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If you feel like you’re at the mercy of your moods and your energy levels are flagging, take heart. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Clinical Research Center professor, Judith Wurtman, explored how particular foods affect our moods when the levels of certain neurotransmitters, or brain chemicals, are influenced. According to Wurtman’s research, people tend to be more alert when their brains produce the chemical messengers, dopamine and norepinephrine, while the production of serotonin tends to have a calming, relaxing effect. Protein-rich foods raise the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine and produce feelings of alertness and faster reaction times, while at the same time blocking serotonin production.
Foods that help with serotonin production and give the feeling of relaxation are high in carbs.
Michelle Bishop, clinical program coordinator for Good Samaritan Health and Wellness Center in Downers Grove, Ill., says the best way to boost your energy is to seek out foods that supply your body with calories it can use to burn more efficiently. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, in my opinion, because that gets your body running,” Bishop said. Complex carbs found in whole grains take longer to break down in the body so it helps your energy.It’s a balance in your calorie consumption as well and allows you to stay fuller longer. The most effective forms of protein to help with alertness and mood are sources that contain the amino acid tyrosine, a building block for brain chemicals including adrenaline, norepinephrine and dopamine. Sources for this type of protein are lean cuts of meat such as skinless chicken and turkey, fish, lean beef and eggs. Bishop recommends selecting veggies that have fewer calories and more protein, such as broccoli, spinach, and asparagus. Fresh fruits and vegetables also give an added boost to energy levels, and since most are made up of water, this helps keep the body hydrated, which also helps maintain energy levels.
Adding fruit to your diet is a great pick-me-up because it’s high in potassium, fiber and vitamin C, she says. She recommends fruits such as strawberries, melons, or even a banana because it gets in the system quickly and boosts energy. Bishop says a great diet includes a balanced plate, which gives you plenty of energy to refuel your body, and refueling your body throughout the day. She adds that getting the appropriate amount of food helps the brains as far as release of serotonin. Advocate nurses honored at Chicago Bulls event Top performing Advocate nurses participated in a fun-filled day with the Chicago Bulls.
Kim Vuckovich, a nurse at Advocate Children’s Hospital, shares what it’s like to care for some of the most fragile babies. Carbohydrates are our main macro-nutrient that we get our energy from but our body also converts fats and proteins into energy if needed. Eggs are the purest form of protein so will help you build and maintain muscle, meaning exercise and metabolism will both improve their efficiency.
Yet these attempted solutions to the low energy conundrum have very fleeting effects and contrive to deplete energy even further. High carb, high sugar and low fat diets typical of the standard western diet, along with sedentary lifestyles result in low energy output from mitochondria (our cells’ energy-producing batteries). Avoid refined (processed) carbohydrates (eg goods made with white flour such as white bread, white pasta,  pastry, biscuits,  cakes). Ideally avoid  (or minimise) sugar and avoid artificial sweeteners  (if you need to sweeten, use xylitol). Minimise stimulants (tea, coffee,) to a maximum of 2 a day and then not on an empty stomach – have following protein-containing foods to prevent a negative effect on blood sugar.
If you enjoy coffee and tea,  opt for good quality, preferably organic products (as conventional crops are heavily sprayed), and  drink mindfully. Minimise depressants like alcohol, which get broken down rapidly to sugar, together with toxic metabolites that many of us struggle to eliminate well).
A blood sugar balancing snack before bed can sometimes help with night time waking, if these are caused by nocturnal hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) – and is particularly helpful if having an early dinner.
Eat slow-releasing carbohydrates (ones that release their fuel slowly) – with proteins and healthy fats. Ensure you have optimal intake of essential energy micro nutrients – vitamins, minerals and phyto (plant) nutrients. Engage in activities and relationships that make you feel happy, calm and energised – and gradually shed activities and relationships or aspects of relationships that generate intolerable stress and anxiety, as these are huge drains on energy. Take responsibility for your health and do what you can to enhance your body’s innate energy production systems. We all know how important it is to get plenty of exercise, both for health and for weight loss. Instead of having three regular meals each day, break your food consumption down to six smaller meals. Drinking alcohol and using tobacco are both habits that will deplete your body of nutrients and drain your energy.

If you are frequently feeling tired even after a restful night's sleep, you may have hypothyroidism.
This is another way to balance your glucose levels instead of having energy highs and lows as your sugar goes up and then drops as insulin is released in response. Sometimes the activity of taking a midday walk is all it takes to wake up your body and actually increase your energy. Different types of produce contain different vitamins and minerals that your body needs to function and to produce energy. Many people believe that they are just fine with six hours of sleep but they really need to sleep another hour or longer to get the amount of rest they need to function at their maximum potential.
If you are looking for more information on ways to increase energy and live a more successful and fulfilling life, check out Amazing Self. This article is brought to you courtesy of Amazing Self, a personal development system that offers powerful personal breakthroughs in creating and living your dream life. This website is dedicated to giving you the information you need to help in your journey to better health, happiness and fulfilment. Disclosure: As an affiliate, Natural Holistic Health receives compensation from the companies whose products we recommend on this website. That family-sized tin of Cadbury's Roses may seem like a tempting option, particularly if you have a sweet tooth, but eating so much sugar in one go can cause a massive surge of energy, followed by a crash a few hours later, which could leave you feeling in need of a nap!
Eating late at night seems to be the done thing over the holidays and it can be hard to avoid, when parties last until the morning or midnight movie marathons seem to be taking place every night! Spending time with your mum, dad, siblings, grandparents and the rest of your extended family is lovely during the holidays, but don't let family obligations take up all your time. Unfortunately, your health and fitness routine could fall by the wayside over the holidays – Christmas pudding, turkey with all the trimmings and as many sweets as you want can all be tempting, not to mention those mince pies! Research shows that doing volunteer work makes us feel good – it releases endorphins which can boost energy levels and banish depression. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is common at this time of year and it can cause fatigue, depression and even weight gain. Keeping warm in the winter can help you to feel more energetic – being cold can cause plummeting energy levels, so make sure you cosy up! Christmas is the time to indulge but that doesn't mean you have to pile your plate high with Christmas dinner! Research says a change in diet may help boost your moods and give your energy levels a jump-start. To boost your mood, eat foods that keep your blood sugar in check and trigger those feel-good brain chemicals, she says. It’s a great start to the day, offering added energy, and it improves your chances of having a better mood throughout the day. Breakfast helps boost the metabolism, and when you begin skipping meals, your metabolism can be affected as well.
Bishop says these foods are also rich in B vitamins, such as B-12, which helps fight depression. Studies have shown that eating omega-3s helps with depression, among other health benefits.
Your food is your body’s energy source and the different food groups play vital roles in our survival. For those days you are feeling a little sluggish or did not get a good night sleep, there are many foods that you can eat to help boost your energy levels throughout the day. Without enough of it we not only feel rubbish, but important internal functions as well as physical activity is limited. Instead opt for slow-releasing or  ‘complex’ carbohydrates such as wholemeal or rye bread, brown rice, wholemeal pasta, other whole grains such as oats, quinoa, and millet. Stop, sit down and extract every ounce of sensory pleasure by focusing completely on having the drink. The principles for snacks which balance blood sugar levels are the same as for main meals – aim to combine protein and slow-releasing carbohydrate (eg hummus or peanut butter on oatcakes, an apple and handful of nuts or seeds; plain yogurt with a handful of berries).
Break up periods of sitting with moving around and stretching and incorporate regular exercise, preferably outdoors.
Take a few minutes to meditate before a big meeting or do thirty minutes of yoga every evening in order to wind down. Alcohol can also cause dehydration which is one of the worst energy drainers of all and it can prevent you from getting the deep sleep you need to wake up feeling energetic. For some people, a power nap in the middle of a day is the best way to feel refreshed and improve their energy level. Just because you are in the habit of sleeping from 11pm to 5am doesn't mean that is all the rest your body needs. Try these instead of turning to high caffeinated beverages and energy drinks to give you a boost that will only let you down in the end!

You should always speak with a Healthcare professional before taking any dietary, nutritional, herbal supplement or formula. Combining high-sugar foods with foods high in fat, protein and fibre helps the sugar to be released slowly into the bloodstream (2). Late night snacks not only lead to weight gain, they can also make you feel tired the next day (3). Whether you sign up as a dog walker in your local area or help serve Christmas meals at a homeless shelter, remembering those less fortunate than you can also help you to feel more positive and grateful for what you have (4). Shorter, darker days and a lack of sunlight are not good for your mood and spending all your time indoors over the holidays can cause a deficiency in vitamin D, which could lead to daytime sleepiness (5). Between last-minute gift shopping, present wrapping, cooking and keeping the whole family entertained, you could find yourself staying up all night! Turkey or a vegetarian alternative with all the trimmings is delicious, but try to avoid stuffing your face and eating more than you would normally.
Excellent sources of omega-3s include fish such as salmon, nuts such as walnuts and dark-green, leafy veggies. All foods have calories and kilojoules which are both converted into energy or stored as energy to be used when needed.
B vitamins convert food into energy so start your day the right way with some free range organic eggs.
And it finds it easiest to break down carbohydrate foods into glucose – but it likes the right kind of carbohydrates to give it a slow-releasing, steady supply of energy, rather than short-lived bursts followed by energy crashes, which we experience as fatigue, low mood, anxiety, and poor cognitive function. Maybe you are just too busy to work a regular exercise program into your day but too often the reason for skipping an exercise workout is that you just don't have enough energy to motivate you. Women are more likely to have underactive thyroid problems than men, especially those who have just given birth or are nearing menopause.
Choose whole wheat for your sandwiches instead of white bread or buns and you will also add more fiber to your diet which most of us don't get enough of. Whichever one works best for you, take anywhere from ten to thirty minutes to make a significant difference for you.
We believe that you should still have time to focus on your health and well-being over the festive season, so we've come up with 10 easy ways to give your Christmas energy levels a boost. Reach for naturally sweet items instead, such as dates, fruit (bananas are great) or even cereal bars. If you do need to snack before bedtime, try to stop eating around an hour before you go to sleep, and avoid greasy, fatty, sugar or carb-loaded foods. But working out over the holidays can help relieve stress, boost endorphins and give you more energy. So can wearing that hideous Christmas jumper your gran knitted for you – it's not like anyone else except for the family is going to see it! Coffee and chocolate both contain caffeine which will give you a temporary energy boost, but avoid both before bedtime.
After a big meal, blood is diverted from the rest of your body to the digestive system, which is why you often feel sluggish and tired after eating.
If you don’t give your metabolism something to do, it slows down and gets stored as fat in the body. Some of us feel as though we have no energy from the time we get up in the morning while others seem to experience a mid-day slump.
Try one, or try them all, and you'll be gleefully opening gifts and enjoying family movie marathons all Christmas long!
Your body will work overtime to digest these types of foods, when it should be preparing for sleep! Scheduling time for things that make you happy can alleviate depression and anxiety and help you to feel calmer.
If you really can't face running in the cold, go for a swim, head for the gym or try some indoor bouldering. This can boost your mood and energy levels and an also help to regulate your body clock, meaning you'll sleep better. Stick to a normal-sized portion – there's sure to be plenty of opportunities for nibbles later one! If all you need to get you up and moving is a boost to your energy level, then here are eight fantastic ways to turn up the momentum.

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