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Independent health store advice on boosting your energy levels

Looking for advice on natural wellbeing? Your local independent health stores can offer a wealth of knowledge and expertise. This issue we speak to Lucy Kerr from health store The Good Earth in Kilkenny

To create energy you need a source of fuel.

Proteins, fats and carbohydrates are used as energy sources in the body. The food we eat is broken down in the digestive tract and our bodies get energy from the breakdown of these foods into nutrients. Good sources of carbohydrates include brown rice, millet, oats, sweet potatoes, wholemeal bread and most starchy vegetables. Good sources of protein include tofu, fish, turkey, chicken, tempeh, lentils, beans and eggs. Sources of healthy fats include oily fish, avocadoes, flax seeds, olive oil, nuts and seeds.

Eat a balanced diet that includes all of these with each meal, and remember to eat every few hours – this will help keep your blood sugar levels balanced and energy levels up. Try to avoid high sugar foods that give you a quick release of energy, then a crash of energy levels due to a drop in blood sugar, leaving you feeling dizzy and lacking energy.

Supplements for energy

Coenzyme Q10 – (CO-Q10) is made naturally in the body but as we age our levels decline which can contribute to fatigue and muscle tiredness as our body cells require it to produce energy.

Iron – we need iron to make haemoglobin to transport oxygen to organs and tissues in the body. Iron deficiency can leave you feeling fatigued and weak. Combine an iron supplement with vitamin C to increase absorption, and take iron away from tea and coffee as the tannins found in these can decrease absorption. Always be sure to check iron levels before taking supplements as we can also have too much iron.

Magnesium – this mineral is essential for energy production and adrenal hormones. An effective way to take it is in the form of powder.

Ashwagandha – a herb which is shown to improve energy levels and helpful for fatigue-related conditions.

B vitamin complex – plays a vital role in energy production. All the B vitamins are important for energy, especially B12 which is needed for energy metabolism, psychological function and to form blood and immune cells. B5 supports our adrenal glands which can become fatigued due to excess stress, resulting in exhaustion. When taking B vitamins it is best to take them all together as they work in harmony.

Vitamin D – fatigue is a symptom of low vitamin D levels. Taking a supplement throughout the winter months when we are not getting a lot of sunlight can ensure our energy levels are adequate.

Sleep quality

Not getting a good night’s sleep can leave you lacking in energy. Try to get eight hours sleep if possible – this gives your body a chance to rest and repair. Magnesium, valerian and L-theanine are supplements that can help with sleep. A few drops of lavender oil on your pillow can also help.

Hydration levels

Tiredness is one of the first signs of being dehydrated. Try to make sure you’re drinking adequate water levels to stay hydrated as this is vital to keeping your energy levels up throughout the day. Flavouring your water with some chopped up lemons or limes or adding some berries can add some flavour if you find drinking water hard.

Essential oils

If you have an oil diffuser at home try burning energy-boosting oils such as peppermint, orange or grapefruit. Also a few drops of your favourite oil in the shower base in the morning can be an energy-boosting start to your day. Avoid burning certain oils around children or pets.

Exercise

A quick 10-minute walk in the fresh air can help get our circulation going and help give us a boost of energy. Try to get some form of movement in every day such as a brisk walk, yoga, a fun dance video – there are lots of videos online you can do for free at home.

What’s What and Who’s Who at The Good Earth

“The Good Earth was set up in Kilkenny in 1988,” says owner Aine Keane. “At the time we were the only health store in the town, but people welcomed us and got to know us, and we saw the interest in health foods grow over the years. In 2006 we opened the premises where we currently operate, in a lovely small shopping centre called Newpark, just on the outskirts of Kilkenny. We have a wide range of customers, from older people to those with young families – we’ve built up friendships and know most of our customers by name.

“We sell quite a bit of food – everything from flours, porridge, grains and flakes, gluten-free products, nuts and seeds, local and manuka honeys, jams, sweeteners, vinegars and oils, and a fair amount of local food products. Our fridges hold soy-based and dairy-free products, kombucha, vegan cheese and a tasty goat’s cheese from Limerick. Our freezer has meat-free foods, tempeh, and dairy-free ice-cream. We sell fresh spelt bread made by a local baker, which is delivered daily from Tuesday to Saturday – she supplies a delicious range of soda and sourdough breads, scones and other seasonal treats.

“Our eco-household cleaning products are popular – we sell a whole range of everything you might need at home, with refills for washing up and laundry liquids plus toilet paper and kitchen roll. Our eco-sanitary products and natural hair colours are very good sellers for us. We stock a full range of supplements as well as probiotics and flower remedies. We have an extensive range of natural skin, body and haircare products – we try out almost everything and are delighted to give advice from our personal experience.

“I like being on the shop floor and talking to customers and giving good advice,” says Aine. “We go out of our way to only stock and recommend products with high integrity and of the best quality. We will always respond to what customers want and will order in anything they request.”

VISIT: The Good Earth, Newpark Shopping Centre, Kilkenny
SPEAK TO: owner Aine Keane, sales assistants Kathryn Geoghegan, Helen Jackson, Lucy Kerr and Rosanna Purcell
CONTACT: (056) 779 0276
OPENING HOURS: 9.30am- 6pm Monday to Saturday
ONLINE: The Good Earth Health Food Shop on Facebook and @thegoodearthshop on Instagram

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