Saturday, 30 April 2011

Speaking from Experience: Researching foods which restore energy levels.

A list of scientifically proven foods recommended to restore energy levels, along with specific properties and source links...

* OATS- High in fibre and a steady release of carbohydrates which release throughout the day, keeping you focused. Stress-lowering with B-vitamins which transform carbohydrates into usable energy. Low in fat.

*COFFEE- Instant caffeine boost for quick release of stimulants. When drinking coffee, you should also drink water as coffee can dehydrate and more than two or three cups a day can lead to counterproductivity with withdrawal symptoms such as fatigue. Keep caffeine levels in balance.

*LENTILS- Providing carbohydrates and protein, as well as being suitable for both vegetarians and vegans as a meat substitute. A good source of fibre which produces a slow release of glucose (natural sugars) throughout the day as well as B vitamins, iron, magnesium, potassium (as found in bananas), zinc, calcium and copper. Also low in calories, pulses make more a well-balanced and very healthy dietary choice.

*WATER- Water is essential for the body to survive and without it, the body cannot generate sufficent energy to survive- allowing food to digest aswell as absorbing and transporting nutrients. Recommended to drink two litres of water each day to restore all lost through heat, passing, etc.

*BANANAS- High in natural sugars which when digested also provide carbohydrates and high levels of potassium- helping to maintain strength and muscle function. Helps muscles contract. Porassium, rarely, is a nutrient which is only a temporary store in the body- therefore, levels can severely drop in times of stress or when sweating (usually due to excessive excercise)- an essential for any stressed Graphic Designer's lunchbox!

*SARDINES- High in amino acids which help to develop and strengthen brain cells- improving attention span and function.

*CHOCOLATE- Acts as an endorphine to increase happiness and "feelings of love". Dark chocolate is healthiest, with the least fatty dairy content, and has been proven to help awaken the appetite (good for recovering from sickness) and aid of digestion. Sugars also provide a short-term energy boost.

*ALMONDS- Full of healthy fatty acids, omega 3 and omega 6 which provide an alert and focused mental state (like sardines). Increase the amount of circulating oxygen in the bloostream.The most nutrient-high nut, with regular consumption can increase your intake of vitamin E and magnesium, which can prevent heart disease, diabetes and increases bone strength.

*PASTA- High in complex carbohydrates which release slowly throughout the day. Also low in fat, calories and sodium. Choose a wholewheat option for added fibre.

*BEANS- Filled with protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals and a good subsititute for vegetarian and vegan diets as oppossed to the meat alternatives.

*SALMON- A fish particularly high in protein and omega-3 fats and vitamin B which can improve cardiovascular activity.

*DRIED FRUIT- High-energy and low in fat. Avoid sugary, coated fruits (such as yoghurt or chocolate coatings). Try apricots, raisins, figs and "superfood" cranberries. Natural sugars give an energy boost without fatty dairy content.

*YOGHURT- Magnesium-rich, which provides an energy boost. Magnesium activates enzymes that help the protein and carbohydrate metabolism. Pick low-fat, low-sugar options such as natural or Greek yoghurt.

*CHICKEN- Lean protein contains amino acids which help the brain to focus and increase mental function- also a good source of protein to provide muscular strength.

*SEAWEED- An Asian every-day food item, this versatile ingredient is very high in vitamin B, and is found most commonly used in japanese sushi, combined with carbohydrate-high rice and complexion-boosting vegetables.

*CANTALOUPE MELON- Rich in dietary fivre and vitamin B which helps to support energy production by stabalising blood sugar levels with natural sugars found in the juice also.

*KIWI- One of the highest vitamin C fruits (greater than oranges, despite the common misconception), which are a potent energy-boosting source, leaving the consumer vitalised and more awake.

*ORANGES- High in vitamin C- natural source of restorantion of energy and health as oppossed to chemical-filled vitamin C tablets. Best eaten or drunk as a juice (not from concentrate).

*PUMPKIN AND SUNFLOWER SEEDS- Essential fatty acids which increase strength and are high in fibre.

*AVACADO- Good source of fatty acids, potassium, vitamin E and B and fibre. One avacado has the same amount of potassium as found in three bananas. Each in moderation.

*BROCCOLI- Low in calories and nutritionally dense. Rich in potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus with vitamin A, B6, C, L and E. Low in calories.

*BREAD- A slow release of carbohydrates which are released throughout the day for a steady increase of energy, therefore improving concentration and focus.

*CEREAL- Good source of carbohydrates, especially in bran based cereals- good source of fibre and iron (which is particularly important for women and vegetarians who may have a lower iron content diet- not eating meat. Lack of iron can cause anemia). Avoid sugary or salty cereals- wholegrain far more nutritionally beneficial.

Some really useful and informative sites, I now feel far more prepared for the workload ahead and can start to think about my own primary research and the design developments ahead.

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