Lacking energy is a common complaint that can derive from a broad range of factors, including sleep loss, stress, illnesses and poor eating habits, such as skipping meals. In addition to addressing any underlying cause, improving the nutrient content of your meals and snacks is one way to help improve your energy levels while boosting your overall wellness. Fruits, particularly varieties rich in B vitamins, potassium, fiber and water, make useful components of an energizing diet.
Valuable B-Vitamin Sources
Your body relies on B vitamins for a healthy metabolism, energy production and immune function. Papayas, oranges, bananas and cantaloupe provide valuable amounts of vitamin B-6, which helps control blood sugar, guarding against tiredness associated with blood sugar decline. Deficiencies of B-6 can cause confusion, depression, irritability and an energy-zapping condition known as anemia. Oranges and orange juice are rich in the B-vitamin folate. Because orange juice contains rich amounts of concentrated sugars and little, if any, fiber, pair it with a protein or fiber-rich food, such as yogurt or oatmeal, for stabilized energy, or eat the whole fruit instead.
Many Americans lack potassium, according to Colorado State University Extension. This electrolyte helps control nerve function and muscle control. While full-fledged deficiencies are uncommon, strenuous exercise, diarrhea and use of diuretics increase your risk for deficiency symptoms, including weakness and fatigue. To avoid a post-workout energy crash, have a snack rich in carbohydrates and potassium. Most fruits supply good amounts of both, but bananas, cantaloupe and apricots are particularly potassium-rich. Apples, nectarines, oranges, peaches, strawberries and raisins supply moderate amounts.
Fiber is a carbohydrate that promotes blood sugar and appetite control, helping you feel energized longer. Starting your day with a fiber-rich breakfast helps stave off energy slumps later on, reports CNN Health. Eating one small apple, 1 cup of raspberries or 1 1/2 figs with your breakfast adds about 3 grams of fiber. Oranges, pears, plums, mangoes and strawberries each provide 2 to 3 grams per serving. A high-fiber diet contains 25 to 35 grams of fiber per day, so incorporate fruits and other fiber-rich foods, such as vegetables and whole grains, into your meals and snacks routinely.
Tiredness and fatigue are common symptoms of dehydration, which can derive from fluid loss through intense sweat, diarrhea, vomiting or consumption of too few fluids or hydrating foods. While water and other beverages, such as milk and herbal tea, provide a healthy means of staying hydrated, about 20 percent of fluid needs are met through food, according to Iowa State University. Fresh fruits are rich in water and potassium, which can help prevent electrolyte imbalances associated with dehydration. Particularly high-water varieties include citrus fruits, grapes, papaya, strawberries, cherries and watermelon.
- Today's Dietitian; Eating for Energy
- National Library of Medicine: Vitamin B6
- Harvard School of Public Health: Three of the B Vitamins: Folate, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin B12
- Colorado State University Extension: Potassium and the Diet
- CNN Health: 5 Ways a Healthy Diet Is Making You Tired
- Harvard University Health Services: Fiber Content of Foods in Common Portions
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: What Are B-Vitamins and Folate?
- Iowa State University: Fluids