Are you overwhelmed by fatigue and low energy? Would you like to feel energized, find the motivation to get things done, and have a new lease on life? If so, you’ll want to read this post to the end, as you’ll learn how you can regain your energy by making some simple changes to the way you eat.
There are many causes of low energy and chronic fatigue include autoimmune diseases, adrenal fatigue, and thyroid issues. Ongoing fatigue can often be a sign that there is something physically wrong.
This may be due to a number of health issues including an underlying illness, toxicity, inflammation, gut permeability often referred to as leaky gut, or even a nutrient deficiency such as low iron or magnesium. Also, stress and mental exhaustion can affect our energy levels. So let’s look at eight ways you can eat for energy and fight fatigue.
1. Chew Your Food To Aid Digestion
Many people think that digestion begins in the stomach, but actually, it starts in the mouth. The more you chew your food before swallowing the more salivary enzymes can get to work breaking down your food.
Another benefit is that the better you chew, the smaller the food particles are when they enter the stomach. This means your body won’t have to use as much energy for digestion. And the less time your body has to spend digesting the more energy your body has for other tasks.
2. Reduce Stress Levels And Eat Mindfully
Stress has a major impact on our overall health. When we find ourselves feeling stressed, our body goes into fight or flight mode and significantly slows down our digestion. This can cause the food in our stomach to ferment which can lead to gas, bloating, indigestion, and fatigue.
Try to avoid stress when eating by consuming your meals in a relaxed environment away from distractions such as tv and the internet. Be mindful of what you are eating by focusing on the smell, flavor, and texture of your food. In other words, enjoy the action of having a relaxing meal that is a feast for your senses and enjoyable.
3. Eat Nutrient-dense, Energy Promoting Whole Foods
Most edible plants are high in energy-boosting phytonutrients. A diet rich in whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, gluten-free whole grains, and herbs and spices can not only increase your energy, but can improve your overall health. Make sure that you consume a wide variety of these plant foods daily to nourish your cells and optimize your energy.
4. Limit Your Intake Of Goitrogenic Foods
If you are suffering with fatigue, and think you may have thyroid issues, then it is best to limit your intake of goitrogens as these may negatively affect your thyroid. Many plant foods contain goitrogens which can interfere with the production of thyroid hormone. Among those plants containing goitrogens are cruciferous vegetables, millet, and soy-based foods.
However, cruciferous veggies have many beneficial properties and you can significantly decrease their goitrogenic properties by steaming or cooking them. Most plant foods that contain goitrogens are nutrient dense and should not be avoided altogether. Just be aware of your overall intake.
5. Avoid Stimulants And Allergenic Foods
Stimulants such as caffeine and alcohol should be limited or avoided altogether as they can have a negative effect on energy levels. Another thing to consider, is that more than 10% of the US population have a food allergy with many more people having a food intolerance.
Unfortunately, these figures are on the rise with more people reacting to foods each year. Keeping a food diary is a great way to figure out if you have any food allergies or intolerances. Get your free copy of our Diet and Lifestyle Tracker: A 5-Day Journal to track your diet and health.
6. Add Dried Superfoods And Fermented Foods To Your Diet
Many plant foods are classified as superfoods due to their nutrient density, but here we’re referring more to the dried and powdered superfoods. These are easily stored for long periods and can be added to juices, smoothies, soups, stews, teas, and even vegan ice-creams. Dried herbs and spices are also power-packed, have anti-inflammatory properties, and can add great flavor to a meal.
In addition, fermented foods and drinks such as miso, umeboshi plums, kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha, and water kefir are beneficial for aiding digestion and boosting immunity. They seed our intestines with beneficial gut bacteria adding probiotics, and also prebiotics if they contain plant fibers. Incorporate prebiotic and probiotic foods into your daily diet to bolster your immune system!
7. Take Supplements As Needed
Sometimes fatigue can set in if we are nutrient deficient, and with a third of the U.S. population at risk for at least one vitamin deficiency or anemia, it is worth getting a blood test to check your status.
Some supplements that can help increase energy are ashwagandha, Rhodiola, CoQ10 or it’s active form ubiquinol, the amino acid L-theanine, a multi-b complex, vitamins C & D3, selenium, iodine, zinc, magnesium, and iron if needed. Supplementing with iron is not recommended unless you know that you are deficient, as too much can be harmful. It is always best to consult with a medical professional to find out if you are lacking in certain nutrients.
8. Remember To Stay Hydrated!
Water is vital for the body to function. The average adult is 60% water and our blood is 90% water. Just a few of water’s many actions within the body include aiding digestion and detoxification, carrying nutrients through the blood to where they are needed, regulating body temperature, maintaining blood pressure, and preventing premature aging by keeping skin supple.
A good guideline for water intake is to drink 1 fluid ounce of water for every 2 pounds of body weight. So if you weigh 140 pounds you should drink approximately 70 fluid ounces of water spread throughout the day. However, if you’ve been working up a sweat, you’ll need more fluids.
After strenuous activity or if you have been sweating a lot, you should also replenish your electrolytes, as excessive sweating can deplete your stores of certain minerals. Thankfully, coconut water contains all these minerals and can help restore those lost through sweating.
For more information on electrolytes and how to replenish them see our link in the description. And if you don’t like drinking plain water then other healthy options include mushroom and herbal teas, and fruit or veggie infused water. By staying hydrated you’ll be helping your body to function optimally which can reduce fatigue and increase your energy levels.
To recap, here are the 8 ways to eat for energy.
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Share in the comments below which of the 8 tips you need to work on.