Why your food isn't giving you enough energy - and the simple change that will boost your energy levels

September 24, 2013
Volume 10    |   Issue 39

Do you feel run down and fatigued more than you should? If so, it's possible you're not getting enough energy from your food. Fortunately, there's an easy way to change this. But before I tell you the simple solution, let me ask you a question.

Which will give you more energy: a handful of nuts or a spoonful of nut butter? Perhaps you think they're both the same. Well, they're not. Nuts are potentially high-energy foods, but only if you get their nutrients into your body. The bigger the particles of food you swallow, the fewer the nutrients you can absorb. That means for most of us, the nut butter gives more energy.

So how can you get more energy from your food? All you have to do is chew your food better. It's not easy to change your eating habits and chew, chew, chew your food until it's liquefied. But if you do, you'll get more of its vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids. Here's what researchers have found to back up this suggestion:

At the 2013 Institute of Food Technologists Annual Meeting & Food Expo held at McCormick Place, Dr. Richard Mattes, professor of foods and nutrition at Purdue University shared his study results. He had subjects chew almonds 10 times, 25 times, or 49 times. Then they examined their fecal fat and energy lost. When the subjects chewed their food less, they eliminated larger particles. And the systems of those who chewed their food more readily absorbed the smaller particles and they had more energy.

High-fiber foods also help increase energy because as Mattes explains, "Fiber binds with fatty acids to create energy sources in the body." Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are all good sources of high-energy foods that work in tandem with high-fat foods such as nuts.

The smaller the particles of your food are, the better your body can utilize all that your food offers, so take that into consideration when you make food choices. Mattes says, "If the goal is to include food that is enjoyable and contributes protein, a whole almond is probably the way to go." But, he says, "If you're interested in maximizing vitamin E intake, chopped almonds, almond butter, or almond oil may be a better choice."

You don't have to throw all your food in a blender before you eat it. Just be mindful that slowing down at mealtime can benefit you in the long run. It will give you more nutrients and more energy to spend the rest of your day productively.


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Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) (2013, July 15). Chew more to retain more energy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 16, 2013, from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130715134643.htm.

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