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Rude Food

Eat for energy

Just what sort of foods should you be eating if you want to improve your energy levels? Rude Health magazine asks the experts


Autumn blues

“There is no doubt that the autumn days with fading light can put a load on energy reserves,” says Alan McGrath from The Health Store in Tuam, Co Galway (below). “The darkening days and drop in temperatures most definitely have effects on metabolism and overall wellbeing. “Customers come in to The Health Store and ask for something to improve their energy levels, especially since we’ve added a new raw food smoothie/juice bar.”

Big breakfast

“Autumn is a perfect time to make a switch back to high protein, complex carbohydrate breakfasts,” says Alan McGrath. “Try experimenting with the myriad of high protein superfoods on the market to add a boost to your chosen breakfast cereal.”

Fancy a cuppa?

“Matcha green tea gives you an energy boost for several hours,” says Paul Brogan of Food for Thought, Buncrana, Donegal. “Packed with over 100 times the antioxidants of regular tea, drinking a mild green tea can help you to be positive and energised. Different formulations of matcha tea can help people suffering from fatigue or recovering from an illness or those who want to boost their metabolism.”

Vitamin power

“Unless you have a consistent supply of locally-grown fresh fruit and vegetables all year round and access to fresh wild fish twice a week, I would advise considering a multivitamin with vitamin D3 and an omega-3 supplement,” recommends Alan McGrath.

“Some multivitamins are designed to be easily assimilated into the body and contain as many as 10 vitamins as well as calcium and vitamin D,” says Paul Brogan. “These multivits are great for preventing vitamin deficiency conditions and increasing energy and vitality. Ask your health store for advice.”

Snack time

“Loading up with slow-burning carbs and topping up regularly with high protein sugar-free snacks is the best way to avoid energy-sapping sugar spikes and troughs,” according to Alan McGrath. “Try Brazil nuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, oatcakes with nut butters as snacks.”

That’s nuts

“Nuts are superfoods and all types of nut will give you energy and are a great snack when you need an energy boost,” according to Paul Brogan, “but some varieties do have added benefits. Here are some of the best types of nuts:

  • Almonds – a serving of almonds contains as much protein as many meats. Almonds also provide potassium and iron, which are essential in maintaining energy levels.
  • Walnuts – one serving of walnuts provides as much as 90% of the recommended daily value of Omega-3 fatty acids. They are also high in L-arginine, an amino acid that can be converted into glucose and glycogen.
  • Pecans – packed with protein and unsaturated fats. They are also a source of at least 19 vitamins and minerals.
  • Cashews – lower in fat than most other nuts, cashews are packed with amino acids and minerals. They are a good source of copper, which is essential to energy production.”

Superfoods for you

“Wheatgrass juice capsules are a super-food supplement that can be used by most people,” according to Paul Brogan. “It is ideal for those people constantly on the go, prone to picking up colds and bugs. Wheatgrass juice capsules also often contain chlorophyll which acts as a natural energy booster. Wheatgrass is available in capsule or powder form.”

“There are loads of exciting new superfoods from all around the world and why not avail of them,” says Alan McGrath. “Chia seeds, hemp powder, quinoa flakes and grains, cacao powder and cacao nibs offer delicious new taste sensations and have high nutritional values. Health food shops are always ahead of the curve with new foods and can give the best advice on how to use these worldwide wonders, also how to get the best out of our indigenous superfoods such as barley, kale, spinach, beetroot and cold-pressed organic rapeseed oils.”

Food for thought

“Food is for energy and calories are good for you is our shop mantra,” says Alan McGrath. “It’s important that people realise that a sufficient calorie intake with the correct balance of carbohydrates, protein and fibre is vital to keep energy levels topped up. We recommend a well balanced, but light evening meal with plenty of coloured vegetables.”

Great ginseng

“Siberian ginseng elixir is a liquid formula made from Siberian ginseng root in a winous extract,” says Paul Brogan. “Alcohol increases the absorption of the active ingredients of the ginseng root. Its liquid formulation is also more easily absorbed by the body compared to other ways of ingesting it. It is ideal for those with a strenuous physical or mental lifestyle, athletes, sportsmen, sportswomen and senior citizens – but not suitable for children. Siberian ginseng is often combined with other herbs to help improve fatigue and alertness.”

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