Friday, January 24, 2014

8 Vegan Foods to Boost Your Energy in Winter

Winter sucks. There, I said it. I'm sure those of you who live in warm climates are saying, "But the snow is so beautiful!" True, but when it's -25 degrees Celsius and the snow makes a spine-chilling crunch under your hefty winter boots every time you take a step, the novelty of snow passes pretty quickly.

We are two months in now and I'm craving sunshine and a bit of warmth (above zero would be fine). A trip to Hawaii not being in the cards, I turned to registered nutritionist Emily Kennedy for advice about beating the winter blues through a vegan diet.

"Vegan or not, many of us feel low in energy and a little grumpy at this time of year," says Emily. "For vegans, consuming warming foods that are rich in essential fats that will help you absorb fat-soluble vitamins (like D) will help you through to the asparagus and sweet peas of spring and summer."

Emily's top 8 vegan energy-boosting foods: 



1. Coconut Oil – raw or slightly warmed and organic, cold-pressed

2. Shiitake Mushrooms – a bit of vitamin D and protein here, and it's fun and easy to grow your own (Check out the mushroom-growing log available through Young Urban Farmers.)

3. Natto – fermented bean product, a traditional Japanese breakfast food, good for protein and probiotics

4. Pumpkin Seeds – supply much-need zinc to boost the immune system and prevent colds and flus. Soak and grind them if you want to increase digestibility.

5. Collards – I was going to say kale here, but everyone knows to eat kale! Collards are just as deserving of attention, loaded with folate, calcium and magnesium - and collard leaves do well in vegan wraps.

6. Beets – your daily dose of nitric oxide, a potent “clean-up crew” for the arteries and a sweet energizer that will help clear lactic acid after a good workout. Grate or juice them if you must, but roasting or making a beet soup is better in winter.

7. Ginger – Zing! Your wake-up call is here! Ginger is a proven tonic for fatigue, nausea and congestion. Brew some ginger tea and feel the heat! The gingerols in this ancient root increase motility too, just in case you're a vegan with sluggish bowels.

8. Dates – A very handy breakfast or snack food if you work long hours, have long workouts or a physically demanding day ahead of you. A small handful combined with some seeds or nuts is a quick fix that will keep your blood sugar from tanking.


Do you eat these foods? What's your favourite energy-boosting food?

Emily Kennedy, MSc RHN, is a registered nutritionist who works at medical and naturopathic clinics in the North York and Thornhill, Ontario areas. She is a part-time vegan, full-time personal health coach. Learn to eat intelligently. emilykennedy.ca 



13 comments:

  1. I pretty much eat all of those (not natto!) but I tend to have them in smoothies, otherwise I wouldn't eat them much at all I fear!

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    1. I eat them (not natto either!) but not regularly. You have such great eating habits!!

      Jo

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  2. Pumpkin seeds and dates have been big on my list to eat this week, glad to read I've been choosing well :-) Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I love dates. I'll have to indulge more often. :)

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  3. I do eat most of these things.... dates are such a trigger for me to want sugar though. I have to temper that with something else alongside.

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    1. I'm like that too. I had some dates last night and then I still wanted chocolate. ;)

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  4. Interesting Post! Love Ginger and Coconut oil ,have to eat more Shiitake Mushrooms :)

    Happy Sunday xoxo

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    1. I love shiitakes but I need to remember them more too. :)

      Jo

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  5. Printing this out now to stick on our fridge--we aren't as cold as you are, but we are freezing for us...which sounds weird, but I think you follow lol!

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    1. I understand completely Taby. Either way, it's too much winter. ;)

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  6. Have to agree with you - I'm over the cold (don't hate) - I'm ready for sunshine and 75 degree weather which we are supposed to have this time of year... It's what we deserve after months of horrid heat. I'm down with everything on the list exempt for the beets.... Blech.

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    1. I will try to be understanding of your weather woes. ;)

      Not a fan of beets huh? I like them but I'm lazy about preparing them.

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  7. excellent content you have submitted. I like the content that briefly described aboutImmune system booster . Food and fruits help to increase the boost your immune system.

    ReplyDelete


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