B is for boost

The nutrition team

Is getting out of bed in the morning a struggle and getting through the day and insurmountable task?

If the cold days and dark nights are robbing you of your energy, one way to combat this is to make sure your diet contains the kinds of foods that will actually boost your energy level, prevent lethargy setting in and allow you to remain physical active throughout the winter.

The best way to do this is to eat foods that are rich in complex carbohydrates, such as whole meal breads and cereals, whole grain rice and pasta and fruits and vegetables. These foods release energy from carbohydrates more slowly which keeps your blood sugar at a steady level and prevents fatigue.

Equally important are the B vitamins, whose role in the body is to assist the release of energy from carbohydrates, fats and proteins.

These are:

Thiamin (Vitamin B1)

Thiamin is needed to release energy from carbohydrate. The amount required is related to the amount of carbohydrate eaten. Thiamin is found in whole grains, nuts and meat, especially pork. White and brown flour and many breakfast cereals are fortified with thiamin.

Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)

Riboflavin is required to release energy from protein, carbohydrate and fat. The best sources are liver, milk, cheese, yogurt, eggs, green vegetables and yeast extract and fortified cereals.

Niacin

Niacin is involved in the release of energy from food. It is found in most foods and can also be made by the body from the amino acid tryptophan. Rich sources include liver, beef, pork, mutton and fish. Most breakfast cereals are also fortified.

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 is involved in the metabolism of protein. Vitamin B6 is found in a variety of foods: beef, fish and poultry are good sources.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is used in the formation of blood cells and nerve tissues. Dietary deficiency leads to a type of anaemia. Dietary intake is exclusively from animal sources. Fortified breakfast cereals can be a useful source of this vitamin, especially for vegetarians and vegans.

Folate

Folate is involved in the formation of red blood cells. Its absence leads to megaloblastic anaemia. Folates are found in liver, yeast extract and green leafy vegetables. Breakfast cereals and bread may be fortified with folic acid.

Taking plenty of food rich in B vitamins is just what you need to boost your energy levels and help banish the winter blues.

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Thanks to tescodiets.com who have provided this article.