Do you suffer from fatigue occasionally? I am not surprised you do! How often do you get as response to a simple question like “how are you?” the answer you get 80% of the time is “I am exhausted”, right? Totally all the time. With fall around the corner a lot of people seem to have a hard time adjusting and lack the energy to keep going all day long. Days are getting shorter and I myself for one hate getting up when it’s still dark. I have a hard time waking up and hit that snooze button way too many times. I am low on energy sort of mid afternoon and have trouble keeping away from the tempting sugary drinks and treats. So the question is : can nutrition help us fight those fall-blues and keep our energy up all day? Let’s explore …
A while ago I posted a recipe for no sugar energy snacks (click here) as it got me thinking on how nutrition can help keep my energy up without turning to sugar. I got some amazing responses from friends loving the treats I asked them to try but also a reader called Lucy reached out and we talked a bit about how chronic fatigue in her elderly father inspired her to look at nutrition for help.
Meet my virtual friend Lucy, she began her career as a nutritionist working for several healthcare and food companies before becoming a freelance consultant and writer. She now manages content as well. When not working, she loves nothing more than to spend time with her family in the great outdoors.
What is one food you can not live without? – apples
6 Healthy Foods to Eat for More Energy
Stress, not enough sleep and too much sugar can leave you fatigued but, thankfully, there are many healthy foods which can give you a quick and natural energy boost. If you’re feeling particularly creative, you can even make your own energy bars with nuts, dried fruit and other healthy ingredients; they’re easy to make, low in sugar and can even be frozen for an added crunch.
Otherwise, read on for the top six healthy foods for a quick and healthy energy boost.
Raw, unsalted nuts provide your body with important nutrients, such as magnesium, plenty of fiber and lots of energy. Keeping a bag of mixed nuts in your purse or desk can be an excellent way to stay energetic all day.
2) Fresh Fruit
Fresh fruit is packed with healthy sugar and fiber and helps keep blood sugar levels steady. Eating fruit also keeps you fuller and helps you reduce portion sizes and eat less if you’re trying to lose weight.
Make an energizing and healthy breakfast smoothie with strawberries, blueberries and yogurt or consume fruit whole if you’re on the go. Fruits with peels, such as bananas and apples, can be a great choice in this case.
3) Dried Fruit
Dried fruit, such as dates, dried apricots and raisins, contains lots of iron. Iron helps combat fatigue due to anemia, an iron deficiency which is particularly common in the elderly, but can affect everyone. Eating a handful of dried fruit every day is a yummy fix which will give you a quick energy boost and keep your iron levels high at the same time.
Yogurt contains probiotics, the good bacteria which help you keep your gut healthy and enhance the body’s immune system. Good digestion means getting the most out of the food you consume and fighting fatigue effectively.
5) Leafy Vegetables
Leafy vegetables, such as spinach, are very high in iron, magnesium and potassium. When paired, these are as excellent for boosting energy as they help digestion. They are also packed with high levels of Vitamins C and K, calcium and brain-boosting Folate. Eat multiple servings of vegetables everyday for maximum benefits.
Lack of energy can often be due to dehydration; aim to drink at least eight glasses of water every day to avoid fatigue and be at your best every day.
Adding lemon to your water has the added benefit of transforming regular water into a natural energy drink, packed with electrolytes which help cells produce energy.
So there you have it: the best foods to ensure you get all the energy you need. And if you do cave and eat that eclair don’t worry – we all need treats once in a while and if your diet is generally healthy and full of vegetables you’ll be perfectly fine.
Which of these foods is your favourite quick energy fix?
I tossed together some spinach leaves, grilled peaches wedges, crushed pistachio and almonds and diced dried apricots. I added a drizzle of greek yoghurt and olive oil, spitz of lime juice and season with last and pepper. Some lemon infused water for extra hydration.
photos by Sandra, plate Ikea