A busy schedule and hectic days make you feel tired and exhausted. Have you ever considered the manner in which food affects your energy levels? Food is supposed to provide nourishment but it can also be your downfall. If you don’t have enough time for a healthy meal, coffee is your main source of energy and “apple” is just a brand for you, there’s definitely a lot of room for improvement when it comes to eating habits.
Some of the most common foods are the real reason for your lack of energy, easy fatigue, the appearance of bags under your eyes and puffiness. The following list reveals the top 13 foods and drinks that make you feel awful both mentally and physically. Just a few changes in your daily menu can lead to miraculous transformations in the way you look and feel.
Salt and high sodium foods are among the main reasons for hypertension and cardiovascular disease. Keep in mind that 2,300 milligrams of sodium (which is around one teaspoon of salt) is the recommended daily amount for adults but most people go beyond.
Your skin will show the first signs for excessive salt intake. If you feel that your skin is highly dehydrated and there are bags under your eyes (without any medical reason), opt for a change in your food habits. Even if you don’t add salt to your foods, most sandwiches, pizzas and crackers contain salt over the recommended amount.
12 Fried (Fast) Food
French fries taste and smell mouth-watering but the fact that they are fried is a real poison for your body. Fried oil clogs pores and brings your metabolism to a slowdown. Tampering with the metabolic response can easily contribute to weight gain and a medley of cardiovascular problems.
Fried fast foods may seem like the only option you have during the busy working day because they make you feel satiated. Unfortunately, the result will not be experienced for a long time. Since these foods have a high glycemic index on top of being covered in high fat, they’ll give you a blood sugar peak that will produce an energy boost. As your blood sugar goes down shortly after, however, you’ll experience a crash and start craving more fast food.
11 Sweets and Desserts
Sweet foods are a great source of energy but when doughnuts, chocolates, and cookies become a main part of your menu, you’ll feel more exhausted. Consumption of sugar makes you want more sugar, yet your organism can’t obtain important nutrients from sweets.
Sugar affects skin by damaging collagen and elastin – the main structural components of skin. If you notice bags under your eyes, spots and even wrinkles, you need to limit the cake. Instead, opt for fruits, yogurt, and honey to control those cravings and benefit from steady energy levels throughout the day. The same applies to complex carbs like whole grains and the cereals made from them, pumpkin and wholegrain bread (yep, you can have it with a bit of jam on top). And this brings us to the next point.
10 High Carb Foods
Foods containing simple carbohydrates like white bread, pasta, corn syrup, white and brown sugar and white rice are a major reason for weight gain and signs of tiredness. They increase insulin levels that cause acne. Although the excessive intake of high carb foods will make your feel energized, you will crash shortly after.
Carbs are an excellent source of energy, especially if you need it quickly. To feel energized throughout the day, however, try to limit the simple carbs and replace those with complex carb foods.
9 Artificial Sweeteners
Many people use artificial sweeteners as a sugar substitute – they deliver the same sweet taste but with zero calories. Artificial sweeteners are supposed to aid weight loss but they come with a range of risks, as well.
Harvard University researchers found out that artificial sweeteners change the way you taste food. Some people become insensitive to the real taste of foods that are naturally sweet like fruits. They start craving the stronger taste that comes with artificial sweeteners and potentially limit the intake of fruits and other healthy foods. Very soon, the excessive use of artificial sweeteners can contribute to problems like skin issues, tired eyes, a puffy face and swelling in other parts of the body.
Drinking too much alcohol dehydrates you, which causes dry skin and wrinkles. The alcohol limits the absorption of vitamins and nutrients that your body needs to feel healthy and energized.
Needless to say, you can have the occasional drink every now and then. A glass of wine or a pint of beer during dinner has proven health benefits. Don’t forget to drink water in addition to wine – thus water keeping your body properly hydrated and reducing the risk of experiencing any unpleasant issues the morning after.
7 Carbonated and Energy Drinks
Your favorite soda is full of sugar, salt, and artificial sweeteners – three of the foods in this list that make you feel and look tired. Fizzy drinks cause swelling and premature aging. Carbonated beverages stimulate an inflammatory response and make you need more soft drinks. If you have dry skin, soft drinks may worsen your condition by causing cystic acne and itchiness.
Energy drinks, however can cause even more serious problems. They provide the body with immediate energy but may cause high blood pressure, anxiety, headaches and sleeping disorders.
Some scientists compare the side effects of soft drinks to the ones linked with smoking. The best thing you can do is replace the soda with water. The transition will be difficult in the very beginning but you can make H2O more delicious by adding mint, lemon zest or a piece of delicious water melon to it.
6 Hot & Spicy Foods
If you love spicy food you are probably not aware of what hot food can do to your body. The spices irritate the skin, change your healthy complexion and make you look tired. The hot foods make the blood vessels larger, which leads to redness and perpetual flushing.
Spicy food is actually quite healthy and some studies suggest the capsaicin found in chili peppers could contribute to weight loss. In addition, eating hot food reduces the risk of cardiovascular problems and strokes. Enjoy such food in moderation, however, and you’ll also have beautiful, radiant skin.
5 Trans Fats
These unhealthy fats are described on product labels as hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils. The main problem with trans fats is that they clog arteries and blood vessels, which makes the skin look older. By leading to arterial buildup, these fats prevent vital organs and the skin from getting oxygen and nutrients. The result is decreased skin elasticity and more visible wrinkles.
It’s hard to completely avoid trans fats because they’re found in such a vast range of snacks, sweets, biscuits, chocolate, fast food and other processed or semi-processed items. Trying to cook your meals from scratch and enjoying treats only occasionally will help you keep the consumption under control.
4 Processed Meat
Trans fats and preservatives in sausages, smoked ham and bacon cause skin disorders and hearth problems. The World Health Organization (WHO) recently labeled processed meat as a class A carcinogen (cigarettes fall in the same category). People who eat large quantities of processed meat increase their risk of getting colon cancer.
Eating bacon and sausages daily will make your skin look oily and old. You can find a healthy alternative like fresh cuts and adding more vegetables and fruits to your daily menu.
3 Red Meat
People consuming more than the recommended amount of red meat are more likely to experience depression and anxiety. In some cases red meat causes skin inflammation and wrinkles. To keep yourself healthy and create a balanced diet, try to eat red meat only once per week.
Don’t exclude red meat from your menu entirely. It contains protein and zinc that help for skin regeneration. If you’re a red meat fan, you may want to switch to free range, grass-fed beef. This way, you’re getting more health benefits and reduced exposure to antibiotics and hormones found in traditionally raised meat.
2 Charred Meat
The black parts of charred and grilled meat contain carcinogenic chemicals. These chemicals affect DNA and cause a range of health problems. The burned meat parts stimulate inflammation and destroy collagen in your skin.
Should you stop having BBQs in order to look and feel energized? Avoid or limit grilling, high temperature cooking and meat overcooking. Try to boil the food, to cook on steam or to stew dishes. When having a BBQ, clean the grill and remove fat from the meat before cooking. Never place cuts of meat directly on charcoal.
1 Too Much Caffeine
Caffeine causes dehydration and makes you look tired. Although it is a stimulant, coffee can cause side effects in large quantities. Keep in mind that coffee is not the only beverage containing caffeine. Nearly all types of energy drinks contain the same ingredient.
You don’t have to give up on your morning cup of coffee. Just try to reduce the amount and add a few more glasses of water to your daily intake. Water will reduce the dehydration effect and will help for skin regeneration. If you need a healthier alternative, make the transition to green tea.