Do you feel tired all the time? Low on energy? You might be running low on the vitamins and minerals necessary to help your body convert food into energy.
With a busy schedule, you need energy and lots of it. You can’t afford to put low quality fuel into your body.
Asking your body to maintain a busy schedule while eating a poor diet is like asking a car to run the Indianapolis 500 with sugar in the gas tank. You just aren’t going to get very far! You’ll be exhausted and irritable all the time. You also won’t be able to enjoy your life to the fullest.
Below is my list of top 10 high energy foods – okay, I cheated a little on number 10 because it isn’t a food but still very important to maintaining your energy levels.
After the list, I will explain why these foods and others like them are important for energy production. I listed them in order – those that contain the most energy-building vitamins and minerals to the least:
- Whole Grains
- Fatty fish (especially Salmon and Tuna*)
- Sunflower seeds
- Dairy products (Milk and Yogurt)
* If you are pregnant or nursing, limit your tuna servings to 2 a week due to concerns with mercury in this type of fish.
Vitamins and minerals are organic nutrients that the body uses to maintain normal metabolism and health. Vitamins function as chemical partners for the enzymes involved in cell production and tissue repair. Minerals help facilitate the absorption of vitamins.
The food you eat is the primary source for these elements since most cannot be manufactured in the body. Let’s focus on the vitamins and minerals responsible for energy maintenance.
Vitamins That Enhance Energy
- Thiamin (Vitamin B1) is essential for helping the body convert carbohydrates into energy. Foods that are good sources of thiamin are beans and peas, whole grains, brewer’s yeast, and sunflower seeds.
- Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) and Niacin also help us use the energy obtained from our food more effectively. Sources of Riboflavin include milk, yogurt, mushrooms, and whole grains. Niacin food sources are mushrooms, whole grains, tuna, salmon, chicken, and beef.
- Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6) assists in protein metabolism. Foods high in Pyridoxine include spinach, bananas, soybeans, sunflower seeds, tuna and beef.
Minerals That Enhance Energy
Several minerals also assist in energy metabolism. These minerals are Phosphorus, Zinc, Iodine, Copper, and Chromium. Here are the food sources for these minerals:
- Phosphorus: Dairy products, poultry, fish, eggs, whole grains, nuts, seeds
- Zinc: Poultry, fish, eggs, whole grains
- Iodine: Salt-water fish, dairy products
- Copper: Seafood, nuts, seeds
- Chromium: Egg yolks, whole grains
In addition to these foods, you want to maintain a varied diet of fruit and vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein sources for good health and energy. With all of these foods, you want to use moderation in your portion sizes since overeating also drains your energy.
Let’s not forget the most important nutrient of all – water. Your body is composed of 60 to 70 percent water. Because so many of our bodily functions depend on water, it is estimated that you can only live for four days without it. Your body does not have a mechanism to store excess water, so you must take certain measures to ensure that you maintain an adequate water intake.
You lose up to twelve cups of water per day through various means, so you need a continual supply of fresh, clean water to keep your system flushed and running cleanly. Another good reason to drink plenty of water is that when you become dehydrated, your thinking becomes impaired. Lack of adequate water also has a profound effect on your energy levels.
So how much water should you drink per day? Most experts recommend that you take your body weight and divide that number by 2 (half) to determine how many ounces of water you need to consume per day. For example, if you weigh 160 pounds, you would need 80 ounces of water per day, which would translate into 10 8-oz. glasses of water daily. At the very least, strive for 8 glasses of water per day.
Be blessed in health, healing, and wholeness,
Author of the ‘Take Back Your Temple’ ebook