Our monthly column from Miss Nutritionist, a nutritional therapist specialising in fatigue & nutrition for energy. Following her own journey of recovery from Adrenal Fatigue, she now helps women regain their energy through changes to diet and lifestyle. She’ll be sharing her top tips, tricks and recipes to help you eat better, improve your wellbeing and have more energy!
We’re very excited to introduce our newest columnist, nutritional therapist Rosie Millen a.k.a. Miss Nutritionist. She’ll be sharing her top tips, tricks and advice on all things nutrition every month, helping you to have more energy to move and live more! She’s also a big fan of Movement for Modern Life and will be sharing her favourite class recommendations to help you along the way! This month she’s giving us her top tips on nutrition for energy and balancing your blood sugar.
Tired all the time? Energy slumps? Constantly reaching for pick me ups? Much of our energy control is to do with our blood sugar.
Your body can only deal with one to two teaspoons of glucose in the blood at any one time. Every time we eat the levels of sugar in our blood rises. This triggers the release of a hormone called INSULIN. Insulin’s role is to regulate blood sugar levels by taking sugar out of the blood and into the cells.
The more sugary the food, the higher the blood sugar level will rise. So if for example you drank a bottle of Lucozade, (which has a whopping 21 teaspoons of sugar) the sugar in the blood would rise steeply. The problem with rapidly rising sugar levels is that they will come down at an equal speed. The initial energy rush that the sugar will give you will be followed by an energy slump as the sugar levels come crashing down which is when we start to experience many physical and mental symptoms such as dizziness, faintness, headaches, nausea, blurred vision, sweating, palpitations, cravings and irritability. This happens about an hour after the sugary or refined food has been eaten. This can also happen when we skip meals. Other symptoms that will tell you your blood sugar balance is the problem in energy can be getting stressed, yawning a lot, mood swings, weigh gain, not being able to go long without eating, poor productivity, concentration and memory or insomnia.
The usual response is to reach for more sweet foods or stimulants such as tea, coffee and chocolate to boost energy levels. However this only raises blood sugar levels again which adds to the roller coaster of high and low blood sugar levels. Balancing your blood sugar levels is key to maintaining your energy levels. If you can keep blood sugar levels on an even keel throughout the day you are more likely to have better energy levels.
Here are my 10 top tips for balancing blood sugar levels (and having loads of energy!)
- Eat little and often. Avoid large meals. Don’t skip meals!! Especially not breakfast (4-5 times per day = 3 meals and 1-2 snacks)
- Eat protein at every meal and snack – especially breakfast.
- Eat low sugar (low GI) foods such as wholegrains every day as apposed to refined foods such as white bread, cakes, biscuits etc
- Eat fresh vegetables at least twice daily
- Eat fresh fruit twice daily (but not all day)
- Reduce or avoid cigarettes, coffee & tea, & drink water during the day
- Eat slowly, not quickly
- Avoid all processed veg fat (trans fats) & fried food
- Exercise for 30 mins daily (e.g. brisk walking)
- Take effective supplements such as a B complex and Siberian ginseng
There you have it! For more advice visit Miss Nutrionist’s website or leave us a comment below with your thoughts & any energy tips of your own!