Did you know that certain foods can actually deplete your daily supply of energy? It’s true! If you wake up feeling lethargic, tired or zapped of energy before your day gets going, it’s time to find out what might be causing it and how to put some quick herbal fixes to work for you. There are three kinds of foods that cause you to feel tired, moody and create the feeling of a ‘foggy’ brain. Eliminate these ingredients from your eating list and you’ll finally get the energy reboot you’ve been looking for.
You can find saturated fats everywhere. They are in eggs, dairy products, pork, beef, dark chicken meat, and dark turkey food selections. These fats require excess energy from the body to digest, and this causes diversion of blood flow from the muscles to the stomach. Also, saturated fats contribute to high cholesterol levels, which can lead to fatty deposits in arteries and blood vessels. To avoid restriction of blood flow and low levels of oxygenation to the muscles, pass on the saturated fats.
Found in pastries, candies, cookies, and soft drinks, refined sugars are quickly converted to glucose when consumed. This gives you a temporary energy spike, but an energy crash is right around the corner. To avoid feeling lethargic and tired, avoid refined sugars which also cause a decrease in mental clarity.
Refined flours include breads, pastries, pies, doughnuts, cakes, and snack crackers. These flours are made from heavily processed grains. During the refining process, the complex carbohydrates in the grains are turned into simple carbohydrates. Your body rapidly converts the simple forms of carbohydrates into glucose. While that may sound like it would give you energy, in reality, the short burst of energy you get from refined flours is followed by a long bout of fatigue. What’s more, refined flours require extensive digestion, using more energy than those that come from whole-grain products.
Herbal Remedies to Increase Energy
Ashwagandha – Also called winter cherry, ashwagandha is an herbal remedy that is used for restorative purposes. This supplement can strengthen your immune system, give you more sexual stamina, and increase vitality. Many use it as a tea and enjoy the anti-inflammatory properties. Korean Ginseng – It is no secret that ginseng helps with libido. What many people may not know, however, is that Korean ginseng root also wards off fatigue and revitalizes the body after injury or illness. Also called red panax, this form of ginseng improves work efficiency, increases blood flow, improves athletic performance, and enhances physical stamina. Take it as a tea or by capsule form. Gotu Kola – Another Ayurvedic herbal remedy for increasing energy is gotu kola. This can be taken as a tonic or capsule form. It strengthens muscles by building proteins that the body requires for exercise. Also, it helps you recover your energy after bouts of the cold or flu. Guarana – A South American flowering plant that is used by Brazilians is guarana. This natural remedy contains caffeine, so it gives you a boost of energy. According to researchers, guarana stimulates the adrenal glands to promote diuresis and blood flow to the muscles and organs. Licorice Root – Used by Native Americans, this herbal product stimulates adrenaline production in your body, thus giving you energy. Many choose licorice because it also regulates blood glucose levels, which gives you a steady flow of energy at all times. Because the body adapts to this substance, experts advise only using licorice short term.
Balch PA (2010). Prescription of Nutritional Healing. Mills S (1994)
The Essential Book of Herbal Medicine Reavley N (1999).
The New Encyclopedia of Vitamins, Minerals, Supplements, and Herbs.