If you feel constantly fatigued, sticking to your diet can be especially challenging. Dr. Mehmet Oz shared his top fatigue fighters on his Tuesday talk show. Plus: Discover the good, the bad and the dangerous sources of soy for weight loss and health.
When it comes to feeling tired, Dr. Oz says that black rice can boost your energy. It provides you with a combination of iron, potassium, zinc, amino acids, magnesium, protein and antioxidants that make it one of his favorite superfoods.
Where to find and how to use: Look for black rice in gourmet food stores or online, such as Nature's Earthly Choice Whole Grain Black Rice. Add cooked rice to a salad, use as a side dish at dinner or even try having it for breakfast.
Stress can also cause fatigue as well as impact your health by raising your blood pressure, causing headaches and tempting you to resort to eating for comfort. Dr. Oz suggests considering Qigong.
Qigong is a form of exercise that engages your mind, body and spirit. Expert Karl Romain says that it can also improve your balance and help with depression. You can take a class or try a fitness DVD at home, such as Qigong For Beginners.
This Chinese form of meditation also has proven helpful for weight loss in studies, according to WebMD. Included are exercises that stimulate your digestive system as well as guidance to tuning into what your body really needs.
"As you become more in tuned with what your body needs, you get more from what you eat, so you eat less," said Alex Holland, MAc, LAc, president and co-founder of the Asian Institute of Medical Studies.
On the same episode, Dr. Oz tackled the topic of soy, which has become one of the most controversial foods. For reasons ranging from thyroid disease to breast cancer, soy is listed on many consumers' "avoid" lists. But what's the real truth?
Author of "Mom Energy: A Simple Plan to Live Fully Charged," Ashley Koff joined Dr. Oz to discuss the pros and cons of soy. When it comes to breast cancer, she recommends using only unprocessed, organic soy. As for your thyroid health, Ashley says that soy should be avoided by those who are on thyroid medication.
The protein in soy makes it helpful for those who are on plant-based diets. Ashley also recommends soy for lowering blood pressure, improving cholesterol levels and getting enough essential fatty acids.
Dr. Oz suggests limiting your intake to 1/2 cup a day of organic, unprocessed soy. Avoid processed versions of soy such as soy chips, soy sauce (which is extremely high in sodium) and soy protein isolate.
Not everyone agrees that soy is a good food choice because of the risks of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or genetically modified foods. Soy ranks as one of the most common GMOs, but you can't always tell from the label what you're getting. For that reason, some advise avoiding soy "Frankenfoods."
But Dr. Oz emphasizes that by using only unprocessed organic forms of soy, you can reap the benefits. In a University of Illinois study, scientists found that the proteins in soy can help with weight loss.
Elvira de Mejia, an assistant professor of food science and human nutrition, feels that soy has the potential to help you feel full. It can be especially helpful for those who have problems recognizing when they have had enough to eat.
"Weight loss is a complex physiological event. It's not always as simple as 'Eat less or exercise more,' said de Mejia in an interview with Science Daily.
The professor emphasizes that weight loss begins with hormone productions, then continues in the brain. "Some people are resistant to these hormones, just as other people are insulin-resistant. These people never receive the message from the brain that tells them they're full," she explained.