The Pillars Of A High-Energy Plan
This plan was designed with thriving energy in mind. Nutritionist Jesse Lane Lee shows you how you can dial up your stamina with a few easy tweaks that address some of the common dietary causes of lagging energy.
FOCUS ON HYDRATION: Water plays a role in almost every bodily function. It helps with digestion, hormone production, enzyme production, blood circulation and elimination of waste and toxins. It also largely makes up all your bodily fluids including blood, lymph, digestive juices, urine and sweat. When you are dehydrated, it puts a strain on your body and causes fatigue. Focus on consuming water-containing foods such as vegetables and fruits, and drink at least 8 cups daily.
MIND YOUR MICRONUTRIENTS: Micronutrients include minerals such as iron and vitamins such as B12 that are key to keeping energy levels high. Iron is the central core of the hemoglobin molecule, a protein molecule in red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body. B12 stimulates the body’s utilization of protein, fats and carbohydrates. It is also needed to prevent anemia because it helps folate in regulating the formation of red blood cells and helps with the utilization of iron.
KEEP BLOOD SUGAR IN CHECK: Another key to sustained energy is maintaining balanced blood sugar levels. Eating protein, fiber and healthy fat with all your meals and snacks can help stabilize blood sugar levels. Avoid or limit foods that are high in sugar as they spike blood sugar levels, leaving you feeling fatigued. You can also include blood sugar–balancing foods such as Ceylon cinnamon, which improves insulin sensitivity, and garlic and onions, which contain sulfur compounds that help balance blood sugar levels.
HEAL YOUR GUT: A properly functioning gut is needed to metabolize the carbohydrates, fats and proteins needed to produce ATP, a molecule that stores energy in the body. Gut health is also key to absorbing or producing energy-boosting B vitamins or the iron your cells need for oxygen transportation. Make sure to eat plenty of probiotic-rich foods like kimchi and sauerkraut, which contain healthy bacteria to support your microbiome, as well as prebiotic-rich foods such as onions, garlic and asparagus, which act as food for probiotics.