As you prepare for summer barbecues, camping, water-activities, and all the other fun things you can do in the warm weather, you may want to think about choosing foods that maximize your energy so that you can really make the most of the summer. You can start by thinking of what our bodies need to make energy—protein, carbohydrates, and fats, as well as vitamins and nutrients. It is with these ingredients that each cell in your body produces energy, and without them you feel depleted.
While it can be tempting to choose a quick fix, such as sugar or caffeine to give you a boost, these temporary sources of energy don’t actually help your body in the long run. Instead, they often lead you to crave more sugar and caffeine, and leave you feeling grumpy and tired, with a headache.
A great way to increase your energy is to choose energy-giving foods. By providing important nutrients, these foods also help with mood and focus. Here are five foods that will help feed your cells in a positive way this summer, while tasting delicious too.
- Shish kabobs
Made with chicken, lamb or beef, vegetables such as green, red, and orange peppers, and onions, shish kabobs are a fun and delicious way to enjoy the summer while boosting your energy with protein from the meat and anti-oxidants from the vegetables. You can make your shish kabobs vegetarian by using mushrooms instead of meat.
Whether you pick them yourself or stop by the farm stand for a pint, berries of all kinds (blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, and others) contain flavonoids; cell-protective nutrients that reduce inflammation. I enjoy a few berries with organic granola and almond milk for a mid-afternoon summer snack. They are also scrumptious in a smoothie or baked in a gluten-free crust.
Cashews, walnuts, hazelnuts, and almonds all contain fats, carbohydrates and protein that are good for you, providing very efficient energy for your cells that will help you keep up with your summer activities. Keep them in your beach or travel bag to be sure you always have access to something to maintain your energy and mood.
A common ingredient in trail mix, seeds such as sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds can be the perfect solution when you need a quick lift. They contain the nutrients, including potassium and zinc, which your body needs for energy that sustains you, especially in the dehydrating summer heat.
The protein, carbs, and fats in salmon give your body exactly what it needs to keep you going. Choose wild salmon whenever possible to ensure you are not exposed to unwanted toxins, and if you prefer other types of fish, visit http://www.seafoodwatch.org to find out which local fish are safe to consume. Whether for breakfast, lunch or dinner, salmon can be paired with veggies or greens for a tasty meal.
For more ideas on how to use these foods, you can check out the recipes in my book, The Stress Remedy, all of which are sugar, dairy, gluten, soy and egg free.
3rd July 2014