A lot of COPD patients often struggle with low oxygen levels along with low energy levels. And when those two are combined, going through simple day-to-day tasks (i.e simple house chores) already feel like engaging in strenuous exercises.
As obvious as it is, food can play a major role in your energy level throughout the day. This is especially relevant to those with COPD and other lung-related diseases. Consistently including energy-rich foods to your diet will not only help you stay alert all day but also help you get through physical tasks easier. Today, we will share 27 amazing foods that are great for managing your energy levels. Check it out.
Bananas are one of the best energy foods out there. These yummy fruits are filled with complex carbohydrates, potassium, and vitamin B6 which not only help boost your mood but your energy levels as well.
Fattier fish, such as salmon and tuna have high levels of protein, fatty acids, and B vitamins which are great nutrients to have in your diet. Fatty acids like omega-3 fatty acids are known to help reduce inflammation throughout the body. Inflammation is known to cause fatigue, as your body is focused on repairing the site of inflammation. Vitamin B12 is a major component in producing red blood cells, as it combines with folic acid to produce these cells.
Brown rice is the most nutritious rice, as it is less processed and contains more nutritional value (fiber, vitamins and minerals) compared to white rice. Did you know that brown rice is packed with manganese? 1 cup of cooked brown rice contains nearly 3.5 grams of fiber and about 88% of the reference daily intake (RDI) of manganese. Fiber helps the body digest nutrients in food, while manganese helps your body break down carbohydrates and proteins to turn into energy.
Sweet potatoes are loaded with complex carbohydrates, fiber, manganese, and vitamin A.
With over 23 grams of carbohydrates, 3.8 grams of fiber, 28% of the daily intake for manganese, and over 438% of the daily intake for vitamin A, a medium-sized sweet potato is the perfect nutrient-packed snack. Because sweet potatoes are loaded with fiber and complex carbohydrates, your body digests them slower than most foods, which can help keep a steady supply of energy throughout the day.
Coffee is often the first thing you think of when you are in need of an energy boost, as it is rich in caffeine. Caffeine works quickly, moving from your bloodstream to your brain, helping you become focused and energized.
Helps remove any 'gunk' from the lungs via its gentle yet thorough expectorant abilities. It helps the lungs purge themselves of mucous and phlegm that have taken their fill of toxins, pollutants, and foreign matter so that it can be given healthy replacements.
Eggs are loaded with protein, which is perfect for a steady and continuous source of energy. It is also healthy as it does not increase spikes in blood sugar and insulin when it is digested, which helps the energy levels remain steady. Leucine (an amino acid) is the most common amino acid in eggs and is known to stimulate energy production. Leucine helps cells take in blood sugar which helps the production of energy and also helps in the breakdown of fat that also helps produce energy.
Not only are apples one of the most common fruits around the world, but they are a great source of complex carbohydrates and fiber. A medium-sized apple has nearly 25 grams of complex carbohydrates, 19 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of fiber. With their high amount of natural sugars and fiber, apples are perfect for energy that is released over a period of time, maintaining a level of energy throughout the day.
Apples are also high in antioxidants, and this helps slow down the digestion of carbohydrates to allow energy to be released over time. Whole apples are the best way to get these nutrients, as juice and puree (applesauce) lack fiber because it gets removed.
Vital for human life, water is nearly 60% of our body weight and is needed in almost any cellular function. Water helps with energy production, so even though it does not directly produce energy, it is vital in energy production.
Without enough water, dehydration can occur and slow down normal body functions, which can cause a feeling of sluggishness and tiredness. It is important to drink water throughout the day, as it can help provide continuous energy. Avoid drinking water all at one time, and make sure to drink water even when you do not feel thirsty.
Dark chocolate is very rich chocolate, as it has the highest cocoa content compared to milk and regular chocolate. Antioxidants found on cocoa are known to have multiple health benefits, including increased blood flow. With a higher flow of blood in the body, oxygen is delivered to the brain and muscles, which then helps how the brain and muscles function. The increase in blood flow can also help reduce mental fatigue and also help improve your overall mood.
Goji berries are well known in Chinese medicine as they have multiple benefits. These berries are packed with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and are loaded with fiber.
Goji berry juice provides antioxidant protection, helps with mental performance and alertness as well as decreases the feeling of fatigue.
Quinoa is a popular seed that’s high in protein, complex carbohydrates, dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals. In only one cup of quinoa, there are 39 grams of carbs, 5 grams of dietary fiber, and over 8 grams of protein with vitamins and minerals as well. Though this food is high in carbs, it is low on the glycemic index, which means that the carbs are absorbed slowly to provide continuous energy release. Quinoa also has over 20% of the daily intake for manganese, magnesium, and folate, which all help produce energy.
Oatmeal is a popular breakfast option for many as it provides continuous energy throughout the day. Filled with beta-glucan, which is a soluble fiber that turns to a gel when combined with liquids. This gel helps delay the digestive system from processing the food, which helps keep you full and has continuous energy throughout the day.
Not only does it keep you full, but oatmeal is also full of vitamins and minerals that help with producing energy.
Yogurt is another popular breakfast and snack food, loaded with carbs and simple sugars to help produce energy. Simple sugars such as lactose and galactose are broken down slowly thanks to the carbs and protein in yogurt. Yogurt is also loaded in vitamins B2 and B12 which helps with cellular function and energy.
Hummus is made of chickpeas, sesame seed paste, oil, and lemon, all of which provide great amounts of energy. Chickpeas are a great source of complex carbohydrates as well as fiber, which are both used as continuous energy. Sesame seed paste and oil are healthy fats, which can help slow the absorption of complex carbohydrates, giving you energy throughout the day.
Edamame is an easy snack that can provide lasting energy throughout the entire day and is loaded with vitamins and minerals. Low in calories, with a high amount of protein (17 grams), complex carbohydrates (16 grams) and fiber (8 grams) edamame is a great snack to keep energy levels high. Edamame also has over 121% of the daily intake for folic acid, which helps breakdown carbs and protein into energy.
Lentils are an inexpensive source of protein, making it a great source of energy throughout the day. They are also rich in complex carbohydrates and fiber, which are both great for energy levels. Fiber helps slow digestion in the stomach, slowly releasing energy as food is digested which provides a continuous amount of energy. Lentils are also high in folate, manganese, zinc, and iron which can help replenish energy levels throughout the day.
Avocados are a superfood because they have multiple health benefits, such as high levels of healthy fats and fiber. These healthy fats help promote optimal blood fat levels, help with the absorption of nutrients, and most importantly can be stored as energy sources.
Fiber is nearly 80% of the carbohydrate content in avocados and this can help extend energy levels throughout the day.
Oranges are known for their vitamin C content, as one orange is over 100% of the daily intake of vitamin C. On top of their high vitamin C content, they also have antioxidants that can help prevent oxidative stress, which can cause fatigue. Daily consumption of oranges or orange juice (fresh, not from concentrate) can help lower fatigue and provide energy for the day.
Strawberries are a great energy-boosting fruit, loaded with carbohydrates, fiber, and natural sugars. One cup of strawberries can provide over 10 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, and 7 grams of sugar, all of which can help boost and maintain energy levels. Strawberries also help fight inflammation throughout the body, and the antioxidants help with fatigue and energy.
Seeds are also a great source of energy and can help you stay energized throughout the day. Chia seeds, flaxseeds, and pumpkin seeds are all great sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help minimize inflammation and fatigue. Seeds are also full of protein and fiber, which can slow down digestion and help with the continuous release of energy throughout the day.
Rich in nutrients and vital to energy, beans are a great go-to to eat throughout the day.
The benefit of beans is that there is a vast range of beans, and most of their nutrition is about the same, so you can truly eat any beans according to your preference. Beans are loaded with carbohydrates, fiber, and protein which all help with slow energy release, so you get energy throughout the entire day. They are also loaded with antioxidants which can help fight off inflammation and supports energy.
Green tea is known for its many health benefits, including antioxidants that help reduce inflammation. Like coffee, most green tea contains caffeine, which can help increase energy levels, but green tea also has L-theanine which is known to cause anxiety and the “jittery” feeling. Green tea is great for an energy boost but stay away from it if you suffer from anxiety already or look for a decaffeinated version.
Nuts, like seeds, are a great source of nutrients that are important for energy levels. Almonds, walnuts, and cashews are all high in calories, but they also have proteins complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats, vital for energy. They are also high in omega-3, omega-6 fatty acids, and antioxidants which can all help with energy levels and inflammation. Nuts also have a lot of vitamins and minerals which help with energy production and help reduce fatigue.
Popcorn is a great, go-to snack that is low in calories. It is high in carbohydrates and fiber, both help boost energy and maintain energy levels throughout the day.100 grams of air-popped popcorn can provide over 70 grams of carbohydrates, and over 15 grams of fiber, one of the highest-fiber foods around. Fiber is great for a steady release of energy, so air-popped popcorn can be a great source of energy.
Leafy Green Veggies
Spinach and kale are two prime examples of leafy greens that are a great source of nutrients to help with energy. High in iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and multiple vitamins (A, C, E, and K) leafy greens are great for your body to produce energy. Fatigue is often a sign of iron deficiency, so eating healthy foods high in iron is very important.
Beets are known for their ability to increase energy levels and stamina, but they can also improve blood flow. With improved blood flow, oxygen is delivered to the tissues in higher quantity than normal, increasing energy levels. One cup of beets provides over 3 grams of fiber and over 9 grams of natural sugar, both are great for sustainable energy.
Food plays a major role in how you feel on a daily basis and can help improve your energy levels throughout the day. For those with COPD or other respiratory diseases, a lot of energy loss can occur throughout the day as the body is working hard to move oxygen throughout the body.
By including energy-rich foods in your diet, you can help lessen how much fatigue you feel on a daily basis. If you are struggling to maintain energy throughout the day, speak with your doctor about what else you can do to boost your energy.
You can also learn more about health and nutrition by joining our group Lung, COPD and Health Examiner.
A great method of easing COPD, lung symptoms, and mucus build-up is by going through our Mullein Lung Detox Programme.
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