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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.

Medical Nutrition Certificate Courses in Australia

Read more recent research.

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