5 Foods to boost energy levels

If you are feeling a bit lethargic this winter – you aren’t alone.

As the temperature drops so do our energy levels and it mainly happens for two reasons:

We have an increased caloric need: When the temperature drops the human body requires extra energy in order to maintain a stable body temperature. 

Reduced serotonin levels:  There is less sun in winter (especially in the southern states) this leads to lower levels of serotonin – a neurotransmitter that influences our appetite and mood (known as the “feel good” chemical).

Foods high in carbohydrates, can boost our serotonin levels – hence the reason we gravitate towards “heavy” foods in winter like pastas, curries and bread.

Incorporating energy-boosting super foods into your diet can help with sustained energy, combating fatigue and keeping you feeling good.

Here’s my top 5 super foods to include in your diet this winter to keep your energy levels up:

1. Cordyceps Mushroom: This adaptogenic mushroom is not as well known as some of the others but it contains some incredible benefits for the human body.

It is well known amongst athletes (particularly in Asia) for its ability to improve energy and endurance. It is believed that it does this by increasing the body’s production of a specific molecule that provides oxygen to your muscles.

What to look for when purchasing: Buy an Australian grown Cordyceps product so you know it has been grown to a high standard free of heavy metals and pollution. Also ensure it contains the mushroom mycelium to ensure you get the full spectrum of active compounds.

2. Black Maca: This root vegetable was traditionally consumed by Incan warriors before going into battle.

In Peru they have a saying that if you take Maca “you will have lots of babies”… it’s fair to say it is known for its ability to boost energy levels!  It is especially great to consume pre-workout.

Maca Root is also known for its ability to promote emotional balance and improve mood. Out of the 3 maca varieties (yellow, red and black), Black is the most potent.

It has a delicious malty flavour and so is a great addition to smoothies and drinks.

What to look for when purchasing: Only buy Certified Organic Maca that comes directly from Peru. Ensure it doesn’t have any fillers added.

3. Bee Pollen:  These honey-like granules are known as one of the only complete foods on the planet – meaning it contains all essential nutrients and vitamins needed for survival.

If that wasn’t incredible enough, Bee Pollen can also provide you with a slow release energy boost. Studies have found that it improves blood circulation to the brain which can help to relieve feelings of low energy.

It tastes delicious and is great eaten by itself or sprinkled over yoghurt or put into a smoothie.

What to look for when purchasing: Avoid low quality imported Bee Pollen (usually sold in capsules to mask the poor flavour). 

Energy Booster
Mood booster

4. Ceremonial Cacao: This the superfood that everyone needs on their shelves in colder months, especially when making hot chocolates!

Ceremonial Cacao is a great source of magnesium and antioxidants, its my top choice for mood boosting and relaxation.

It’s like Cocoa but less processed and packed with more nutrients!

You can drink it in a smoothie, make chocolate with it, bake with it – basically use it how you would use Cocoa.

What to look for when purchasing: Buy Certified Organic Ceremonial Grade Cacao to get the maximum benefits.

5. Rhodiola Rosea:  This arctic, low-lying herb has been shown to boost both mental and physical energy levels by invigorating and supporting your nervous system.

This herb has been used in traditional medicine across Russia, Scandinavia and other cold mountainous areas for centuries.

What to look for when purchasing:  There are many different grades of Rhodiola so ensure you are purchasing the highest grade available. Also ensure it is Canadian grown and organic.

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