What if you could slow down your aging process, while increasing your energy?
Do you sometimes find yourself on the energy roller coaster? Do you wake up, and need coffee to start your day? Maybe your breakfast is a slice of toast with jam, bowl of boxed cereal, or a glass of bottled juice. Or maybe you skip breakfast and wait for morning tea or lunch. Okay, so what does this have to do with energy? Good question – here we go!
Eating for energy is about one simple strategy: balancing your blood sugar. When we eat a constant stream of sugary foods or go for long stretches without eating, we send our blood sugar levels out of balance and this has a knock-on effect for our hormones. This manifests as quick bursts of energy followed by exhausting crashes, along with short-term and long-term problems like insomnia, weight gain, mood swings and inflammation.
And guess what effect those long-term problems have on us? We start to age faster from the INSIDE OUT.
So how do blood sugar levels get out of balance? Here is a quick breakdown of how sugary foods and refined carbohydrates affect us:
- A sugary food is eaten (white bread, pastries, sugary beverage like soda, and fruit juice etc.)
- Food is quickly digested and absorbed, with a surge of sugar rushing into the bloodstream
- The pancreas secretes insulin to help shuttle that sugar out of the blood and into our cells
- Our blood sugar levels drop quickly
- The adrenal glands react, producing the stress hormones cortisol and epinephrine (adrenaline) to help pick blood sugar levels back up
- These stress hormones peak and then crash
Too much sugar and carbohydrates can put us into a vicious cycle of peaks and crashes that is difficult to escape.
The short-term health impacts of blood sugar imbalance include several common signs, and maybe you have experienced one or more.
|Rapid heartbeat||Poor focus and concentration||Shakiness|
|Increased blood pressure||Cravings for sweets||Irritability|
Over time, if sugar imbalances aren’t addressed, it will start to take bigger toll on our long-term health – which can worsen as we start to age faster from the inside out:
|Weight gain||Impaired thyroid function||Chronic insomnia|
|Insulin resistance and diabetes||Lowered immunity & increased risk of infections||Cognitive issues – inability to think, learn or remember|
|Anxiety||High blood pressure||Pain and inflammation|
So, which foods are best to avoid or are the worst offenders? Here are the top offenders and might be a good idea to remove them from the fridge and pantry.
|White bread||Pasta||Ice cream|
|Cookies||White rice||Milk chocolate|
The secret to blood sugar stabilization, which leads to increased energy as well as better health and aging comes from 5 key concepts.
PROTEIN. This macro nutrient is essential for healing and repair, and also helps us feel full and satiated. Best sources: eggs, meat, fish, poultry, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes.
FAT. An energy-dense macro nutrient that also helps us feel full and satiated. Best sources: nuts, seeds, healthy oils (coconut, olive, avocado, flax, chia, etc.), fish, ghee, avocado.
FIBER. High fibre foods take longer to break down, releasing a slow stream of energy rather than a flush of it. This keeps our blood sugar levels steady and even. Best sources: beans, legumes, vegetables, nuts, seeds, fruit, gluten-free whole grains.
EATING REGULARLY. Consuming regular, nutritious meals helps our blood sugar levels to stabilise and prevents them from dropping too low.
LOW GI FOODS. Choosing foods that are low on the glycemic index (more info below) also helps stabilise blood sugar levels.
When you combine the above into each meal, you’ll set yourself on a course of steady, sustained energy that will keep you feeling great all day long. Here is a recipe for a great breakfast smoothie.
What else can we add into our diets that will help with blood sugar balance, increase energy, and slow down the aging process? Contact me to discuss some of my favorites. I would love to hear from you.