The human body is an incredible machine capable of amazing things. However, when it doesn’t receive the proper fuel, it can break down and malfunction. While the human body needs a wide array of micro and macronutrients, there are many foods that can positively affect specific parts of the human body. Knowing how the foods you are eating affect your body can help you stay energized during the day or give you that extra boost you need during a busy time. Here are some examples of foods that can help you achieve peak performance.
Nuts, seeds, avocados, fish and eggs all contain the amino acids and healthy fats to help your brain function better. They sharpen your mind, giving you the appearance of having additional energy. You may also opt for animal sources of protein like organic, pasture-raised eggs, grass-fed beef, pasture-raised chicken, or wild-caught fish, all of which will be higher in healthy fats, like alpha linolenic acid (ALA), than factory-farmed sources that are fed a grain-based diet.
Complex carbohydrates, like brown rice, quinoa, amaranth, millet, oats, as well as starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes, carrots, turnips, squash, peas, and green beans will provide a sustaining insulin release, creating natural energy. The body needs glucose (sugar) for energy. If you deprive it of its natural energy sources, you will likely 1) feel tired and 2) crave sugar.
Vegetables provide additional energy through their rich nutrient content. Dark, leafy greens are especially good for cleansing your blood and keep you from getting sluggish. Salads are a great “pick me up” if you’re feeling lethargic.
Fruits, because of their sugar content, will also provide energy. You won’t get the same negative effect on your blood sugar as you would if you ate a piece of candy because of the fiber content in the fruit. Fiber slows down the glucose conversion process. Be careful with fruits, though. If you have blood sugar problems (like diabetes), some fruits (like grapes and dried fruits) can spike your glucose levels. It is best to choose fruits that are high in fiber like apples, avocado, bananas, berries, guava, kiwi, or pears.
For recovery, choose foods high in antioxidants like berries and cherries and dark, leafy greens like kale or chard. Bananas are a great pre and post workout snack because they are high in B6 and potassium, both of which help reduce inflammation.
Maintaining optimal mental and physical performance is easy when you fuel your body with healthy food. For more information about how you can incorporate healthier options, schedule your complimentary nutrition consultation today.