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[3 min read] Helping your patients boost energy levels with effective nutrition
A lack of energy can impact your patients’ day-to-day lives and make them less productive. The type and amount of food they eat plays an important role in energy levels; eating the right nutrients can help beat fatigue and maintain alertness and focus throughout the day, while also providing more general health benefits.
There are a number of foods patients can include in their diet to enhance energy and general nutrition:
- Bananas – Bananas are an excellent source of carbohydrates, potassium and vitamin B6, which all boost energy levels.
- Fish – Fatty fish like salmon and tuna are good sources of protein, fatty acids and vitamin B.
- Brown rice – One cup of brown rice provides around 88 per cent of the recommended daily intake for manganese, a mineral that helps enzymes break down carbohydrates and proteins to generate energy.
- Sweet potatoes – Sweet potatoes are high in carbohydrates, fibre, vitamin A, and manganese, and the body digests them at a slow pace, providing a steady supply of energy.
- Coffee – The caffeine in coffee can inhibit adenosine (a neurotransmitter that quiets the central nervous system), in turn stimulating the body and brain.
- Eggs – Eggs are high in protein and do not cause spikes in blood sugar and insulin when digested.
- Apples – Due to their rich content of natural sugars and fibre, apples can provide a slow and sustained energy release.
- Water – Drinking water is essential for normal cellular function and can give a boost of energy to fight fatigue.
- Dark chocolate – The antioxidants in cocoa can increase blood flow throughout the body, delivering oxygen to the brain and muscles.
- Goji berries – Research suggests that goji berry juice provides antioxidant protection, assists with mental performance and alertness, and helps decrease fatigue.
- Quinoa – One cup of quinoa provides 39 grams of carbohydrates which are absorbed slowly and can provide sustained energy release.
- Oatmeal – Oatmeal contains beta-glucan, a soluble fibre that forms a thick gel when combined with water, delaying stomach emptying in the digestive system and the absorption of glucose into the blood.
- Yoghurt – The simple sugars in yoghurt make it an ideal snack for fuel throughout the day.
- Lentils and hummus – The fibre in lentils promotes slow stomach emptying and more controlled increases in blood sugar levels, so patients feel full for longer and can expect steady energy levels.
- Avocados – Avocados are rich in fibre and healthy fats which promote optimal blood fat levels and enhance nutrient absorption.
- Oranges and strawberries – The high vitamin C and antioxidant content in oranges and strawberries can help beat fatigue.
- Beans and nuts – Beans and nuts can provide a steady release of energy throughout the day and are great for snacking.
- Leafy green vegetables and beetroot – The vitamins and minerals in vegetables such as spinach, kale and beetroot are essential for a healthy diet and optimal energy levels.
- Green tea – Green tea contains caffeine and L-theanine which can moderate the effects of caffeine, such as anxiety and the jitters, and produces a smoother boost of energy. Green tea can increase focus, alertness and mental concentration while offering a good boost of energy and decreasing fatigue.
Want to learn more about managing your patients’ nutrition concerns in general practice?
Upskill in Medical Nutrition Management.