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Try these foods to increase your energy levels

Our bodies run on the energy derived from the foods and beverages we consume. Carbohydrates, protein and fats are the three main nutrients that the body uses to make energy. When we eat, our bodies break down the nutrients so the body can absorb them as fuel in a process known as metabolism. Carbohydrates are the most important energy source. Our bodies first use carbohydrates for energy and when they are used up, fats and proteins are used for energy.

There are two main types of carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates like whole grain breads and beans are digested at a slow and steady rate and do a great job of stabilizing the body’s sugar level and making us feel less hungry. Simple carbohydrates from candy, cookies or sugary drinks are broken down quickly. They provide a burst of energy but can be followed by a decreased energy level when they are gone.

Here are some food suggestions that help maximize sustained energy levels.

Not only are bananas quick and easy to eat, they provide an excellent source of carbohydrates, potassium and vitamin B6. These nutrients work together to boost energy levels in the body. A study revealed that eating a banana before a 75 kilometer cycling trial provided the same energy boost as an energy performance beverage.

The caffeine in coffee can increase alertness by increasing your energy level. However, caffeine has to be taken carefully. Too much coffee taken after noon can cause insomnia, which raises other energy issues. Keep control of the number of cups and try to avoid coffee in the afternoon.

Praise has been given to apples for decades because they are a great source of carbohydrates and fiber. One medium apple can provide 25 grams of carbohydrates, 19 grams of sugar and 4 grams of fiber, which means a slow and steady energy release. Apples also contain a high level of antioxidants, which slow the digestion of carbohydrates and make the energy last longer. Don’t grab apple juice as a substitute. For the maximum energy boost, go with a whole apple.

The carbohydrates found in yogurt are mainly simple sugars that provide quick energy. But yogurt also has a lot of protein, which slows down the digestion of the carbohydrates making the energy boost last longer. Yogurt is also a source for vitamins B2 and B12, which are used to form molecules that the body uses as fuel to breakdown carbohydrates and protein for energy.

Most people know that oranges are great sources of Vitamin C, as much as 106 percent of the recommended daily intake. But what you might not know is that oranges contain antioxidant compounds that protect the body from oxidative stress that can lead to feelings of fatigue. Oranges can decrease muscle fatigue and improve physical performance.

Almonds, walnuts and cashews pack a fair amount of carbohydrates and fiber for sustained energy. They also have high amounts of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and antioxidants that increase energy levels and reduce inflammation. As a final bonus, nuts have impressive amounts of manganese, iron, B vitamins and vitamin E, which all aid in energy production and fight fatigue.

This low-calorie snack is a great source of fiber and carbohydrates, which translates to a steady release of energy. A 100-gram serving has around 15 grams of fiber making it one of the highest fiber foods around. Air-popped popcorn is the healthiest version. Avoid the calorie-laden toppings like butter, cheese or caramel.

A time of energy need
After a medical event or surgical procedure, the body needs an increased amount of calories, protein and vitamins A and C. The challenge is that many people experience a decreased appetite during this time when the body truly needs fuel for healing. For many, the safest path to recovery is to stay in a short-term care facility where everything from a proper diet to effective therapy is given attention every day. One of the premier facilities for delivering this level of care is Whitehall of Deerfield.

With one of the highest staff-to-patient ratios around, Whitehall of Deerfield offers guests a positive, supportive environment where questions are answered, needs are assessed and results are delivered.

Whitehall of Deerfield offers a full range of therapies targeted to meet each guest’s individual needs. A clinical nurse liaison completes an assessment to find out areas that need attention. Then physical, occupational and speech therapists work one-on-one with guests up to seven days a week. A state-of-the-art orthopedic rehabilitation center, along with rehab gyms, provide all the equipment needed to reach your highest level of independence and functioning.

This consistent, attentive and compassionate care is provided by everyone from the concierge to the nursing staff. Guests enjoy balanced, gourmet meals in a deluxe setting that is rarely found in health care. Beautifully landscaped grounds, rooms decorated with lavish woodwork, tasteful decor, a sun-filled solarium and many other world-class amenities give the feel of a hotel get-away during a stay at Whitehall of Deerfield.

When it comes to choosing an environment that enhances recovery, Whitehall of Deerfield is the choice for qualified compassionate care in elegant surroundings. To arrange a visit or to learn more, visit whitehallofdeerfield.com or call 847-945-4600.

300 Waukegan Road Deerfield, IL 60015 | 847.945.4600