A healthy lifestyle is a balanced one. Julie DesGroseilliers, nutritionist, explains: “Good health begins with eating and sleeping well, and exercising! In order to have a high energy level, you must work to meet these three conditions. Although there are no miracle foods, eating a healthy and balanced diet is a key determinant of well-being. Read on to see how our specialist advises us to eat to increase our well-being.
Carbohydrates – our favorite energy source
For the human body to function at its full potential, it must be supplied with a varied and nutritious diet. That being said, according to our nutrition specialist, “carbohydrates are our favorite energy source.” Glucose, a form of carbohydrate, is the primary source of energy for the brain. “Although the brain makes up only 2% of our body weight, it consumes 20 to 25% of daily dietary energy,” explains DesGroseilliers.
But don’t carbohydrates cause weight gain? Wrong! It all depends on the type of carbohydrates and the quantity of it that you consume. Opt for fruits and vegetables as well as grain products.
Choose protein-based snacks
If you experience a dip in energy, sluggishness and difficulty concentrating in the afternoon, it could mean that your body is hungry! “Eat regularly throughout the day, while integrating protein-based foods to your meals to promote better intellectual performance,” explains DesGroseilliers. The nutritionist explains that combining carbohydrates and proteins is an excellent way to curb hunger; she suggests snacking on dairy products and meats and alternatives. Not only are these foods rich in protein, but they are also filling and help keep energy levels high.
This leads us to a second myth: that snacking causes weight gain. Once again, it’s just a question of choosing the right snack.
Two is better than one
Serotonin is known as the hormone of well-being. Once secreted by the brain, it sends signals that regulate the mood, and create calm and soothing feelings. To favor the production of the chemical by the body, you must combine foods that are rich in carbohydrates and protein in your meals.
• Carbohydrates can be found in various foods. Choose complex carbohydrates (pasta, rice, legumes, fruits, vegetables), which are healthier than simple carbohydrates (white sugar, candy, and chocolate) and allow a constant supply of glucose to the brain.
• Sources of protein such as cheese and nuts keep the body’s energy level stable.
Guide to balance
You can use certain tools to help you stay faithful to your new food resolutions. Our favorite is the 5/30 challenge. This program encourages participants to consume at least five portions of fruits and vegetables (to obtain carbohydrates) and to do 30 minutes of exercise per day. Plus, the program emphasizes the benefits of a more balanced lifestyle. You have until April 11th to register!
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