Fighting Fatigue with Food

Are you always tired, drained, worn out?  These are just some of the words used to describe a feeling of just being plain old ‘buggered’.  No matter which way we look at it and no matter which words we use to illustrate, the simple fact of the matter is that life is moving at an alarming rate leaving us gasping for air and heading for the nearest pillow.

Are you one of the many people that just dread the morning alarm? Or you just can’t get through a full day without the mid-afternoon “nanny-nap”? Or is it straight after dinner that you turn into a complete couch-potato, unable to remove yourself from the couch, stuck in front of the TV?

Whichever time of the day renders your ‘slump’, food is often one of the reasons why you feel this way.  Research suggests that a poor diet lacking in important vitamins and minerals and high in processed foods is often the cause of sluggishness and fatigue.  A nutritionally dense diet, however, often boosts energy levels.

Food is our fuel.  Therefore, what we choose to fuel our bodies is going to impact highly on its ultimate performance.  As we wake up and get out of bed, our day has begun and our bodies need to be refueled after a fast.  Breakfast is the breaking of the fast, and to say that this is the most important meal of the day is definitely an understatement!

In order to get your body prepared for the day it is important to choose foods that are wholegrain.  Choosing a combination of carbohydrates, a healthy fat and protein will ensure endurance and energy and decrease the chance of morning fatigue.  Some ideas are:

       Poached egg on wholegrain toast with

real butter;

       Protein shake loaded with natural yoghurt and fresh berries;

       Oatmeal with yoghurt, flaxseeds and raisins (or a fruit of choice).

Eating healthy at the start of the day should be a catalyst for the rest of the day.  Such foods such as carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats such as avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, butter should be included in the daily diet.  This sort of eating improves memory, decreases fatigue and boosts energy. It will also improve your waistline, decrease your risk of most chronic illnesses and improve the tone of your skin.

Snacks need to consist of fruit, nuts and seeds.  Sliced raw vegetables such as carrots dipped in humus or avocado dip makes for an excellent snack.  Steer away from the simple carbohydrates such as lollies, cakes as these will give you a quick energy fix, but leave you feeling tired and fatigued after a while.

Try and add lean protein into some snacks to help you feel satisfied. Turkey breast, lean ham or beef strips with vegie dip can make a quick nutritious snack. Lentils, chickpeas and tofu can also provide quick and easy meals and snacks.

The important thing to remember is variety. Your body needs a range of different vitamins and minerals to remain healthy so be sure to include plenty of colour when choosing your snacks, and this doesn’t mean several different colours of icing on the donut!

Eat well, eat often and ensure plenty of proper good quality hours of sleep, and your energy levels will return to normal. Feeling better and looking good starts and finishes with your nutrition. Get it right, and you will be thankful for it!



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