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Sometimes, when we feel down, we comfort ourselves with junk food and inactivity, which further drain us of the energy we need. Jumpstart your physical and mental energy with these eight ideas.

1. Exercise your right to happiness According to Dr Robert Thayer Ph.D, author of “Calm Energy” (Oxford University Press,2001), light exercise can serve as an alternative to food when you are feeling sluggish. “Low energy and increase tension can result in overeating and lack of motivation,” says Dr.Thayer. “Exercise can elevate our mood and reduce tension. Even a short midday walk can eliminate the urge to snack.”

2. Hydrate your plate. Most fruits are low in calories but filling, due to their high-water content. For example, one pink grapefruit contains about 90 percent water and just 74kcal. Whole fruits will fill you up and help you hydrate from head to toe. Half of a grapefruit will keep your mind off dense, high calorie sweets that provide only short bursts of energy. Use the natural sugar of fruit for a tasty and satisfying pick-me-up anytime.

3. Eat your spinach Have you added any leafy greens to your meals lately? If you are making diet changes, remember to take note of these new additions. “When trying different diets. it’s extremely important of individuals to self study how their bodies react to different foods,” says Dr. Thayer. Spinach is well known for its nutritional qualities. Set you sights on the green to maximise your energy efficiency. This super vegetable has been known to be high in vitamins, nutrients and iron. It also contains an enzyme known as coenzyme Q10, which is an energy booster.

4. Breathe easy. Breathing exercises can regulate tension and increase energy. To lower tension, try inhaling through your nose quietly and exhaling through your mouth noisily as your force air around your tongue. For a quick surge of energy, try inhaling and exhaling in short, rapid breaths through your nose with your mouth lightly shut.

5. Reenergize with Oats Add oatmeal to your routine to bypass the “mid-morning slump.” Oats contain fibre, which is believed to hep stabilize blood sugar, allowing you to avoid the rises and falls that leave you longing for food and sleep. Try dripping your spoon into a bowl of oatmeal every morning. Loaded with complex carbohydrates and soluble fibre, oats provide a slow release of energy to get you through until lunchtime.

6. Get into group loop As human beings, we feed off each other’s energy. By staying active with your closest friends, you can block out the negative vibes that keep you from being energetic. Try participating in group exercise to keep you focused on the goal at hand. Join and after-hours running group or start a walking group with friends.

7. Eat mean beans. Beans are loaded with B vitamins that help utilise fats, proteins and carbohydrates. Beans also contain antioxidants and potassium - an important electrolyte that boosts the nervous system. Try adding a side of black beans to you lunch to load up on low glycemic index carbs - the best carbohydrates for sustained energy release. Even canned beans pack a protein punch. Try seasoning navy beans with olive oil, cilantro and sea salt for a quick and easy snack.

8. Be berry smart The acai berry (ah-sah-ee) has good nutritional value. This native Amazon fruit contains a good mix if the amino acids and minerals necessary to improve endurance, strength and vitality. Additionally, acai berries have 10 times more age-defying antioxidants than grapes. Pick up some pure acai juice at your nearest health-food store to transform your favourite smoothie blends.

*Always read the label, use only as directed. If symptoms persist, see your healthcare professional.

** Diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol that include 7 grams of soluble fibre from psyllium husk, as in Meta products, may lower cholesterol levels. Reductions in cholesterol levels may contribute to reducing the risk of heart disease. Consult a doctor if you are planning to take Meta products as part of a cholesterol lowering program.

^ Whorwell Clinical Trial, UK 2006. Am J Gastroenterol. 2006 Jul;101(7):1581-90