Today is termed Blue Monday, the most depressing day of the year! The winter months can definitely be times when we all feel a little lower mood and energy levels. Nutrition can play a key role in helping to keep you energised.
Skipping meals or not eating regularly can leave you feeling fatigued. Your body likes to have a regular intake of energy throughout the day, eating 3 balanced meals with carbohydrate, protein and plenty of fruit and vegetables will help.
Sugary foods can send your blood sugars spiking high, when they crash back down this leads to fatigue, low mood and hunger. If you are someone who snacks then based your snacks on wholegrains or protein with a fruit or vegetable portion. Carrot sticks and hummus, almonds with an apple or cheese, wholegrain crackers and grapes are examples of snacks to help keep your blood sugars stable.
Top foods to include in your diet for energy levels:
Iron is a key nutrient that helps with our energy levels and mood. Found in a range of foods including green leafy veggies, eggs, nuts and seeds plus the most well known source, red meat.
Lean red meat can help you this Blue Monday. Not only can it brighten up your day as it’s delicious, versatile and easy for midweek meals. It also provides essential nutrients that help reduce tiredness and fatigue.
Lamb provides four essential B vitamins – B12, B6, niacin (B3) and pantothenic acid (B5) – that help reduce tiredness and fatigue.
Beef naturally provides iron and four essential B vitamins – B12, B6, niacin (B3) and riboflavin (B2) – that help reduce tiredness and fatigue.
Pork provides five essential B vitamins – B12, B6, niacin (B3), riboflavin (B2) and pantothenic acid (B5) – that help reduce tiredness and fatigue.
Lean red meat is a good source of protein, vitamins and minerals that help support good health. It is also one of the main sources of vitamin B12, which is only found naturally in foods from animals, such as meat and milk.
B vitamins are a key nutrient found in wholegrain foods. The B vitamins help the body release energy from food. Carbohydrates break down to glucose which is the best source of energy for the body. Eating these foods at most meals will help keep you fuelled for the day.
Fruit and Veggies:
Providing the body with the antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and natural sugar it needs but including with fibre to help slow down the impact on the body’s blood sugars. Eating fruit and veg as part of a meal or with a protein or wholegrain can also help keep blood sugars more stable giving you longer lasting energy.
Nuts and Seeds:
Containing protein as well as healthy fats, nuts and seeds can help stabilise your blood sugars and give you a middle of the day energy and mood boost.
This is a sponsored post for the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) and Hybu Cig Cymru (HCC).