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Tea, coffee give a false feeling of energy just

india Updated: Jan 01, 2013 16:05 IST

Hindustan Times
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Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is not very difficult. All you need to do is keep a tab on your routine. Read on to know how you can make a few changes to your eating habits and stay healthy.

Coffee and tea always energise me, but they get addictive. Are there any foods that can help perk me up? How do these actually work?
Tea and coffee give a false feeling of energy just like cigarettes do. All of these are stimulants, and yes, they are addictive. You may have up to two cups of tea or coffee a day if it makes you feel good. (One cup of instant coffee contains 60-70 mg of caffeine and one cup of tea contains half that amount). But more than that will prove to be addictive in the long run. Two powerful ways to boost performance and vitality levels through your diet are: adopting simple foods and having enzyme-rich fruit and vegetable juices.

Herbal tea, green tea, coriander and mint juice, coconut water and orange juice would be perferable beverages as they are non-addictive, natural and rich in nutrients and antioxidants. Eating raw foods also has a stimulating and energising effect on the body.

What is the right breakfast to help me start my day on a high note?
The right breakfast would be one that meets your nutritional needs and keeps your energy levels high. A typical healthy breakfast should consist of a variety of foods — whole grains, low-fat protein or dairy sources, and fruit, for example. To make a healthy breakfast each day, you choose any one from the following options:
Vegetable juice with whole-wheat bread sandwich and one boiled egg.
Fruit or fruit juice with moong dal dosa.
A bowl of fruit followed by milk with wheat flakes or cornflakes.
Baked parathas with curd.

For breakfast on the go, have ready-to-eat cereal with a banana and a glass of low-fat or skimmed milk. Avoid high fat foods like fried ganthia, chaklis, chivdas, fried sev, papdi, fried dosa, stuffed parathas, puri bhaji, batata wadas and medu wadas for your breakfast as they take longer to digest. The longer it takes for the digestion of any food, the more your mental energy gets used up.

How do I make the perfect energy drink? Are the energy drinks available in the market good? How do they work?
Carrots and beetroot juice, fruit juices like apple and orange juices, black grape juice mixed with pomegranate juice are natural energy boosters These help increase the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood and improve levels.

If you are already eating a healthy diet, there’s no reason to eat commercially available energy bars and drinks. Most of these so-called energy boosters are in fact high in sugar, caffeine and additives and low in fibre. Energy drinks contain stimulants that can boost the heart rate and blood pressure (sometimes to the point of palpitations), dehydrate the body, and, like other stimulants, prevent sleep.

(Dr Anjali Mukerjee is a nutritionist and the founder of Health Total, a nutrition counselling centre.)