Everybody feels that mid-afternoon slump. Where you just feel drained and need something to get you through the afternoon. Most people reach for the coffee pot or and energy bar but these are just a stall. The caffeine just gives you a short-lived high followed by another crash and energy bars are just empty calories that do little to boost your energy. The best thing you can do is reach for the fruit basket.
Unlike starchy vegetables, fruits are a combination of fructose and glucose that serve to lower insulin and stabilize the blood sugar and boost energy. So the next time you feel your feet dragging, grab one of these seven fruits that guarantee an energy boost and load up on healthy nutrients.
A firm favourite food of athletes the world over. This is not a coincidence. This fruit is easily digestible and provide almost instantaneous energy. It is also an excellent source of potassium which is important for nerve and muscle health, thus doubly important for those exercising. Containing approximately 105 calories, but are rick in anti-oxidants and healthy carbohydrates. They are relatively low in fibre, thus easy on the digestive system and are broken down for energy relatively quickly. As they are processed by the body quite rapidly, for a sustained energy boost, pair your banana with a protein or healthy fat. For example, dip your banana in peanut butter for an all-day energy boost.
This vibrant, tropical fruit is packed full of vitamins and antioxidants. Not only will this fruit give you a great energy boost but it also boosts the immune system and can even help protect the body against second-hand smoke and the effects of rheumatoid arthritis.
- Citrus fruits
Trade your morning coffee for a cup of orange juice, or better yet, a whole orange. This fruit is packed with vitamin C and natural sugars that boost energy and provide immune boosting anti-oxidants. Not only does it help your body fight colds and flu, but is important in protein metabolism and your body’s ability to manufacture amino acids. It helps with the absorption of Iron, which is essential to the oxygen-carrying ability of your red blood cells.
This fatigue busting fruit is an excellent source of vitamin C and contains carotenoids that are great for maintaining eyesight and binding those damaging free radicals that cause oxidative stress and cell damage. When combined with a healthy fat and protein, for example eaten with plain yoghurt, strawberries can provide an abundance of sustained energy.
Pineapple provides a wonderful, delicious source of energy. In addition, it provides a large number of vitamins that boost the metabolism and promote health and wellbeing. Pineapples contain manganese, copper and vitamin C, B1 and B6 and a decent amount of fibre which aids digestion.
These highly nutritious berries contain many anti-oxidants and are hugely beneficial to overall health. In addition to providing a much needed energy boost, they contain a compound that has been recently proven to have anti-aging properties. Ellagic acid is a polyphenol present in berries and pomegranate. It has been recently revealed that it displays potential bioactivities preventing chronic diseases and allaying the signs of ageing. A Korean study examined the photo-protective effects of ellagic acid on collagen breakdown and the inflammatory response to ultraviolet light and found that it actually attenuated the UV light and prevented collagen degradation. It demonstrated anti-wrinkle activity by protecting against the UV-B triggered epidermal thickening. Thus foods ellagic acid containing foods are a promising treatment for wrinkles and inflammation associated with chronic UV exposure which leads to photo-ageing.
This amazing fruit is a great source of energy in the form of ‘good’ mono-saturated fats. It is also a good source of potassium which helps maintains muscles and nerve fibres. It is a delicious fruit on its own, or in combination with other foods. Either way, it is an extremely healthy, calorie dense fruit that can provide all day energy. Avocado is rich in Vitamin B, C, K, folate and potassium which plays a role in hypertension control. The anti-oxidants contained in Avocados, such as Lutein help protect your eyes and the fibre makes you feel fuller for longer.
With such a great list of fruits that can naturally boost your energy level, it might be hard to choose. To get the best of all worlds, toss together a fresh fruit salad. It is easy to store in your fridge, and have it for breakfast and start every day with a bowl full of energy. No need to brew that coffee, just get some fresh fruit and feel energetic naturally. Not to mention the vitamins and minerals that you will benefit from.
- Ganong (2003): Review of Medical Physiology, 21st Edition, McGraw Hill Companies