Eat for en­ergy

FEEL­ING WEARY? TRY REACH­ING FOR ONE OF TH­ESE FA­TIGUE-BUSTING FOODS, SAYS KAREN FIT­TALL

Good Health (Australia) - - Contents -

Fill up on th­ese fa­tigue-fight­ing foods to put a spring in your step. Karen Fit­tall stocks up on eight en­ergy-boost­ing op­tions.

Tired all the time? A lot of Aus­tralians feel the same way, with only 17 per cent of us say­ing we wake up feel­ing well rested, ac­cord­ing to a 2016 re­port. The ob­vi­ous so­lu­tion is to do what it takes to get a bet­ter night’s sleep but, with the right in­gre­di­ents, it’s also pos­si­ble to fight fa­tigue from your fridge. Here are eight en­ergy-boost­ing foods to stock up on.

EGGS

They con­tain an amino acid called ty­ro­sine, which im­proves alert­ness by pro­mot­ing the pro­duc­tion of two fa­tigue-fight­ing neu­ro­trans­mit­ters.

Make it work by: eat­ing the whole egg, rather than hav­ing an egg white omelette, be­cause it’s egg yolk that con­tains the ty­ro­sine. And add some spinach – which also con­tains ty­ro­sine – to your omelette for a ‘dou­ble dose’ of the amino acid.

All cook­ing meth­ods re­duce ty­ro­sine lev­els by about 50 per cent, but avoid us­ing the microwave, which low­ers a food’s ty­ro­sine con­tent even fur­ther.

RED CAP­SICUM

A one-cup serve con­tains nearly three times the amount of vi­ta­min C you need each day – it helps fight fa­tigue by ac­ti­vat­ing en­zymes in­volved in en­ergy pro­duc­tion.

Make it work by: eat­ing the cap­sicum raw. Vi­ta­min C is eas­ily de­stroyed by heat and wa­ter, so cooked cap­sicum con­tains sig­nif­i­cantly less of the vi­ta­min than the raw va­ri­ety.

If you pre­fer, you can grab a green or yel­low one in­stead – green cap­sicums con­tain slightly less vi­ta­min C than the red va­ri­ety, while yel­low cap­sicums con­tain sig­nif­i­cantly more.

OYS­TERS

They de­liver a hit of iron – about the same amount as a 100g serve of beef per oys­ter. Iron is es­sen­tial for trans­port­ing oxy­gen in the blood, which is vi­tal for feel­ing en­er­gised. When your lev­els are even just a lit­tle bit low, your brain is less able to think clearly and main­tain con­cen­tra­tion.

Make it work by: not eat­ing dairy food in the same meal as oys­ters. While oys­ters con­tain the va­ri­ety of iron that’s eas­i­est to ab­sorb, cal­cium can in­hibit iron ab­sorp­tion when it’s con­sumed at ex­actly the same time.

PUMPKIN SEEDS

They’re a good source of mag­ne­sium, a min­eral that’s been linked to an in­creased risk of fa­tigue when you don’t eat enough of it, which one in three women don’t.

In­creas­ing your mag­ne­sium lev­els also im­proves sleep qual­ity, be­cause the min­eral helps reg­u­late the body’s cir­ca­dian rhythm. A 30g serve of pumpkin seeds con­tains 50 per cent of your daily mag­ne­sium re­quire­ments.

Make it work by: throw­ing the pumpkin seeds into a salad that con­tains green veg­eta­bles and avocado. Those foods con­tain boron, a min­eral that im­proves how well the body ab­sorbs mag­ne­sium.

CAR­ROTS

This pop­u­lar or­ange veg­etable is a good source of fi­bre, and feel­ings of fa­tigue and alert­ness im­prove by at least 10 per cent when you eat enough fi­bre ev­ery day.

Fi­bre bumps up the num­ber of friendly bac­te­ria in the di­ges­tive tract and keeps you feel­ing fuller for longer, both of which help to main­tain en­ergy lev­els. A cup of car­rots con­tains 7g of fi­bre, which is more than one quar­ter of your daily re­quire­ments.

Make it work by: eat­ing your car­rots washed and scrubbed, rather than peeled. By leav­ing the skins on, you get a hit of sol­u­ble and in­sol­u­ble fi­bre, which are both es­sen­tial for good health.

SALMON

It’s packed full of omega-3 fatty acids, and they’ve been linked to im­proved lev­els of both men­tal and phys­i­cal fa­tigue, as well as faster re­ac­tion times.

Make it work by: us­ing a splash of ex­tra-vir­gin olive oil to pan-fry the fish. As well as de­liv­er­ing a hit of omega-3s in its own right, un­like other oils, olive oil doesn’t pro­duce toxic com­pounds when it’s used to cook fish at high tem­per­a­tures.

DARK CHOCO­LATE

Thanks to the polyphe­nols it de­liv­ers, dark choco­late helps to re­duce fa­tigue by in­creas­ing lev­els of at least three brain chem­i­cals that act as stim­u­lants. Make it work by:

choos­ing a dark choco­late that con­tains at least 85 per cent co­coa, be­cause the higher the co­coa con­tent, the more polyphe­nols the choco­late con­tains. #

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