The Ancient Egyptians knew that feeding a patient liver (back, right) would help cure night blindness. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Best Power Foods
If you do not understand the reason you still feel exhausted after a good night’s rest,take a closer look at the food you put on your plate. Elizabeth Somer, a registered dietitian and author of “Eat Your Way To Happiness” states that even the slightest deficiency in a nutrient can cause you to feel sluggish. Eating a great deal of bad food will have about he same impact. So if your energy levels have not been high, add these energy-producing foods to your diet.
A drop in energy may mean you need more iron. Include extra iron rich foods like red meat, chicken, and fish. Another food source high in iron is liver but expectant mothers should not eat it because large quantities of Vitamin A are bad for fetuses. If meat isn’t your thing, other iron rich foods are spinach, soy beans, lentils, and enriched cereals. Your body will not absorb iron easily but adding more Vitamin C helps so drink a cup of orange juice.
Registered dietitian Carole Riggins says if your menstruation cycle is on the heavy side, your iron levels are lower. Be certain you are consuming enough iron to make up for the depletion. Caffeine can make you jumpy but so can foods with high amounts of refined carbohydrates like sweet cereals and white bread. Carbohydrates cause a brief surge in blood sugar but the impact will shortly go away making you feel tired again. Also get rid of the cola, sodas and drink only water.
It might take a while before you realize that you have an iron deficiency. It’s not uncommon for people to misdiagnose themselves since the main symptom is general fatigue. People usually know something is wrong because it’s not the type of fatigue associated with a loss of sleep or hectic lifestyle. It’s a general feeling that stays with you throughout the day no matter what you do. Some people try to solve the problem by taking a few extra naps or going to bed earlier at night. The problem lies in an iron deficiency in your bloodstream, and that’s what we call anemia. The good news is you can fix the condition without any complicated medical plan or expensive pills. Sometimes you just have to adjust your diet to include a few more iron rich foods on a daily basis.
You might be thinking to yourself right now that foods high in iron don’t sound particularly appetizing. But there might be some foods that feature iron that you already love. Here are some suggested ways that you can jazz up your daily menu while giving yourself a boost of iron at the same time.
Iron Enriched Cereals – you can cut right to the chase with some foods that come enriched with various minerals and vitamins. There’s no better way to start off the day with an iron enriched cereal partnered with fresh fruit. If that sounds a bit too boring, then you can certainly opt for a tastier version of oatmeal that is similarly enriched with nutrients. There’s lots of benefits to starting off a day like this the side getting more iron, and you’ll appreciate the extra fiber and energy from a source like this.
Dried Herbs – common cooking elements like oregano, thyme, rosemary, and bay leaves contain iron that can be absorbed in your system and used in some creative dishes. If you haven’t visited your dried herbs selection in quite some time, it’s time to put them back into the mix. They can work wonders on a simple sauce or a multitude of things ranging from soup to stew. And since their main purpose is the addition of flavor and culinary nuance, you’ll end up enhancing any dish you prepare.
Artichokes – when was the last time you had an artichokes? Some people have never even tried this rather strange vegetable. But if you want to take some time to revisit this often-forgotten choice, you’ll find a great source of iron in a neat little package. You can use a variety of cooking techniques but some of the most flavorful include grilling or roasting. Obviously they aren’t going to be a main dish, but you might just find yourself with a tasty side alternative to mix things up a bit.
Mollusks – what are mollusks you ask? They are more commonly known as oysters, clams, or mussels, and they happen to be a great source of iron. These aren’t the types of food you eat every day but I can make a nice treat every once in a while. You can even add a friend from the sea such as shrimp to create a seafood celebration of iron. Lots of possibilities here include pasta sauces, gumbo, stew, or enjoying these tasty shellfish lightly steamed with a touch garlic.
Beans and Legumes – the most obvious use here comes in the form of chilli where you can add in all kinds of other elements for a nutrient bonanza. In fact, all of the items previously listed would work well in a chilli depending on how you want to spice things up. Beans are often a forgotten element in everyday side dishes but they work well on their own or with something like rice.
Red Meat – of course there is no better source of iron then meet alternatives and this category includes things like liver as well. You know by now that red meat is not an element you can eat on a daily basis, but that doesn’t mean you have to be scared of it either. Just take a look at the cooking process and make sure you aren’t adding any extra calories, sodium, or cholesterol. With careful planning and moderation, you can still have red meat as a main component in your diet and enjoy it every step of the way.
Keep in mind that other foods might not contain iron but they helped the overall absorption in your body. For example, citrus fruits really help your body to absorb iron and there’s no shortage of options here. There’s nothing better than a fresh orange or grapefruit, and you can enjoy them at any time of the day. Broccoli, brussels sprouts, and tomatoes not only contain valuable antioxidant properties, they serve the same purpose as fresh fruits. So while you should definitely keep an eye out for different iron rich foods you might enjoy, make sure to incorporate these elements as well.
This article comes to us from our friends at rabbitsadvice.com where you can find more information on healthy eating as it relates to a fitter lifestyle that moves away from excess calories and high cholesterol foods.
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