Everyone has days and even weeks when they feel blah. Recovering from a cold or the flu can sap you of energy, as can hormonal changes during the month and experiencing super busy and stressful situations in your personal life and at work.
Extra rest, exercise, and self-care are important during these times to help you get back on your feet. Not to mention, you should also be focusing on making wise nutrition choices–because after all, the foods you eat do play a large role in how you feel.
Choosing foods that are high in protein and fiber and made up of healthy fats and gut-healthy nutrients will keep you full, focused, and energized throughout the day. And, they’ll also help stop those unhealthy cravings for sweets, too!
Here are four foods that doctors say will help keep your blood sugar steady and get your energy levels back up:
A Prebiotic Smoothie
Start your morning off the best way possible with a prebiotic smoothie that can clean your gut. By doing this, you're giving your body a boost of natural energy.
"When your gut isn’t working properly, it can throw off other systems in your body, like your immune system, nervous system, and metabolism," Dr. Oz reminds us. "Adding prebiotics to your diet can promote the growth of probiotics in the digestive system, which can help improve digestive function and energy levels. Drink a prebiotic shake first thing in the morning instead of wolfing down energy-zapping carb-heavy bagels and coffee."
Our favorite prebiotic smoothie recipe comes from Sophie Uliano and only contains five ingredients that are probably already in your kitchen.
-Organic Mixed Berries
-Coconut water or Almond Milk
Healthy fats are crucial when it comes to maintaining high energy levels. And few foods can compete with walnuts when it comes to their omega-3 fatty acid and protein content.
"The bottom line is, the average American woman doesn't get enough omega-3 fatty acids, and you can find those in walnuts," Evelyn Tribole, R.D., author of The Ultimate Omega-3 Diet, tells Redbook.
Breakfast doesn't have to be complicated. A small bowl of oatmeal with berries and maybe a handful of nuts provides everything you need to get an energetic start to the day.
"While whole grains, in general, are healthy, oatmeal has additional benefits: It’s naturally high in fiber, which helps keep blood-sugar levels stable and contains B vitamins, which are essential to convert carbohydrates into energy," Dr. Andrew Weil, M.D., writes. "Choose steel cut or Irish oatmeal over rolled oats."
Want more energy? One of your first focuses should be on the amount of vitamin C you're getting, Dr. Weil says.
"People with higher blood levels of vitamin C appear to have more energy than those with lower levels. This could be because vitamin C influences the production of L-carnitine, an amino acid that helps your body burn fat for energy. The best way to get plenty of vitamin C is from oranges and other citrus fruits, kiwis, bell peppers, broccoli, strawberries, and cantaloupe."
For more tips on nutrition, check out 8 Anti-inflammatory proteins you should start eating in 2018 and The one vitamin you should take in the morning for energy for SHEFinds.com.