When it comes to choosing foods that give you energy, you have to go beyond the donut and cup of coffee. Learn to choose high-energy foods according to your metabolism.
Choose the Healthiest Foods That Give You Energy and Learn How to Maximize Them
The Biggest Mistake in Selecting Foods for Energy
From bananas to complex carbs, it seems you have dozens of options for foods that give you energy. Not all of them may work for you, though.
Consider food as your employee; it works for you. But it’s up to you to employ productive, hardworking employees, and that means learning how to get the most energy from your food.
The great riddle of nutrition relies on one's unique metabolism and adjusting the macronutrients according to how much energy is produced from food. The complications in diet ideology are rooted in a one-size-fits-all concept.
This approach can never be accurate as no two people are identical in their metabolic signature. The idea of metabolic typing is to identify and experiment with the foods that allow you to produce the most amount of energy for the least amount of caloric intake.
What is metabolic typing? It is a concept or a process in which a person’s macronutrients are in accordance with their metabolism.
Breaking Down Macronutrients for More Energy
There are two dominant macronutrient types easily used as energy: fat and carbohydrates.
Protein is not efficiently used as an energy source. It is used for:
- Cognitive support
- Immune support
- Blood sugar modulation
There are nine essential amino acids that are not recycled in the body and must come from food. There are 21 total existing amino acids, excluding the nine that can be manufactured in some metabolisms.
The iconic viewpoint is that animal protein is necessary for strength and energy. Therefore, a meat-free diet is incomplete.
This is a misconception born out of simple ignorance regarding the difference between protein and fat. What meat eaters consider a desire for protein is a desire for fat.
It has also been confirmed that one of the top causes of kidney disease in America is the excessive animal protein stored improperly over time.
Animal foods are generally fat- (cholesterol-) dominant foods and contain secondary protein where the primary protein source of all herbivorous mammals is plant-sourced.
Understanding Energy-Boosting Foods
Many raw foodists commonly mistake nuts for being protein-rich.when n fact, they are fat dominant.
Seeds are more balanced in their fat-to-protein ratios, specifically hemp seeds, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, and chia seeds.
We are designed more for seed consumption than nut consumption. Our jawbone structure is designed to grind seeds and nuts.
But seeds are easier to consume in higher caloric amounts without the digestive irritation that nuts can cause.
To balance a 100% raw diet, a diversity of fat-protein-carbohydrate foods are essential. Green leafy vegetables are the great equalizer and help neutralize the acid-based minerals that can excessively throw one's body type out of balance.
A high-raw diet can be balanced out by incorporating:
- Sweet potatoes
- Steamed broccoli
- Semi-grains such as black rice, wild rice, and quinoa
Eating for Energy Is Knowing Your Metabolic Signature
Each person carries their own metabolic signature that is broken down into metabolic oxidation rates. This is a concept arrived at by George Watson and carried into the living foods field by Dr. Gabriel Cousens.
Each person falls loosely under one of these umbrellas:
- Fast oxidizers
- Slow oxidizers
Each person is uniquely influenced by food choices and food combinations. This means our moods, emotions, temperaments, thought patterns, impulsions, blood pH, and personalities are being affected positively or negatively.
Foods for Energy for Fast Oxidizers
Fast oxidizers have a speedier metabolism and tend to process a larger amount of fat and oils as their primary energy source than they do simple sugars.
This group runs a higher amount of metabolic energy from their adrenal glands and thyroid.
This causes fast oxidizers to become susceptible to sympathetic overload. It can lead to frustration, adrenal fatigue, constipation, and mental burnout.
When a fast oxidizer attempts to run a diet high in carbohydrates and low in fat, they fail to meet their metabolic needs for cholesterol and hormone precursors to support the endocrine system.
This is one of the chief reasons why this group may experience difficulty adjusting to a vegetarian diet, especially veganism. Since this type is more prone to heightened physical and mental exertion, they require more fat in the form of:
- Coconut butter
- Durian fruit
- Coconut products
Best Foods for Energy for Slow Oxidizers
Slow oxidizers have a slower metabolism and tend to run efficiently on sugars as immediate fuel. This group may do well on a diet consisting of:
- Moderate to high fruits
- Complex carbohydrates such as brown rice, quinoa, and amaranth
- Sweet potatoes
- Lower to moderate plant fats in their diet
If a slow oxidizer attempts to eat a high-fat diet, they can experience fatigue, digestive stagnation, constipation, moodiness, and lack of concentration.
This group runs a parasympathetic dominance. It slows down their adrenal activity and thyroid metabolism.
Slow oxidizers may find it difficult at times to lose weight whereas fast oxidizers can seemingly eat as much as they want and never gain weight. This is due to the rate at which the thyroid is functioning.
Foods That Increase Energy for Sub-Oxidizers
Sub-oxidizers are the balance point between the two extremes. Through the progression of one's health journey, they potentially find themselves balancing out where the adrenal-thyroid feedback reaches homeostasis and sympathetic-parasympathetic dominance balances out.
What is homeostasis? It is a body state where chemical and physical conditions are stable or normal.
It appears that through the knowledge of living foods, sub-oxidation is more achievable than on a cooked-food and animal-food diet.
When you consume a big salad, you are consuming mostly carbohydrates from vegetables and non-sweet fruits (tomatoes, cucumbers, lemons, bell peppers, etc.) and fats from avocados, olives/oil, seeds, nuts, etc.
Raw food provides a wider assortment of options to experiment with and create an integrative lifestyle.
Most people suffering from food allergies are constantly eating the same foods. Switch up your food choices once you feel irritation or intolerance to something.
There is no limit to how far you can explore this riddle, and once you find your perfect ratio, you have mastered your perfect diet.
General High-Energy Food Tips to Remember
The message above is clear: to maximize the foods that give you energy, you have to understand how your metabolism works. That’s not the only secret to success, however.
Here are seven tips to help you eat natural, quick-energy foods and make the most of them:
1. Fill Your Pantry with Foods That Give You Energy
Remember what other people say: out of sight, out of mind. Easy access to foods that give you energy is essential.
Otherwise, you may end up binging because you’re hungry or let your emotions take control over your eating habits. One of the ways to avoid these issues is to fill your pantry with the following:
- Dark chocolate
- Plant-based yogurt
- Peanut butter
- Green tea
- Pumpkin seeds
- Nut butter
- Berries (including goji berries)
- Almond butter
Having these around doesn’t mean you can consume them anytime you want. They may be foods that give you energy, but overeating can still lead to health problems.
Use them to help curb your hunger in between meals and fill your body with macronutrients, vitamins, and minerals.
2. Increase Your Energy with Plant-Based Protein
One of the foods that boost energy is plant-based protein. This is ideal even if you’re not practicing vegetarianism or veganism.
How does a plant-based protein product such as Warrior Blend help increase your energy? It contains specific fats and nutrients that are easier for the body to absorb.
In the process, you are able to use these healthy fats and proteins when you need them the most, such as when you’re working out. That makes plant-based protein a good option for a post-workout or pre-workout snack.
3. Rethink Skipping Breakfast
People who follow intermittent fasting (IF) and find success in it may consider skipping breakfast. If you spend your morning highly dependent on caffeine, though, you may have to rethink your diet.
In many studies, shying away from foods that give you energy in the morning may do more harm than good. For instance, it can increase the feelings of hunger and consumption of food in the succeeding meals.
People who skip breakfast may also be prone to eating foods with low nutritional value but high in calories.
4. Control Your Blood Sugar Levels
The body needs glucose or blood sugar to produce energy. If there’s too much available, the body doesn’t put it to waste.
It stores excess glucose as fat to act as reserves. It can also increase your blood sugar levels.
Both of these can be dangerous in the long run as they are risk factors for metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes.
Whether you have this illness or not, it’s best to regulate your blood sugar levels. You can do that by:
- Avoiding foods with artificial sugars
- Increasing your water intake
- Controlling food portions
5. Check for Any Mineral and Vitamin Deficiency
You may be eating foods that give you energy and still feel lethargic, tired, or weak. This is because metabolism is a complex process.
Many factors can affect your overall energy levels, and that includes whether you have deficiencies in vitamins and minerals.
When you still have low energy despite eating foods that give energy, you may be deficient in magnesium, potassium, and iron:
- Magnesium stimulates the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a body chemical that helps cells produce energy.
- Potassium is necessary for muscle movement, particularly contractions.
- Iron assists in delivering oxygen in the red blood cells to different parts of the body.
Note: If you can be deficient with certain vitamins and minerals, you may also experience an overload. Excessive consumption of iron-rich foods and supplements can lead to iron toxicity.
6. Remember, Not All Fats Are Created Equal
Many of the natural energy foods have fats, but not all types of fat are the same. For example, olive oil may be healthier than low-fat milk laced with artificial sugars and additives.
When in doubt, stick to the basics: choose the most natural whole sources of healthy fats you can get your hands on.
7. Swap Foods
Both white bread and whole-wheat bread can be foods that give you energy, but there’s a stark difference between the two.
White bread can potentially lead to an insulin spike, which makes regulating glucose difficult. This is because it tends to be higher in sugar than the whole-wheat option.
Whole-wheat bread, meanwhile, contains fiber, which is beneficial for your digestion. The condition of your digestive system can also impact your energy level.
Eating from the Earth sounds so simple, but it’s more difficult than you might think. Find out why in this video from Sunwarrior:
Some foods that give you energy may be better than the others. It’s not because they are inherently bad, but it’s because of other factors such as your metabolism.
Choose your food well, and you may achieve the energy you need to live a happier, more active life.
What kinds of foods to eat for energy works best on you? Share them in the comments section below!
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Note: This article was authored by Ronnie Landis.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on June 30, 2016, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.