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Eat These Foods to Fight Fatigue

by Jessica Hegg July 22, 2022 0 Comments

Senior couple on table

While fatigue is sometimes the cause of a chronic illness, for most of us, it has more to do with lifestyle choices. Especially as we age, fatigue can have a big impact on how we live our lives. If you’re looking to maximize your energy, one of the first places to start is your diet. Take a look below for tips on improving your eating habits, daylong energy, and improved quality of life.

Foods That Cause Fatigue

The first step to fighting fatigue is to know which common pitfalls to avoid. Make sure to stay far away from all of the following foods while maintaining your energy levels.

Processed Foods

Processed foods like candy, frozen meals, and fast food can be tasty and convenient once in a while. However, they are often high in fat and sugar without offering much in the way of nutritional value.

White Bread

Nutritionally, white bread is often closer to cake than it is to whole grain bread. It has high levels of sugar and complex carbohydrates that might leave you feeling perky in the short term but will slow you down once it starts to digest.

Caffeine

While caffeine can give you a quick boost in the short term, caffeinated drinks will cause fatigue in the long run. The reason is that caffeine isn’t providing you with energy but stimulates your body to burn off the energy you already have. Once the initial jolt is over, you’ll feel more tired than you did before you started.

Alcohol

Alcohol is a depressant, which slows down all your body’s processes and can cause fatigue. However, don’t make the mistake of thinking it can work as a sleep aid either, since alcohol can interfere with sleep, causing more fatigue the next day.

Candy

Candy and other high-sugar foods are your body’s source of quick-burning fuel. It raises your blood level quickly and drops back down just as fast. Once the initial burst has worn off, you’ll probably feel ready for a nap.

Animal-Based Proteins

While there’s nothing wrong with eating meat on occasion, it’s best to find most of your protein through lean sources like nuts, legumes, and fish. The FDA only recommends an average of four ounces of meat per day, which is about the size of a deck of playing cards. Too much animal protein in your diet can lead to high levels of cholesterol as well as increased fatigue throughout the day.

Eating Habits That Cause Fatigue

While it’s important to pay attention to what you eat, tracking how you eat is just as crucial. Try to watch out for these common eating habits to keep your energy levels high all day long.

Eating Large Meals

Many of us grew up eating our smallest meal at the beginning of the day and the largest one in the evening. However, this is a recipe for unbalanced blood sugar levels, leading to fatigue from over or under-eating. Instead, try eating a larger number of smaller meals throughout the day, even if that means snacking occasionally.

Dining Out

It’s nice to dine out once in a while, but doing so too often can be bad for your health. Restaurant food is often high in fat, sugar, and salt, which can cause fatigue in the short term and cause you to gain weight in the long term.

Skipping Meals

Sometimes when we’re focused on a task, it’s easy to forget to fuel our bodies, and before we know it, hours have passed and we’re starving. This can be terrible for our energy levels, as our blood sugar plummets anytime we don’t eat. Even if you don’t feel like eating, try having a small snack like a piece of fruit or a handful of nuts.

Excessive Eating

Just as skipping meals can unbalance our blood sugar, the reverse can also be true. Eating large meals can cause our blood sugar to spike, which will inevitably be followed by a crash soon after. It can also force your digestive system to work overtime, sapping your energy.

To help maintain your ideal weight, a Digital Bathroom Scale can be a great way to track your health.

Learn More About Poor Digestion

Foods to Fight Fatigue

One of the best ways to keep energy levels balanced throughout the day is to make sure you’re eating the right foods. Make sure to grab some of the following on your next trip to the grocery store.

Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

If you’re hungering for a quick snack between meals, you can’t do better than fresh fruit or vegetable. These include a good dose of vitamins and minerals without loading your body with fats, processed sugars, or excess sodium. They are also often high in fiber, which helps regular blood sugar throughout the day.

One of the best fruits for maintaining energy is bananas. Research  has shown that they can be just as effective as a sports drink.

Whole Grains

The difference between white bread and whole grain bread is that the latter is packed full of fiber and nutrients. The added fiber will help slow your digestion, allowing you to burn through the calories more slowly rather than all at once.

It’s important when buying bread to avoid confusing whole grain with multi-grain. While whole grain bread is full of nutritional benefits, multi-grain bread may not be.

Lean Protein

There are plenty of sources of lean protein that will help your body build and repair muscle without the fatigue high doses of saturated fats bring. Good sources of lean protein include nuts and seeds, fish, as well as beans, and other legumes.

Green Tea

Green tea does indeed have a small dose of caffeine, but it won’t give you the jitters or cause your body to crash an hour after you drink it. In addition to improving energy, it can also have a positive effect on mood and brain functioning.

How Probiotics Can Improve Gut Health

Dark Chocolate

Yes, eating candy can indeed cause a spike in blood sugar that will eventually cause you to crash. It’s also true that chocolate is high in caffeine, which can have a similar effect. However, when eaten in moderation, it can be a healthy boost in the middle of the day. Dark chocolate’s glycemic index (its impact on blood sugar) is relatively low, and its antioxidants can help improve blood flow.

Water

Water works the same way for your body as oil does for your car engine. While it doesn’t provide energy in itself, it helps keep your digestive and circulatory systems working at peak performance. Taking regular sips of water throughout the day is always a better choice than juice, soda, or coffee.

Learn more about the health benefits of drinking water in our complete guide.

Other Ways to Combat Fatigue

Eating a variety of healthy foods is an effective way to combat fatigue, but it’s only a piece of the puzzle. Try following all these tips to maximize your daily energy.

Eat Small Meals Throughout the Day

Our blood sugar peaks when we eat a big meal and drops after a few hours, often causing us to experience highs and lows of energy throughout the day. One way to combat this is to eat a larger number of small meals throughout the day. Eating 5 or six small meals is ideal, though if you want to stick to a traditional 3 meal plan, you can also snack in between.

Eat a Balanced Diet

A healthy diet is composed of fruits and vegetables, protein, and carbohydrates, and striking the right balance between these is crucial for fighting fatigue. The US government recommends making meals that are 50% fruits and vegetables, 25% protein, and 25% starch. In addition, it’s essential to get your dose of vitamins and minerals like calcium and iron. The best way to achieve this is to eat a variety of different foods, especially fruits and vegetables.

Practice Good Sleep Hygiene

Aside from eating, the single biggest factor that affects your energy levels is how well you sleep. While we can’t always control how much we sleep, practicing good sleep hygiene habits can help improve the amount and quality of sleep we get. One of the easiest ways to promote good sleep is to ensure your bed is soft and comfortable with a Foam Mattress Topper.

Learning about proper sleeping posture can also help improve the quality of your sleep.

Exercise Regularly

It may seem counterintuitive, but regular exercise is a way to boost energy and fight back against fatigue. While it might leave you feeling tired immediately after, a 30-minute workout can help wake your body up to the day and help your body regulate energy levels. Regular exercise can also help you sleep better, giving you more energy the next day.

While a gym membership is a great way to get regular exercise, there are also plenty of ways to get in some extra activity at home. A Pedal Exerciser can help you get your daily dose of cardio.

Find Chair Exercises for Seniors for Full Body Workout

Protect Your Immune System

Even minor illnesses can have a major impact on our energy levels, forcing the body to work harder to fight back against infection. That’s why we must do all we can to help prevent illness through a healthy diet, exercise, and immunizations.

Healthy Habits for All-Day Energy

As you can see, there are plenty of ways to keep your body fueled throughout the day, as long as you pay attention to what, when, and how you eat. However, fighting fatigue isn’t about perfection. As long as you can choose a couple of the tips listed above and work them into your daily diet, the results will speak for themselves.

Jessica Hegg
Jessica Hegg

Jessica Hegg is the content manager and at ViveHealth.com. With vast product knowledge and understanding of individual needs, she aims to share valuable information on making smart buying choices, overcoming obstacles and overall improving the quality of life for others. Avid gym-rat and nutrition enthusiast, she’s interested in all things related to staying active and living healthy lifestyle.



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