Here are 3 nutrients that are important for energy production in the body:
You’ve probably heard of vitamin B12 before, or even B6, but did you know there are actually 8 different B vitamins?
These vitamins are important for energy production as they help a variety of enzymes do their jobs, ranging from releasing energy from carbohydrates and fat to transporting nutrients around the body.
Without B vitamins, you wouldn’t be able to access the energy from the food you eat or get it to where it needs to be in the body.
If you find yourself low on energy, try eating foods rich in B vitamins like dark leafy greens, nuts and seeds, legumes, and bananas. If you eat animal products, reach for fish or chicken for your B12 needs.
Reminder for all the plant based beauties out there: Make sure you’re getting enough B12 in your diet either through supplements or fortified foods such as some soy milks and nutritional yeast. B12 is only ‘naturally’ found in animal products and therefore you need to make sure to cover that base with supplementation/finding fortified foods to ensure you’re getting everything you need to be healthy and thriving!
Ah, the sunshine vitamin.
Vitamin D is important for energy production as it supports the chemical processes of the mitochondria in the body’s cells. This vitamin is also important for bone health, immune function, and mood regulation.
Vitamin D deficiency can leave you feeling fatigued, weak, and can even lead to anxiety and depression, so it’s important to make sure you’re getting adequate amounts of this vitamin!
So, where do we get this important vitamin?
Vitamin D can be synthesized by the skin when exposed to UVB radiation and therefore the sun is a source of vitamin D, and this is where vitamin D gets its nickname, ‘the sunshine vitamin’.
Dietary sources of vitamin D are fish, egg yolks, and fortified foods such as some cereals. If you eat a plant based diet you can find vitamin D in mushrooms and fortified foods such as cereals and soy milks.
Taking a daily vitamin D supplement is also a great way to ensure you’re getting enough of this important vitamin, especially during the winter months when the amount of time we spend in the sun is often limited.
You’ve likely heard that protein is important for building and maintaining muscle, but did you know that protein also plays a role in energy production in the body.
The protein you eat not only goes off to build up those biceps, but it also helps make up important enzymes and hormones in your body.
Some enzymes help reactions take place within your body’s cells that are essential for metabolism and energy production, other enzymes, called digestive enzymes, help break down the food we eat so that it can be absorbed into the bloodstream.
There can be a ton of reasons we feel lethargic and unmotivated, but I always like to make sure I’m looking after the basics first; am I getting enough nutrients in my meal? Am I sleeping enough? Am I moving my body?
Once I look after these key components of health, I usually feel so much better.
It seems so simple sometimes; eat fruits and vegetables, get adequate protein, get outside, and move your body - but why do these important habits slip away from us?
Life is busy and often demanding, we have respinsiblities and not enough time in the day to 'do all the things'.
I recommend to start small. If you’re goal is to eat more nourishing meals that boost your energy, start by adding ONE new ingredient or item to your plate.
It’s as simple as adding a salad to your meal to get those dark leafy greens in, or grabbing a handful of pumpkin seeds for extra protein.
Make sure to reach out to your local health care providers to see where you may be lacking in your nutrient intake and make the necessary changes to ensure you’re getting everything you need to feel your best.
You’d be surprised how much looking after these basic needs makes a huge difference in how you feel day to day.
Let me know what you eat to have more energy in the comment section below, I love hearing from you!