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Increase Energy

Increase Energy Naturally

We all feel tired sometimes, and often an early night will be what we need.  But if you are suffering from fatigue, it’s a persistent tiredness that can’t be solved by just going to bed early.  So how can we increase energy naturally?

What causes fatigue?

Fatigue is often caused by a number of different factors which can be related to your health or medical conditions such as autoimmunity, thyroid problems, digestive problems, allergies, lifestyle, work stress or emotional factors.  Fatigue itself is not a medical disorder, but rather a symptom of underlying issues.  Addressing these can help you increase energy so that you can feel your energetic self once again.

The production of energy is a massive task by a huge range of metabolic processes in the body.  These require a range of specific nutrients.  Deficiencies in any of these nutrients can lead to fatigue. This will depend on your specific needs, food types, dietary nutrient intake, nutrient and energy output, absorption and metabolism…

Mitochondria are the part of the cell responsible for turning the food we eat into energy for our bodies to use. Fatigue and chronic tiredness can be a symptom of dysfunctional or damaged mitochondria.

Tips to Increase Energy

Get your sleep back on track

Disrupted or inadequate sleep can have a huge impact on energy levels. Sometimes it can be difficult to identify the causes of your sleep disruption. There may be emotional, environmental, diet or lifestyle factors impacting on your sleep quality. You may need support to re-establish good sleep patterns.

Eat a good diet to increase energy

There’s no way ‘round this one.  A shift towards a more Mediterranean style diet has been shown in studies over and over again to be beneficial. Try to cut back on sugars and processed grains, and include more whole foods, fish, legumes, nuts, seeds and vegetables.

Blood sugar balance and energy

To increase energy and maintain levels throughout the day, we need balanced blood glucose levels.

When we eat refined carbohydrates (donuts, white bread, biscuits), we get an instant energy hit by increasing levels of glucose in our blood quickly. In response to this ‘sugar hit’, our body produces the hormone insulin which stimulates cells to take in the sugar, therefore reducing levels in the blood. This can lead to an energy slump which is not beneficial to our health long term. If we constantly challenge our body in this way, we can develop insulin resistance or other serious health consequences, including obesity.

Avoiding processed foods and choosing lean protein, healthy fats, vegetables and salads instead, will help you avoid the roller coaster of sugar highs and lows, and provide you with sustained energy and balanced blood sugar.

Fill in the Nutritional gaps

It can be difficult to get all the vitamins, minerals and nutritional needs daily to meet all your energy needs.  You may need some mitochondrial energy support, such as B vitamins, or do you need to boost your omega 3 fish oils.  Do you need to get your iron levels checked?  Is your thyroid functioning ok?  Are you taking medications that increase your nutritional needs?  Do you need some professional help to work out why your energy levels are so low?

Move your body to increase energy

For many of us, our jobs and lifestyles leave us sitting for the majority of the day, so it is increasingly important to schedule some exercise into our day.  There are so many health benefits from exercise, and it’s a great way to increase energy levels.  So kick start your day with some movement, and let that energy carry you through the day.

Intermittent fasting

A number of recent studies have linked intermittent fasting to improved mitochondrial function and reduced free radical damage. It’s not about starving yourself, but rather, eating within a set window of time (eg. within 8-11 hours).

Energy is a complicated thing, and it’s not as simple as adding an extra shot to your morning coffee. Get in touch if you’d like support to increase energy levels long term.

Energy Lunch idea to make up for tomorrow (or make extra for a few days this week):

Brown rice salad

Ingredients
½ cup organic brown rice
1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
¼ cup almonds (approximately 20 almonds)
2 zucchinis
Small bunch spring onion (finely chopped)
Alfalfa sprouts (handful)
½ avocado
Small handful mint leaves
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil  + extra to sauté vegetables
2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon honey, Salt & pepper

Method
Cook rice according to packet instructions.
Toast the almonds, sunflower and pumpkin seeds until fragrant (you can do this in a fry pan or in the oven).
Chop zucchinis and sauté lightly in a little extra olive oil.
Add toasted seeds, almonds, zucchinis, spring onions and sprouts to the cooled rice and toss to combine.
Combine the olive oil, lemon juice and honey.
Add the dressing mixture to the rice mixture and combine.
Serve topped with avocado and mint leaves

(Can substitute vegetables and herbs to your liking)

Angela McTaggart
Qualified Clinical Naturopath
Brunswick Naturopathy

www.brunswicknaturopathy.com.au
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Angela McTaggart - Naturopath, Brunswick Naturopathy
angela@brunswicknaturopathy.com.au