Many people who have psoriasis often say they also lack energy. This isn’t always due to a lack of sleep that many of us suffer from, it just seems that psoriasis tires you out even when you’re relaxing. So, I have had a trawl through high energy foods to see if I can get our “get up and go” going again.
Start the day well
Everywhere I looked for high energy foods stressed how important breakfast is. Make sure you have one and make sure it is healthy. If you’re like me, I find breakfast a bit of a chore as I never feel that hungry first thing and the thought of eating often turns my stomach. I tend to have my breakfast at work, and I actually found when I searched that my favourite meal is suggested as a good start to the day – a peanut butter and banana toasted sandwich. It has plenty of energy from the nuts and bananas and will kick start your metabolism early in the day which means you will burn more calories throughout the rest of the day.
I find this can keep me going until lunch which is also good as it stops those mid-morning cravings. So, whilst you may think peanut butter isn’t exactly low-calorie, if you’re burning calories quicker and not snacking before lunch it makes sense that it can help you at least control your weight.
Types of food
Now we’ve had our breakfast, our brains have the power to think about what types of food we should be eating to keep our energy levels up. According to the NHS Energy Diet, the four main food groups are:
- Fruit and vegetables
- Potatoes, bread, rice, pasta and other starchy foods
- Milk and dairy
- Beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other non-dairy sources of protein.
Most of you would have guessed fruit and veg would be in there. You can’t watch TV these days without a mention of your five a day. If you find you do get peckish, it is good to have some sticks of carrot or other veg of your choice rather than a chocolate bar. Sugar gives you a quick boost so whilst you might think chocolate will help your energy, it won’t keep you going.
Starchy foods are your carbs. This is a difficult one as I have read that a carb-free diet can help clear your skin. Obviously this is not proven and if you are on this kind of diet you could find your energy levels are lower than normal. Sorry to disappoint you all, but it is the wholemeal and wholegrain versions of bread rice and pasta that are best for you as these take longer to burn. For those of you that don’t like the taste, I can suggest brown rice with something like sticky soy salmon fillet or pork stuffed with sultanas and apple. There are lots of pilaf recipes out there for you to try. Pilaf is a rice and fruit dish so just make sure you use brown rice and the bonus is you’ll get some of your five a day too.
Have a Guinness?
Okay, I’m not going to advocate drinking Guinness, as alcohol is known to make you tired and could also aggravate your psoriasis. I suggested it in jest from the old advertising campaigns with Guinness as a good source of iron. It would be before my time that Doctors suggested it for those with an iron deficiency. Being low in iron can cause tiredness though, so you can keep your levels up from foods such as liver, beans, nuts and most dark green leafy vegetables such as watercress, spinach and curly kale. Something simple like adding fresh watercress and baby spinach to a sandwich (with brown bread of course) is all it takes to get more iron. Be careful with liver though if you are pregnant as it contains large amounts of vitamin A. You can also have too much iron – NHS advice is to try not to exceed over 20mg daily.
You will have heard the advice to eat three times a day. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Try not to have dinner too late and try to eat around the same time each day so your body learns your pattern and will start to manage your energy levels itself. Dinner shouldn’t be too late so your body has time to digest before you go to bed. Eating too late can cause indigestion which could interfere with your sleep. If you then can’t sleep properly, all your hard work of eating the right food during the day will have gone to waste.
So, eat the right food at regular patterns and hopefully you will find you have the energy to fight psoriasis and enjoy your day.
This content is not intended to advise you about your health. Always seek advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare professionals.
UK/IE MAT-03098. Date of preparation: April 2016