Eating For Energy: Food To Boost Your Productivity
by team nuut
Beat fatigue and increase vitality with plant protein and energising food.
Mentally muddled, fatigued and low on energy? If you regularly feel tired and sluggish, your diet may be to blame. Foods like cereal, cakes and fast food can diminish the body’s ability to use nutrients, leaving you deficient in essential vitamins and minerals.
Let’s go deep and discover all there is to know about eating for energy so you can bring your best self forward every single day.
The Low Down on The B Vitamins
The B vitamins, particularly vitamins B1 and B12, often referred to as B-complex vitamins, are essential for proper red blood cell formation, nerve function, DNA synthesis, and help the body convert food (carbohydrates) into fuel (glucose), which the body uses to produce energy. They are naturally present in fish, meat, eggs, dairy products, fortified breakfast cereals, and nutritional yeast products. Research shows low levels can cause fatigue, brain fog, and impair concentration.
While many foods are high in B vitamins, deficiencies are common as they cannot be stored in the body. As a result, lethargy, lack of focus and decreased physical and mental stamina are experienced, and stress, medications, alcohol and poor quality sleep deplete them even further.
Vitamin B12, essential for forming red blood cells and DNA and the function and development of brain and nerve cells, is only found in animal products, so vegans or those following a plant-based diet should take a B12 supplement, as well as eating lots of spinach, collards, turnips, lentils, beans, shellfish, sunflower seeds, eggs, turkey and nutritional yeast.
For a daily dose of complex b vitamins, shake a nuut plant protein shake! it’s formulated with complex b vitamins, including the all-important B12! Born in Perth and made in Australia, nuut plant protein tastes delicious and puts a spring in your step. Just add water, shake, sip and let the mighty b do its work!
Protein is a macronutrient, which means it's a nutrient that the body needs in large quantities for energy. It's mostly found in animal products and plant-based sources such as nuts and legumes.
Protein also helps you feel full, so is essential when you are watching your weight. A Nutritional Journal study showed that eating protein rather than sugar leads to lower hunger levels later in the day, keeps the body functioning optimally, contributes to normal energy levels and a healthy appetite and elevates brain function.
Protein gives you energy by repairing and building tissues, but unlike carbohydrates, protein is slow-release rather than a rapid-fire energy boost. With over 10,000 proteins in the body, protein is critical for maintaining healthy energy levels and supporting health on a foundational level.
A lack of protein also causes muscle mass loss, reduces strength, makes it harder to keep your balance, and slows your metabolism. It can also lead to anaemia when your cells don't get enough oxygen, which makes you tired.
According to Harvard Health, the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. If you are super active, increase your protein intake from the minimum recommended amount to reduce fatigue and support muscle growth. Try using the USDA DRI calculator to accurately determine your recommended nutrient intake based on your body type and lifestyle.
Of course, nuut vegan protein powder mixed with water or nut milk is a potent, convenient protein option that provides weight-loss benefits like increased satiety and muscle preservation. Protein shakes offer weight-loss benefits like increased satiety, muscle preservation, and energy. One nuut plant protein shake gives you one-third of your daily nutritional requirements!
Eat protein-rich foods like nuut vegan protein powder, grass-fed beef, chicken, seafood, nuts, yogurt, tofu, beans, peas, lentils, and cottage cheese.
Potassium is an essential nutrient in all body cells and tissues. When potassium levels fall, this can significantly affect a wide range of bodily functions, leading to low energy levels and physical and mental fatigue. Potassium is also an electrolyte that the body needs to stay hydrated and healthy.
Potassium helps regulate muscle contractions, so the muscles produce weaker contractions with low levels. It also helps maintain the health of the kidneys, bones, and cardiovascular system and may help manage blood pressure.
An adequate potassium intake is 3,400 milligrams (mg) per day for healthy adult males and 2,600 mg for healthy adult females.
Increase potassium levels with these foods: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, beet greens, chard, spinach, mushrooms, dried fruits, pulses, pinto beans, lima beans, watermelon, tomato paste and coconut water.
Before you start loading up on carbs for energy, be aware there are two types to know about.
Simple carbohydrates are the sugars added to foods and beverages like soft drinks, cakes, biscuits, pastries, and confectionary to sweeten the flavour. They also add extra calories, few nutrients and no fibre. The second type is complex carbohydrates that provide healthy calories and nutrients such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables and beans.
Foods rich in top-tier complex carbs include Bananas, beans, peas, lentils, oatmeal, butternut squash, acorn squash, sweet potatoes, barley and quinoa.
Do you find it hard to fit whole grains into your day?
Try these simple daily ideas:
• Munch on 100% whole wheat crackers
• Try whole wheat pasta
• Swap white rice for brown
• Add oats to your nuut plant protein
• Sprinkle chia seeds or flaxseeds on smoothies
• Eat popcorn when you’re snackish
• Toss black beans into your taco mince
… and shake a nuut! Add a banana and oat milk to your nuut plant protein powder and you have an instant potassium shake!
Iron is used to make haemoglobin – the part of your red blood cells that carries oxygen around your body. Strong sources of iron are animal-based foods like meat and eggs (called 'haem iron'), but many plant-based foods also contain (non-haem) iron, including:
• Iron-fortified bread and breakfast cereal
• Nuts and seeds
• Dried fruit
• Wholemeal pasta and bread
• Legumes — such as mixed beans, baked beans, lentils and chickpeas
• Dark leafy green vegetables — such as spinach, silver beet and broccoli
How you prepare and combine food affects how much iron your body absorbs. For example, vitamin C rich foods help you absorb more iron, including:
• Citrus fruits like oranges and lemons
• Kiwi fruit
• Green leafy vegetables
Eat these foods raw at the same time as iron-rich foods and drink orange juice with your meals or take a vitamin C supplement.
Be aware some foods and beverages can reduce your iron absorption, such as:
• Red wine (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic)
• Calcium-rich foods like milk or cheese
• Calcium supplements
• Some soybean-based foods