This Beloved Jewish Food Could Be Zapping Your Energy
These Five Foods are Draining Your Energy and Making You Tired Dr. Josh Axe, DNM, DC, CNS
If you’ve been feeling completely exhausted before your day even begins, you’re not alone. It’s something most of us have battled with at one point or another, even if we manage to get in the bed at a decent time and log a full eight hours of sleep.
The truth is, there are plenty of factors that can contribute to low energy levels other than the amount of slumber you’re getting each night. Lack of exercise, high levels of stress, an inconsistent sleep pattern, certain medications or even conditions like depression can all have a major influence on just how energized you feel.
With this in mind, the easiest and most effective way to deal with low energy is to get to the root of the problem and switch up your routine. Exercising more, trying out some natural stress-relievers and sticking to a regular sleep schedule are a few healthy habits that can fight off fatigue. Perhaps even more important, though, is diet.
Try taking a closer look at what’s on your plate, as what you eat can also have a huge impact on your ability to stay alert during the day. Minimizing your intake of energy-draining foods (and adding in more energy-boosting foods) could actually be the key to you making the most out of your day.
Here are 5 sneaky foods that may be to blame for your low energy levels:
Many people load up on energy drinks in search of an extra fuel bump to help them power through the day. And while this may seem like a quick fix to make up for a sleepless night, it turns out that downing these popular drinks could actually be sabotaging your energy levels.
Jam-packed with caffeine and sugar, energy drinks cause energy and blood sugar to spike and then crash as the effects start to wear off, leaving you even more tired than you were before. Plus, the caffeine can also cause dehydration, resulting in side effects like fatigue and sluggishness.
We all know that filling up on French fries, mozzarella sticks and donuts can have detrimental effects on health, but did you know that they can also zap energy levels?
Fried foods are generally nutrient-poor, meaning they provide plenty of calories, but are lacking in the important vitamins and minerals that help fight fatigue and boost energy levels. Additionally, fat is digested at a much slower rate than carbohydrates and proteins, so it can take up to eight hours to digest your favorite high-fat, deep-fried snack. During this time, you may feel drained, as digestion requires so much extra energy.
Yogurt is recognized around the world as a superstar dairy product. Greek yogurt, in particular, is beloved for its creamy texture, delicious flavor and impressive nutrient profile.
However, not all types of yogurt live up to the hype. The problem is that many commercial brands load up on sugar, additives, and extra ingredients in order to enhance the flavor. Besides taking a negative toll on your health, these unhealthy ingredients can also lead to fluctuations in blood sugar and a plunge in energy levels.
Swap the traditional yogurt for unprocessed, fermented dairy products like kefir, probiotic yogurt, or raw, full-fat yogurt. These are healthier options that support better gut health, are higher in the beneficial nutrients that keep you going, and are free of the artificial junk that slows you down.
Fruit smoothies may seem like a simple way to squeeze a boatload of nutrients into your day. However, if go overboard with the fruit, you’re likely to end up feeling drained and low on energy almost immediately.
Fruit is an excellent source of many vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that your body needs. Unfortunately, fruit is also high in fructose and natural sugars. While enjoying a few pieces of your favorite fruit each day is actually very healthy, packing several servings into a smoothie all at once provides a concentrated amount of sugar, which can cause both blood sugar and energy to spike and then plummet. Plus, the fruit smoothies that you pick up at the store are also often brimming with extra ingredients that can pull energy levels down even further.
Skip the store-bought smoothie and opt to make it at home so you really know what you’re getting. Additionally, instead of filling up your smoothie solely with fruit, aim to make vegetables at least 50-75 percent of the blend and throw in a few other energizing superfoods like flaxseed, coconut oil, and spirulina.
And Finally… Bagels
Eating a nutritious breakfast is a crucial step in starting your day off on the right foot. The right foods can help set you up for success, while other less healthy choices may lead to mid-morning cravings and cause your energy and productivity to take a dip.
Unfortunately, bagels fall into the latter category. They’re loaded with rapidly-digested carbohydrates, and just one bagel contains roughly the same amount of carbs and calories as four slices of white bread. That means that this classic, carb-laden breakfast can quickly raise your blood sugar and then cause it to drop, dragging down your energy levels right along with it.