Today’s world is moving at an ever increasing pace, and many people are struggling to keep up. Stress, illness, and over work contribute to feelings of fatigue and lethargy. Fatigue is characterized by lack of motivation and energy, and the following symptoms may be experienced on a daily basis:
- Tiredness & sleepiness
- Loss of appetite
- Digestive problems
- Increased susceptibility to illness
Many people resort to quick energy boosts such as caffeine, snacks, sweets or energy drinks. While this does provide an instant solution, over time it can wear the body down and cause blood sugar imbalances.
Here are a few things to consider for a long term solution to fatigue:
Is your digestion working well? The body creates energy from the nutrients that are assimilated in the digestive tract, so looking at diet and digestive function is a first step to ensuring you are getting enough energy from the food you eat.
Are you getting enough iron? Low iron can cause fatigue and an inability to concentrate. Iron isn’t just in meat – try thyme, curry powder, cinnamon, rosemary and paprika, asparagus, chard, spinach, and turmeric.
Are you getting enough B-vitamins? B-vitamins are involved in many processes that generate energy. Consider the following:
- B1 helps maintain energy supplies – mushrooms, spinach, flaxseeds, tuna, green peas, and Brussels sprouts, sunflower seeds, beans, peas
- B2 is part of cellular energy production – mushrooms, spinach, yogurt, almonds
- B3 stabilizes blood sugar levels – mushrooms, chicken, tuna, green peas, asparagus
- B5 supports adrenal function – mushrooms, cauliflower, broccoli, grape fruit, bell peppers, asparagus, avocado
B6 supports the nervous system and promotes breakdown of sugars into energy – bell peppers, squash, broccoli, sunflower seeds, tuna, chicken, spinach, banana
Are you getting enough Vitamin C? Vitamin C is part of many processes within the body, enhancing iron absorption, supporting the immune system, and providing support for energy production. Citrus fruits are not the only source of Vitamin C, try these – broccoli, bell peppers, parsley, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, strawberries, cantaloupe, squash, grapefruit, pineapple, spinach, green beans, fennel, cranberries, asparagus, watermelon.
- Are you getting enough rest? If you are not sleeping well on a regular basis, this will cause ongoing feelings of fatigue during the day. 7 to 8 hours per night is the recommendation. If you do suffer from insomnia, it’s important to investigate the root cause and establish good sleep habits. There are many relaxing teas on the market which can help – these generally contain one or more of the following: chamomile, passionflower, hops, lavender and valerian.
Sometimes chronic fatigue is a sign of a more serious underlying condition. Always check with your health care professional for a full assessment.
Sources for this article include: