This week is all about energy and how to get more of it! How to energise tired-looking skin, how to improve your sleep, manage stress (one of the biggest energy zappers) and of course how to achieve great energy through your diet.
Balance Blood Sugar Levels
Your energy is determined by the amount of glucose (sugar) present in your bloodstream that is available for your cells to make into energy. Keeping your blood sugar levels constant throughout the day will therefore ensure your energy levels are too.
Balancing blood sugar levels also helps keep mood and appetite stable and reduces the chances of over-eating. To keep blood sugar balanced follow the 3 simple steps below.
1. Eat at regular intervals – never go more than 4 hours without eating something
2. Combine low GI carbs and protein in all your meals – this is the KEY combination for balancing blood sugar. (Also include healthy fats).
3. Limit or avoid sugar and refined carbohydrates (white bread, white flour, white pasta etc.)
This is a scale measuring the speed at which carbohydrate foods are broken down into glucose. Sugar has the maximum score of 100 and all other carbs are measured against this. Low GI carbs: sweet potatoes, rye bread, beans, lentils, oats and other whole-grains, vegetables
Feed Your Mitochondria
When glucose enters the cells, it is broken down into energy inside ‘energy powerhouses’ called mitochondria. They require a series of nutrient co-factors to produce energy, including B vitamins, magnesium and coenzyme Q10. Including plenty of the food sources below will give your mitochondria the energy producing ingredients they need.
Nuts, seeds, fish, whole-grains, peas, eggs, avocadoes & spinach. B&G Vitality contains B6 & B12
Spinach, kale, nuts, seeds, fish, beans, lentils, whole-grains, avocadoes, bananas, dark chocolate
Sardines, mackerel, chicken, nuts, seeds, broccoli, spinach. B&G vitality contains as much CoQ10 as 120 sardines!
Antioxidants are important for protecting the mitochondria from free radical damage, ensuring they function at their best. Including plenty of fruits and vegetables, green tea, a little dark chocolate and your daily B&G is the best way to get your daily quota of antioxidants.
Tired Looking Skin
Including a daily Beauty & Go Vitality drink as part of your beauty routine will help banish tired-looking skin and give your skin (and you!) an energy boost.
Beauty & Go Vitality contains the following energising ingredients:
Passion fruit and pineapple give Beauty & Go Vitality drink its characteristic tropical, fruity flavour. Both are excellent sources of vitamin C, which is needed for collagen production. Pineapple contains bromelain, an enzyme that breaks down food in the gut, therefore helping digestion. A healthy digestive system means healthy skin, whereas a build up of waste in the digestive system can make us feel tired and sluggish and result in dull skin or skin breakouts. Bromelain also has anti-inflammatory and healing properties. Passion fruit is a good source of the vitamin B3 or niacin, an essential vitamin needed for energy production and keeping skin healthy. It also provides vitamin B2 and iron, both important energy nutrients, and fibre for healthy digestion.
Ginkgo biloba is a herb known to increase circulation and blood flow, as well as being a potent antioxidant. It supports memory and brain function, by increasing blood flow to the brain – perfect for when you’ve had a few late nights and need a brain boost!
Guarana has natural stimulating properties, helping to combat fatigue and give you more energy. Can also help with appetite control.
Coenzyme Q10 is a vitamin-like substance used by the body to convert food into energy. It is a powerful antioxidant, protecting against free radical damage, one of the causes of skin ageing. CoQ10 also supports the function of the immune system and can lower blood pressure. Under perfect conditions the body produces enough of its own Q10, however stress can block CoQ10 production and levels naturally decline as we get older.
Baobab is one of the richest known sources of vitamin C, containing six times more than oranges, making it great for supporting healthy collagen formation. It has also been shown to be an excellent hydrator, to have very high levels of antioxidants, to increases energy levels and to benefit digestion by having prebiotic effects.
Limit or remove the following energy zappers from your life to improve your energy levels further.
Sugar – sugar causes blood sugar levels to rocket, which is inevitably followed by a crash in energy and sometimes mood. Difficulty concentrating, feeling irritable and cravings for more sugar or caffeine are other symptoms of low blood sugar. Don’t forget that sugar also has ageing effects on the skin and provides plenty of ‘empty calories’ if you need any other motivation to steer clear!
Caffeine – provides a short-term energy boost, but drinking too much actually depletes energy in the long-term. Caffeine also affects the stress systems of the body and can lead to nervousness, anxiety and sleep problems. Limiting black tea and coffee to 1-2 per day is therefore beneficial to your energy, mood and sleep. Green tea has a lower caffeine content and many other health benefits, so you can have more cups, but if you are sensitive to caffeine you could try decaf, especially later in the day to prevent sleep problems.
Stress – hormones released by the body in response to stress can leave us feeling exhausted. Stress also affects appetite, sleep, brain function and memory. Supporting the stress system with nutrients is beneficial – vitamins c, b vitamins and magnesium all help. Introducing stress relief techniques into your daily routine is also one of the best health measures you can take – just as it is important to look after your physical health, our mental health should be a priority too!
Include one of the following daily:
- Meditation – proven to lower stress hormones, and improve both physical and mental health, even helps lower blood pressure and increases success, problem solving ability and creativity. May also slow down ageing processes in the body!
- Yoga – similar health benefits to mediation and also increases strength, balance and flexibility
- Cardiovascular exercise – as effective as medication for treating mild to moderate depression and releases stress relieving brain chemicals. Be moderate though, as over-exertion actually puts stress on the body.
Lack of Sleep – getting enough, good quality sleep is another area of health many of us neglect. Lack of sleep is one of the quickest routes to dull skin as most of the healing, regeneration and repair of our skin happens when we are asleep. In addition lack of sleep is known to accelerate ageing and lead to weight gain.
The following tips will help you get a good night’s rest.
- Try to go to bed and wake up at fairly consistent times when possible – the body clock gets used to this and you get better quality sleep as a result
- Ensure the bedroom is dark, cool and quiet – earplugs and eye masks really help if not!
- Avoid stimulants in the evening – caffeine, sugar, high intensity exercise, video games, stressful situations etc.
- Stay away from screens (TV, computers, tablets, smartphones) and bright light 1 hour before bed – these can trick the brain into thinking it’s day time and reduce sleep hormone release
- Alcohol – may help you fall asleep but reduces the quality of your sleep so limit to get your best night’s kip