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Best 5 Foods to Boost Your Energy Naturally

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Ditch the coffee and energy drinks—your energy problems begin and end with what you eat. The human body is a finely-tuned dynamo, and you get out what you put in. Certain natural foods boost your energy levels naturally with no need for further stimulants. Explore the benefits of the five best foods so you can enrich your diet and enjoy the increased energy levels.

Which foods are best for energy?

Your body needs lots of different vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and proteins to operate effectively. Plus, fats and complex carbs allow you to use and store energy efficiently. The only way to give your body what it requires to operate at its peak is to start with the proper nutrition. Incorporated into your daily diet these five foods will give that energy to you need to lead a busy life.

1. Bananas

Rich in potassium and other essential minerals, bananas may be one of the best foods for energy. 

  • Calories per 100g: 90
  • Grams of fibre: 5
  • Grams of protein: 1
  • Grams of fats: 0
  • Grams of carbs: 25

2. Apples

All types of apples are great sources of beneficial phytochemicals, vitamin C, and fibre.

  • Calories per 100g: 90
  • Grams of fibre: 4
  • Grams of protein: 0
  • Grams of fats: 0
  • Grams of carbs: 25

3. Avocados

These large-pitted, creamy fruits contain lots of healthy fats your body needs to process energy.

  • Calories per 100g: 200
  • Grams of fibre: 7
  • Grams of protein: 2
  • Grams of fats: 15
  • Grams of carbs: 7

4. Goji berries

By stabilising your blood sugar and boosting your immune system, goji berries help your body regulate energy effectively and avoid slowdowns.

  • Calories per 100g: 400
  • Grams of fibre: 8
  • Grams of protein: 10
  • Grams of fats: 8
  • Grams of carbs: 55

5. Sweet Potatoes

With plenty of dietary fibre and essential micronutrients, sweet potatoes (yams) boost your gut health, which is responsible for a number of wellbeing aspects.

  • Calories per 100g: 93
  • Grams of fibre: 3
  • Grams of protein: 5
  • Grams of fats: 0
  • Grams of carbs: 20

Benefits of bananas for energy

Why are bananas good for energy?

Providing the body with healthy carbs, vitamin B6, and the essential mineral potassium, bananas are considered effective energy food for athletes. Moreover, bananas optimise your system and help you process other foods more effectively.

Bananas have been compared to an energy sports drink for their energy boosting qualities. It is also an ideal pick-me up snack without the sugar content of a chocolate bar

When and how to eat bananas

Part of the appeal of bananas as an energy food is their convenience. It’s easy to peel a banana, eat the fleshy fruit, and discard the rind on the go. You can also add them to smoothies or plain Greek yoghurt. Dried bananas are also a great option for a daily snack when you are travelling or on the go.

How are bananas under-appreciated?

As the ultimate disposable food, the lasting power of bananas doesn’t get enough attention. In their dehydrated form, bananas can stay edible for six months to a year, which means you don’t have to throw that slightly spotty bunch in the trash right away.

Dish ideas

Try cutting your bananas into thin slices and tossing them on top of a salad. You’d be surprised how well this fruit works for accentuating bitter or tangy dishes.

Benefits of apples for energy

Why are apples good for energy?

The secret behind the majority of so-called “energy bars” is processed sugar, which harms your body and can lead to serious diseases. An average apple contains 13 grams of sugar in the form of natural glucose, which your body processes without a rush or crash. Plus, apples are great sources of B vitamins and vitamin C.

When and how to eat apples

Apples don’t have inconvenient peels, but they can be sticky and messy. Dried apples present a clear alternative, and you can also enjoy apples in purees and 100%-fruit bars.

How are apples under-appreciated?

It is commonly known that apples contain fibre and natural sugars, but this fruit’s vitamin content doesn’t get enough credit. Apples are, however, celebrated everywhere as a convenient energy food—as proof, there are apples on every Starbucks counter in the world.

Dish ideas

Apples may not blend well into smoothies, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use them with other dishes. As a traditional addition to salads, you can also enjoy dried apple slices on their own or with trail mix.

Benefits of avocados for energy

Why are avocados good for energy?

It is natural to maximise complex carbs and protein as you search for maximum energy. Healthy fats, however, provide approximately 50% of your body’s energy, and few healthy fat sources are richer than avocados.

When and how to eat avocados

These rich, creamy fruits are best enjoyed as salad toppers, sandwich fillers, or smoothie thickeners.

How are avocados under-appreciated?

Fats, in general, are woefully overlooked when it comes to energy. These essential macronutrients got a bad name due to popular misconceptions, but you need to eat plenty of natural, healthy fats to stay sharp and energetic.

Dish ideas

Avocado plays a big role in sushi. Pick up some seaweed rolls, dust off the rice cooker, and make some dragon rolls like a Tokyo native.

If you are looking for a traditional sushi alternative avocado can also be a perfect choice. Mixed with mango and cucumber this trio will make an ideal sushi roll.

Benefits of goji berries for energy

Why are goji berries good for energy?

Studies show that goji berries increase energy, and it’s believed that these energising effects are the result of phytochemicals like polysaccharides, zeaxanthin, and beta carotene.

When and how to eat goji berries

Goji berries are almost always sold dried, and it’s just as easy to snack on a bag of these small, tangy berries as it is to eat an apple or a banana. Goji berries are great to eat first thing in the morning for their unique, zesty flavour.

How are goji berries under-appreciated?

Western science has overlooked the benefits of goji berries for centuries. Recommended by celebrities, health bloggers and trendy publications, the Goji berry has been growing in popularity amongst the edgy eaters. The beauty industry was also quick to explore the highly beneficial anti-aging qualities with Goji berries being used in the anti-aging skincare production.

Dish ideas

Due to their intense flavour and sticky texture, goji berries can be hard to add to dishes. Lightly sprinkled on top of salads, however, goji berries make for the perfect antioxidant garnish.

Benefits of sweet potatoes for energy

Why are sweet potatoes good for energy?

For a long time, sweet potato has been seen having the same benefits as the regular potato. It might be surprising but they both come from separate plant families offering different nutrients. Due to its large amounts of fibre, sweet potato has been discovered to improve gut health and digestion – functions that can have a direct impact on your energy levels especially when not working in order. Sweet potatoes also promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria.

When and how to eat sweet potatoes

Hard when raw and soft when cooked, sweet potatoes are commonly pre-cooked and added to meals. From baked to roasted to noodled, sweet potatoes offer a high number of meal variations which makes it easy to incorporate them into your daily diet.

How are sweet potatoes under-appreciated?

While sweet potatoes are widely recognised as great sources of fibre, this root’s antioxidant properties don’t get enough credit. It’s by fighting oxidative stress in your gut that sweet potatoes improve your digestive health, though.

Dish ideas

Go the traditionally sweet route and bake your sweet potatoes into some vegan, gluten-free bread. It’ll be simple and yummy to snack on these homemade baked goods at work, at home, or on the road.

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About the author
Katie Hipwell - Katie is an AfN Registered Nutritionist (RNutr) with a specialism in food and is Head of Nutrition at Feel. Katie has worked in the food supplement industry for 10 years. She has completed a Master's degree in Human Nutrition and an undergraduate degree in BSc Sport and Exercise Nutrition.
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