In today’s busy society, fatigue is a common complaint and too often, ignored until it becomes debilitating. Feeling tired is a vague symptom, and can be associated with a number of medical conditions, which you should see your health care provider to rule out. What you eat plays a critical role in energy production and feelings of vitality. Here are some of the top nutrients and the foods they’re found in, to help put the spring back in your step.
Iron is a critical nutrient for energy production and 70% of our body’s iron is found in the blood. Iron helps to build red blood cells, which carry oxygen (and energy) to our muscles, brain, and other organs. Severe iron deficiency can lead to anemia, but whether you’re anemic or not, low iron (even if its within the ‘normal’ range) is a major cause of fatigue, and is extremely common among women. Aside from many meats, which are rich in iron, spinach and other leafy greens like kale and beet greens are excellent sources, so loading up on these healthy veggies on a regular basis is always a good idea. To increase your body’s absorption of iron, consume with a high vitamin C food, like citrus fruits, beets, or a vitamin C supplement.
Our favorite green smoothies:
This nutrient also helps in the production of red blood cells, and one of the key indictors of B12 deficiency is fatigue. It is found mostly in meat and other animal products, so vegetarians and vegans tend to have lower levels. If you’ve had your B12 levels tested and know you are low, supplements can be very helpful. To beef up your B12, try adding a scoop of organic plain yogurt to your Green Blender smoothie, or an organic whey protein powder.
Potassium is a mineral and electrolyte that is essential to proper muscular function. Even a small drop in potassium can lead to mild symptoms, such as a general feeling of fatigue and muscle weakness, and are often easily corrected by foods. High potassium foods include sweet potatoes, broccoli, bananas, and cantaloupe.
Our favorite high-potassium smoothies:
Pomegranate Orange Creamsicle
This smoothie is just like a treat from the ice cream man, but without the sugar or artificial additives. Instead, this Creamsicle is filled with superfoods, healthy fats, and lots of fiber. The tart pomegranate powder offers the perfect contrast to the sweet banana and the sour orange. It also gives you a healthy dose of vitamin C, potassium and polyphenols to help your body get rid of free radicals. Turmeric with natural anti-inflammatory and may lower the risk of heart disease.
Many people feel tired and sluggish throughout they day because they aren’t getting enough protein, especially at breakfast. Protein helps to maintain blood sugar levels throughout the day and reduces spikes and crashes in energy. Smoothies are one of the easiest ways to get healthy protein in the morning. Try smoothies with hemp seeds or other nuts/ nut butters, or add a good quality organic protein powder to your regular smoothie.
Our favorite protein-rich smoothies:
Refreshing, zesty, and hydrating, the Green Monster smoothie is the perfect way to start the morning. Now that days are getting shorter and the beach is becoming a happy memory, getting enough vitamin D is a must to help our body absorb calcium. Broccoli has a combination of vitamin K and vitamin A, which helps keep our vitamin D metabolism stay balanced.
No need to pinch yourself, this is not a dream. While this smoothie tastes like it could be dessert, it is filled with vitamins and nutrients. From the protein-packed almond butter to the antioxidants in the cacao nibs, drinking this will make you feel like a million bucks. You deserve it.
Samana Health Retreats
Ashley Weber is a Naturopathic Doctor based in Los Angeles, and Julie Weber is a NYC-based yoga instructor and together, they co-founded Samana Health Retreats. Taking place in exquisite locales, each retreat is built around three signature pillars; yoga, nutrition, and 360-degree wellness.
Julie and Ashley are headed to Costa Rica from March 21st – 28th to lead a luxury health and yoga retreat and they would love for you to join them! They’re offering a $300 savings for Green Blender readers and subscribers with the code GREENBLENDER at booking.
You can connect with them via Facebook and Instagram. To find out more about the retreat, click here, or email the ladies at firstname.lastname@example.org.