Nutrient Dense Calories

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‘How to increase my energy’; ‘Maintain energy levels;’ ‘Adrenal health’; ‘low energy levels’; these are daily Google searches. 

Throughout the day, the resource you often run out of is energy. Each of your cells require energy to function. What is another word for energy?

Calorie.

Generally when that word is mentioned, it’s in the context of being counted and restricted. Restricting certain foods is necessary. We don’t view a piece of candy and an almond in the same way. Innately we know one is the “better” choice. Our energy comes from the food {calories} that we eat, so we cannot count all calories equally. It is important to get familiar with the variety of sources as you maintain your energy throughout the day.

Good Calorie = Nutrient-Dense

-High-quality

-Minimally processed

-Whole foods

Sources: Fresh fruits and vegetables are packed with nutrients. Berries, melons and some tropical fruits, such as mangoes and papayas, are considered nutrient-dense, as well as dark-green vegetables, sweet potatoes and tomatoes. Organic grass-fed meats are nutrient-dense as well. In addition to protein, beef and pork contain high levels of zinc, iron and B-vitamins. Many properly prepared and sprouted whole grains, including quinoa, barley, bulger and oats, are also nutrient-dense, especially ones that have been enriched with added vitamins and minerals, such as calcium, iron and zinc. Healthy fats such as avocado, organic butter, extra virgin coconut oil, cold pressed extra virgin olive oil.

These foods contain high levels of nutrients that are created to sustain energy at a cellular level.

 

Bad Calorie = Empty-Energy

-Low nutrient value

-Processed foods

-Fast foods

Sources: Fast food, packaged foods, and refined foods. Many processed foods are considered calorie-dense, such as cakes, cookies, snacks, doughnuts and candies. Often, they contain high levels of calories with few healthful nutrients.

These foods, although high in caloric intake, are not able to sustain energy at a cellular level for a lengthy period.

 

Sustained energy is attainable when our body receives the right calories. As you fuel yourself each day, start counting the nutrient density of the food you eat each day, not just the calorie itself.

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Rachel NTP, LMT

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