Living in our very demanding world requires each of us to have more energy on a daily basis. Without enough energy, our productivity levels diminish and this can obviously have negative repercussions, especially in the workplace.
To avoid this, make sure that you are getting enough energy from your daily diet, however if your diet is inadequate, vitamin and mineral supplements can be beneficial in getting more energy.
Firstly, be aware that the energy referred to cannot simply be measured in kilojoules or calories, but would be better thought of as vitality or life-energy. In actual fact, over-consumption (and it doesn’t take much) of sugary foods that are often termed ‘high-energy’, will cause blood-sugar swings that lead to feeling fatigued. Being overweight also adds to feelings of lethargy and a reluctance to exert oneself.
Reduce consumption of those foods that give you a supposed quick-energy fix such as caffeine and sugar. For sustained energy make sure you are getting your recommended daily allowance of B group vitamins and iron. These are important vitamins and minerals for energy.
Thiamin or Vitamin B1
This vitamin is known to strengthen the immune system while also enhancing neurotransmitter synthesis in the brain and this assists improved memory functioning. Skin and blood vessel health as well as food metabolism are some of the many processes that take place in the body that require sufficient amounts of thiamin. When food metabolism is being carried out properly, the body will have more energy available for performing other required functions.
Diet tips – Include fish, macadamia, lean pork, sunflower seeds, wheat bread and green peas in your diet as sources of thiamin.
Riboflavin or Vitamin B2
This is a water soluble vitamin that cannot be produced by the body so it has to be sourced from dietary intake. This vitamin works to improve red blood cell production, thereby helping to boost energy levels. This nutrient is also important for fast carbohydrate digestion which may also translate to improved energy production. Diet tips – Riboflavin can be obtained from soybeans, eggs, asparagus, turkey, almonds, tempeh and mushrooms.
Folic Acid or Vitamin B9
This is another water-soluble B complex vitamin that is crucial for metabolizing protein and its building blocks, the amino acids. Protein is necessary for improved muscle mass and muscle growth and repair. A lack of usable protein will cause feelings of lethargy and fatigue.
Diet tips – Folic acid can be obtained from spinach, garbanzo beans, rice, pasta, lentils and orange juice.
Niacin or Vitamin B3
Vitamin B3 or niacin is vital for maintaining the health of the skin, liver, eyes and hair. Niacin is utilized by the body to help process high cholesterol which can also impact an individual’s energy levels. In order to maximize its efficiency, this vitamin must work in conjunction with other types of B vitamins to enable it to produce more energy.
Diet tips – Eggs, tuna, beef liver, swordfish, beets and peanuts are excellent sources of this vitamin.
Pyridoxine or Vitamin B6
This nutrient has artery-protecting effects and supports the health of the circulatory system. Pyridoxine promotes proper blood flow to enable the proper functioning of the vital organs of the body.
Diet tips – In order to meet your daily requirement of vitamin B6, eat tuna, turkey, banana, sweet potato, sunflower seeds, chicken and salmon.
Iron is a nutrient that is critical for the production of hemoglobin which is a substance found in red blood cells. It plays a key role in transporting oxygen all throughout the body. A deficiency in iron can leave people feeling weak, tired, fatigued, pale and dizzy and can cause difficulty trying to focus on tasks. A lack of available blood-oxygen can affect almost all vital organs in the body, including brain function and the ability of the immune system to fight off disease-causing microorganisms.
Diet tips – Beans, poultry, pork, red meat, seafood, spinach and other dark green leafy vegetables are good sources of iron.
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