The change of seasons is always a delicate time that comes with a mix of emotions and body changes. On the one hand, the first rays of the spring sun can elevate our moods, uplifting our spirits with a thrilling anticipation of the warmer months; on the other hand, the first few weeks of adaptation can be tough on the body, as it becomes more prone to colds, allergies, and the feeling of chronic fatigue is not uncommon at all.
This, of course, affects our self-esteem, too! Just like the blooming trees, we wish to look and feel our best as the summer approaches, but this might not be the case if we are constantly experiencing puffy eyes and a running nose! What an amazing blessing it is that we have the power of plants at our disposal to overcome all of these! All we have to do is adapt our eating to the change of season and use the amazing healing properties of nature’s gifts!
Here are 8 vegan foods that will empower you to look and feel your best this spring!
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1. D-ribose Rich Foods
According to a study by the Fibromyalgia and Fatigue Centers in Dallas, D- ibose derived from natural sources helps in increasing cellular energy synthesis in your skeletal and heart muscles. Consequently, it leads to improved sleep, energy, mental concentration, well-being, and successfully helps in relieving chronic fatigue. It’s a key component of some genetic material, and it makes up part of riboflavin, or vitamin B-2, which your body uses to make energy.
One-half cup of spinach holds 0.21 milligram, six spears of asparagus 0.13 milligram and 1/2 cup of broccoli 0.10 milligram of D-ribose. Roast asparagus or broccoli and toss it over pasta or eat it as a side dish, add spinach to sandwiches and soups, or chop any of the three and add it to avegan omelet for an energizing dose of ribose to start your day.
This caramel-flavored golden yellow powder is one of the best foods to support your energy in such a small serving. Said to be a superfood, maca is basically just a root vegetable from Peru. It’s a natural adaptogen so it helps your body deal with stress of all forms and improves hormonal function. Since your hormones can play a major part in your fatigue levels and overall ability to deal with stress, adding this superfood to your day is a great way to see improvements quickly. Try a tablespoon of maca in your smoothies, oatmeal, raw puddings, and energy bars and bites. To beat all, maca is one of the best sources of plant-based amino acids, boosting nearly every single one of the essential 20 that you need every day. Have it first thing in the day or in the afternoon when you need a boost. Its delicious flavor is a true winner for sure!
3. Pumpkin Seeds
Just a handful of these super seeds is a great way to combat afternoon fatigue and stress. Pumpkin seeds are one of the best sources of magnesium, iron and protein you can eat. They’re also full of the amino acid tryptophan that helps fight stress. Enjoy a small handful of raw pumpkin seeds in the afternoon as a snack next time you have a sugar craving or need for caffeine. Let these little anti-inflammatory seeds power you through the day! See more benefits of pumpkin seeds here to bolster your health.
Not to be confused with blue green algae (which its often called because they’re similar), spirulina is higher in protein and amino acids than any other sea algae out there. True spirulina boosts a large dose of iron, B vitamins, magnesium, and is a complete protein. It’s high antioxidant and nutritional content help fight stress, low energy and bring balance to the body. Around a tablespoon (3 teaspoons) will give you 150 percent of your daily vitamin B12 needs, 90 percent of your daily iron needs and 6 grams of protein (in the powder form, not tablets). Buy from quality sources to be sure to avoid contaminants and use it in smoothies where it can easily be masked in taste with a banana, date, berries or some healthy sweetener.
Bananas are a unique fruit when it comes to promoting energy. If you avoid them for their sugar content, you’re missing out. These fruits are full of soluble fiber that slows down the release of sugars into the bloodstream. Because they’re high in magnesiumand B vitamins, they also help stabilize your blood sugar and promote a relaxed state of mind. Bananas provide a constant stream of energy, which is one reason so many athletes eat them before a workout. They’re also starchy by nature so they take longer to digest than most fruits to help keep you fuller longer. Choose slightly spotted bananas which are easier to digest (the green and bright yellow ones can cause indigestion and bloating). Eat them alone and enjoy them first thing in the day so you can utilize their natural sugars and complex carbs to burn through them for energy.
6. Wheat Bran
High in fiber, not only can it help you fight fat, it turns out the nutrient can also help you feel more awake. Researchers at the University of Cardiff in Wales found that people who ate high-fiber wheat bran cereal suffered less emotional distress, experienced fewer cognitive difficulties, and were less fatigued than their counterparts who did not eat as much fiber. Participants had 10% more energy.
are high in Vitamin C, which is more than a cold fighter—the antioxidant also helps reduce oxidative stress, the result of too many free radicals in the body, another contributor to CFS. In a small study of 44 adults published in the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine, those who received 6 g of vitamin C every day for 2 weeks felt less fatigued. Study participants also had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
8. Sweet Potatoes
They may be a humble root vegetable, but these gorgeous tubers are filled with B vitamins, magnesium, and complex carbs. Sweet potatoes are also very easy to digest so they won’t cause any energy-zapping digestive distress. Because they’re so nutrient dense and have quality fiber, their sugars are released very slowly into the bloodstream, helping them give you an even stream of energy. The complex carbs and tryptophan (an amino acid) found in sweet potatoes also help boost serotonin production in the body to fight off depression and stress-related fatigue. They even boost over half your daily vitamin C needs.
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