Whether you’re a student, working professional, parent, retiree, or any combination of the above, energy is crucial if you want to live a happy and fulfilling life. Diet is central to the maintenance of your energy levels, along with exercise, hydration, and time spent with loved ones (bonus points if that time is spent out in nature). Today, we’re focusing on the diet portion of the energy equation, with five strategies you can use to ensure you’re giving your body the nutrients it needs.
Whether you prefer good old-fashioned full-fat milk, lactose-free a2 milk, or a plant-based variety, it’s essential to include a colorful array of foods in your daily diet. This is as true for vegans as it is for omnivores. Even those on the keto diet need to include a healthy variety of vegetables.
When you eat a varied diet, you improve your chances of consuming all the different nutrients a body needs to thrive. Your diet is not a place to be linear or samey. So, experiment, be open to trying new things, and you can cover all your nutritional bases.
We all eat treats every now and again, and ultimately a balanced diet won’t be 100% clean. However, if you stick to wholefoods as much as possible, you only ever boost how many nutrients you are able to absorb.
Some examples include:
- Switching store-bought juice for whole fruits or homemade smoothies;
- Cooking your pasta sauce from scratch;
- Making your own mashed potato instead of using a packet mix with additives;
- Enjoying a couple of squares of high-quality chocolate a week instead of cheap and cheerful candy bars every day.
These small changes will greatly enhance the amount of nutrients you get from the foods you’re consuming.
Nearly half of the US population has some sort of nutrient inadequacy, so it’s worth getting tested. If any deficiencies are identified, you can take supplements or add specific foods to your diet to get back in the green. You’ll generally find your energy levels improve once deficiencies have been addressed.
You could have the most wholesome, nourishing diet, but certain factors could mean you aren’t able to absorb those nutrients well, rendering your efforts less effective. Stress, for example, is known to impact our nutrient absorption abilities. Problems with gut bacteria are another reason that vitamins and minerals may not be absorbed. Understanding how to enhance your body’s nutrient absorption abilities is a good way to ensure all your efforts with eating a healthy diet actively pay off.
Vitamin and mineral deficiencies can cause nasty symptoms and even long-term physical damage. So it’s best to operate on a preventative basis. This prevention includes doing all you can to eat a varied, healthy diet, but also acting on known risk factors associated with your lifestyle and family history.
For example, about 4% of the US population is vegan, and vegans typically need to add B12 to their diet with supplementation or fortified foods. Another example is pregnant people who require extra vitamin D, folic acid, calcium, choline, B vitamins, vitamin C, and omega-3.
Identify any factors that might suggest you need to add more nutrients to your diet before scary symptoms sound the alarm.
With smart adjustments, and decisions you can enjoy a rich and nutrient-dense diet that is absorbed well and delivers the energy you need to live a vibrant and fulfilling life.