If you’re like most modern mums these days – struggling to keep up with a demanding career, rigorous health regime, busy social life, expanding family and never ending household chores, not to mention finding the time and energy to keep the romance alive with your man! – it’s likely that at one point or another you’ve asked yourself, how on earth will I have the energy to get it all done?
To help promote lasting energy in the body as well as recovery from stress, fatigue and inflammation, we asked Naturopath and Nutritionist Stephen Eddey, who is Principle of Health Schools Australia (Australia’s longest-established natural medicine college), for his ‘6 secrets to keeping up your energy levels’.
Here are 6 ways to keep up your energy levels:
1) Listen to your body It may sound simple, but this a true gem of wisdom that a lot of mums might not head often enough. Some say our bodies can even be smarter than our brains, and listening to what the body has to say could be key to keeping up your energy levels. Start to familiarise yourself with certain cravings, moods and feelings you have throughout the day. Feeling fatigued? If you’re not at home or don’t have time for a quick lie down, try to stop, wherever you are, and take 10 deep breaths, to check in and recharge the batteries. Peckish at 10am and craving something sweet? More often than not, your body is telling you that it’s lacking important nutrients. For example, a chocolate craving could be a signal you’re depleted in magnesium and foods like dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds and fresh fruit could actually be what your body needs to stay energised.
2) Don’t always follow what’s in fashion It’s hard not to know what’s trending food wise these days. Superfoods and buzz words like chia, matcha, goji and kale are thrown around so liberally. What can be difficult however, is sifting through all of the new information and finding out what foods and ingredients you really need to stay healthy. Bucking the trend and not always following the crowd can sometimes pay off. For example, did you know that the dark leafy green vegetable, watercress, actually has a higher nutrient density than its more popular and even ‘trendier’ green sibling, kale? Furthermore, a recent study showed that those who consumed 85g of watercress every day had reduced DNA damage and lipid peroxidation when they exercised, which is a marker of oxidative stress in the body and can lead to fatigue. Watercress is sometimes referred to as a ‘powerhouse vegetable’ for its powerful and unique health benefits.
3) Go red for energy Choosing some red fruit and veg when you’re next doing a food shop could work wonders for your overall energy levels. Grapefruit and red capsicum for example, are both rich sources of Vitamins C and A. Both vitamin C and A are powerful antioxidants and can assist in fighting free radicals in the body. They can also help to flush the skin and stimulate the body’s white cells, which are responsible for fighting infection and strengthening your immune system. Vitamin C is also required for the synthesis of carnitine in the body, which is essential for getting fatty acids into the mitochondria and it’s the mitochondria which converts food sources (such as fats) into energy in the body!
4) Check your ubiquinol levels Ubiquinol is a powerful antioxidant found naturally in our bodies; the most active and bioavailable form of CoQ10, Ubiquinol is responsible for providing energy to every cell in the body, as well as powering the body’s major organs, like keeping the heart ticking and liver detoxifying. A recent study also shows that Ubiquinol may boost the power production of trained athletes. Published in the Journal of Sports Nutrition, the study involved 100 Olympic athletes who received either a placebo or a Ubiquinol supplement. After six weeks of training, the study indicated that athletes who received Ubiquinol demonstrated higher levels of physical performance compared to those who did not receive the supplement.
Science shows that as we age or put our bodies under stress our Ubiquinol levels decline often leaving us feeling fatigued, lacking in energy and unable to bounce back from heavy exercise. You can check your Ubiquinol levels with your practitioner.
5) Take time out with green tea Drinking tea throughout the day is a good way to energise naturally, especially with green tea, which is high in the antioxidant catechin. This type of antioxidant is a polyphenol found most abundant in the leaves of the tea plant – smaller amounts are found in foods such as red wine and chocolate. Green tea promotes improved memory, blood flow around the body and is naturally caffeinated which helps to promote energy. To make sure you get the most out of your dose, be sure not to boil the water which can damage the potency. Add a squeeze of lemon for better absorbency.
6) Bask in the sunshine
Boosting our Vitamin D levels and therefore supporting our body’s overall energy could be the perfect excuse for taking some time out from the day’s responsibilities, pulling up a chair and simply lying in the sun for a little while. Vitamin D contributes to balancing our mood as well as fighting fatigue, but unfortunately, it’s a vital Vitamin many Australians are lacking in today. Most mums are diligent in educating their kids on the dangers of the sun and the importance of remembering to Slip, Slop and Slap, however it’s important to remember the fantastic health benefits of Vitamin D as well, and by making sure you get your daily dose you should start to feel the effects; a boosted mood, more energy and revitalised mind.
How do you get your energy levels up, do you have any other tips? Please SHARE in the comments below.