Healthy Ways to Increase Energy

Healthy Ways to Increase Energy

Who couldn't use a little more pep in their step!? There is so much to do in life that supporting healthy energy levels is imperative. There are a few simple diet and lifestyle changes that can positively impact how energetically you interact with the world.


1. Eat balanced meals

Many people start their days with higher starch and carbohydrate foods like cereal, toast, a bagel, and/or fruit. Whether you have a small or big breakfast, I recommend shifting to a breakfast more balanced in protein and fat.  The protein and fat offers you more sustainable energy whereas starches and carbohydrates raise your blood sugar temporarily only to drop you flat before lunch. I often suggest doing a protein shake, chia seeding pudding, or coconut nested eggs. As for the rest of the day, continue to be cognizant of starches and carbohydrates as having too much can lead to feeling tired after a meal instead of energized.


2. Increase antioxidant containing foods (also known as super foods)

Super foods are packed with antioxidants, nutrients, and minerals. Experts in the field of nutrition frequently tout exotic new super foods, but the truth is that super foods are all around us.  Antioxidants are in any colorful fresh vegetable or fruit.  The goal is to get all of the colors of the rainbow on your plate. These foods provide the nutrition we need for healthy and sustained energy. Antioxidants scavenge the body for free radicals (toxins) and clears them from our system.

Here are some of my favorite high antioxidant super foods:

  • Goji Berries: The red pigment of this berry reflects its high levels of vitamin A and C, which supports healthy skin, eyes, and immune system.
  • Pomegranates: This super food is especially beneficial for those affected by health concerns around the heart like high blood pressure and poor circulation.
  • Dark Chocolate: True dark chocolate has a high nutrient content of minerals like magnesium and iron. One piece of a dark chocolate bar curbs my afternoon sugar craving and gives me a nice energy boost.
  • Maca root: This Peruvian plant is rich in vitamins and minerals and is very supportive of healthy energy levels and a balanced mood.  The powder can easily be mixed into a smoothie.


3. Stay hydrated

Fatigue is a common symptom of dehydration and is often confused with hunger. Adequate hydration can be assessed in two ways: ensuring urine is straw colored throughout most of the day or drinking half your body weight in ounces per day.


4. Regulate sleep cycle

We are creatures of habit and our bodies like to know what to expect. Having a standard bedtime window helps us to get into a rhythm.  Adequate sleep keeps us alert, calm, and better able to handle stress.

The average person requires about 8 hours asleep at night to not fall into a deficit, and as we age catching up on sleep is no longer an option. While we sleep, our bodies are still quite active.  Repair hormones and chemicals are released to combat daily wear and tear and memories are filed away.


5.  Disconnect — meditate or take a walk

Ever find yourself at the beck and call of the beep from your cell phone?  The cell phone has made our lives easier in so many ways that most people cannot imagine their lives without it, but it also keeps us in constant connection.

Take time to step away and disconnect whether by exercising or incorporating daily meditation.  Exercise boosts endorphins that improve both mood and energy.

Studies show that those who take time to meditate are more efficient and productive.  For those overwhelmed by the thought of silent meditation can start with a short guided meditation. One of my favorite resources is as you can do a search based on how much time to have to fit any schedule.


6. Take inventory— energy producers vs. energy zappers

Every once in a while it is important to take inventory on life to evaluate what is working and what no longer serves us.  Sit down and write a list of all of the things that leave feeling energized and all of the things that leave you feeling wiped out.

Once you have the list, plan the energizers into your schedule and brainstorm ways of reducing energy draining activities.


Dr. Thalia Farshchian, Naturopathic Doctor

This post is solely for informational purposes. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for medical advice. Before undertaking any course of treatment or dietary/health changes, you should seek the advice of your physician or other health care provider.

We aim to provide you with the most honest and credible information possible. This article was reviewed for accuracy by The Honest Team and was written based on trusted sources that are linked at the bottom of the article.