All hail your breakfast bowl. Why? These health-boosting flakes help stabilise blood sugar for hours. “Protein and fibre balance out sugar cravings, so we make healthier choices throughout the day,” explains nutritionist Kristen Beck, director of Beck Health and Nutrition Group. Just add nuts and honey!
This wonder grain is full of slow-release, calming carbohydrates for sustained energy production. “Brown rice is packed with dietary fibre, magnesium, manganese and other trace minerals that can help to balance blood sugar and also reduce stress levels,” adds Beck.
A stir-fry hero for a reason! Research suggests amino acid tyrosine keeps you alert, while B vitamins in lean meat help your body turn food into energy it can use. “They’re the spark plugs of that energy pathway,” says Beck. Other B-scorers include bananas, vegies, legumes, seeds and Vegemite (but mind the high salt).
Nuts are B-vit power houses, plus their protein and fibre provide long-lasting get-up-and-go. Try a smear of the natural kind on an apple slice. “I keep a jar of mixed raw nuts in my cupboard,” says Beck. “And if I have a sweet craving, I’ll have a small handful with half a banana, which contains so many nutrients.”
Snack on these for an instant iron hit – low levels wipe you out, a risk particularly if your periods are heavy. “Dried fruit has a more concentrated natural sugar content, so don’t go overboard but otherwise they’re a healthy snack,” suggests Beck. You can also find iron in dates, raisins, meat, leafy vegetables like watercress, kidney beans and legumes. Eat up!
This vibrant herb is home to plenty of B-vits, as well as C, A and beta-carotene. “Antioxidant nutrients like these help in the energy-making process,” says Beck. Coriander also contains significant amounts of dietary iron and many phytonutrients that can keep your blood sugar levels in check.” Thai curry, coming right up!
It’s a delicious spice bomb that’s super-high in body-friendly vitamin C, plus phytonutrient antioxidants and substances that can actually boost your metabolism, explains Beck. Can’t handle the heat? Red capsicum packs these too while citrus fruits including lemons and limes are home to plenty of this easy energy booster.
Tiny but oh-so-might! Protein and amino acids in this gluten-free seed aid in muscle repair and post-workout recovery, making it the perfect staple for a busy week. Serve with roast veg or try quinoa flakes for breakfast. Simply prep like porridge then top with berries.
The carbs in these blue beauties rev your energy levels without adding too much sugar. “Any fresh berries in season are a great and super healthy snack,” confirms Beck. “Ideally, you want plenty of slow burning, low-GI carbs, such as fruits, vegetables and wholegrains.”
Fact: a happy stomach leaves you with way more energy than an unsettled one. “Put good bacteria into your system by eating fermented foods like kefir and sauerkraut,” explains Beck. Probiotics like these replace bacteria, while prebiotics such as legumes feed and look after the good bacteria that’s already in your system. Together they’re a wellness power couple!