The Herculean Diet

Never underrate the banana.

Never underrate the banana.

No, this wasn't 'borrowed' from a Greek god neither is it anything like The Rock's insane seven-meals-a-day diet for the title role in the 2014 Hercules movie. It's a roll call of the best natural energy-boosting foods you can get almost anywhere.

Top on the list is the humble banana. This unpretentious and cheap fruit really doesn't get enough credit. Considering that it reportedly delivers as much energy as the average carbohydrate drink athletes guzzle for strength while also packing fiber, vitamins C and B6 as well as a lot of potassium, it deserves your respect and money.

Oats are next, and I can vouch for this one easily - I've had a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast nearly every day of the past month. It keeps me full from 7:00 am to well past midday and it's a healthier option (particularly steel-cut or old-fashioned oats) than anything from Kellogg's. Better than having it with milk alone, unlock its full potential this way.

Beans? Yup, beans made it here. It gets bad press for causing gas but beans is great and not only as a canvas for plantain. It's highly rated as a source of protein, but there's fiber, folic acid (which helps convert carbohydrate to energy) and quite a lot of healthy carbohydrate in there as well, releasing glucose for several hours. Swing toward the red kind.

Find more foods Hercules would eat here and while you're at it, compare them with these energy-sapping ones.