sugar in your blood will spike and then you’ll find yourself crashing when it drastically drops after an hour or two. This both depletes your energy levels and leaves you craving more unhealthy snacks.

And ever heard of MCT’s? Formally known as medium-chain triglycerides, these biochemical building blocks form a special type of saturated fat (like you find in coconut oil, whole milk, some cheeses, and full-fat yogurt) that acts differently in the body from most fats. When consumed, MCT’s are more easily absorbed than long-chain fatty acids and are sent straight to the liver to be put to work instead of being stored as fat for later. They can deliver quick energy to cells and have been shown to promote weight loss, support a healthy gut biome, and even offer antioxidant properties.

Final Thoughts

Your day-to-day summer schedule will likely be full of lots of swimming, outdoor time, running kids from camp to camp, and hopefully a little rest and relaxation. Stay invigorated and fuel your energy levels naturally with smart food and hydration choices. You’ll set a good example for your kids too!

Metro Detroit Mommy Writer:

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