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Eating a healthy, balanced diet is a great way to keep energy levels up without resorting to processed foods with added sugar that result in a crash later on. Opting instead for natural, fresh foods such as fruits and vegetables, and other foods high in vitamins and minerals, will help to maintain energy levels throughout the day. Qualified nutritional therapist Bernard McGowan believes that opting for fresh, natural foods instead of coffees and energy drinks is a healthier, more effective way to fuel the body over the course of a day.

Breakfast

According to the British Dietetic Association, as many as a third of people will regularly skip breakfast. Opting for a healthy breakfast is a great way to keep the body fuelled until lunchtime. Healthy options include porridge, low sugar cereals, and poached eggs with toast.

If short on time or unable to eat too soon after waking up, taking fruit to eat on the go is a healthy alternative. Fruits such as a banana provide a good amount of fibre that slows down the release of sugar for a sustained energy release.

Fruit and Vegetables

Eating at least five varied portions of fruit and vegetables a day is key to maintaining a balanced, healthy diet. Fruit and vegetables are great sources of all the essential nutrients that the body needs to function well. To get the greatest benefit from the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, try to eat as wide a variety as possible. Find out more about what counts as one of the recommended five-a-day by taking a look at the embedded PDF.

Fruits such as avocados are full of vitamins, minerals and healthy fats that can give the body energy for hours. Their high fibre content also means that they can keep the level of sugar in the blood stable, helping to avoid sugar crashes. Avocado is a great addition to a smoothie or fruit selection and can also be served sliced with eggs for breakfast.

Watermelons are ninety percent water and are packed full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Starting the day with a fruit like watermelon gives a boost to hydration and energy levels that is sure to help fight fatigue.

Starchy Carbohydrates

Starchy carbohydrates should make up around a third of a balanced diet. Popular foods such as potatoes, bread, cereals, pasta and rice are a great source of sustained energy and provide many essential nutrients. Potatoes, for example, are a natural starchy carbohydrate and offer a good source of energy, fibre, B vitamins and potassium. Eating potatoes with the skins on keeps in more of the essential fibre and vitamins, adding to their natural benefits.

Eggs

Regardless of whether they are eaten as part of a healthy breakfast, lunch or dinner, eggs are packed full of protein and healthy fats that can help sustain energy levels throughout the day. Eggs contain a variety of vitamins and minerals including iron, vitamin D and vitamin B12. Where possible, always eat the whole egg – the yolk contains the vast majority of an egg’s vitamins and minerals.

Kale and Spinach

Low levels of iron can leave people feeling tired and run down, so eating a range of foods rich in iron is important. When it comes to plant-based sources of iron, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, kale and spinach are a great choice. The vitamins, minerals, iron, and folate contained within these leaves provide a welcome energy boost to help in the fight against fatigue.