Foods and Fatigue

Fatigue is something we all experience, though can be defined in many different ways – including lack of energy, lack of motivation, or other terms such as exhaustion, malaise, run down, and more. When you think of fatigue, it’s usually something that we contribute to having long, tiresome days, or not getting enough sleep at night (insomnia.) However, did you know that fatigue can also be caused by certain foods you’re eating? Having a healthy diet is important. Failing to eat the right or adequate amount of foods can not only lead to feeling tired, but it can also contribute to a high risk of developing other health problems, such as diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and even weight gain.

Fatigue-Causing Foods

Food and fatigue are not typically two things that people will correlate with one another. However, there are some very surprising foods that could be making you tired without you even realizing it. These include pasta, fruits such as cherries and bananas, vegetables such as lettuce, red meat, and even salmon – and while these aren’t necessarily all bad foods, or foods that you should even be eliminating from your diet, you may still want to be informed as to how they can contribute to tiredness.

Pasta – This is a carbohydrate. Carbohydrates are something the body needs for many reasons – such as providing cells with energy, maintaining blood glucose and restoring muscle glycerine – however, not all carbs are good carbs. When you eat a refined carbohydrate like white pasta, you get a jolt of energy. In addition, you’re also getting a rise in your blood sugar which is then followed by a dive in insulin levels, thus leading to fatigue and even weakness.

Cherries and Bananas – If you’re someone who suffers from insomnia, then you might want to consider eating cherries at night rather than during the day. This is because cherries are a natural source of the sleep hormone known as melatonin; and while bananas are rich in potassium, which helps our heart and nerve health, they’re also rich in magnesium which is a mineral that is known to aid sleep.

Lettuce – This leafy green vegetable, most commonly used for salads, is rich in nutrients such as vitamin C, calcium, potassium and folate, but lettuce also, surprisingly, has sedative properties and contains a substance called lactucin. This substance, according to studies, has been shown to have both calming and pain-relieving effects.

Red meat – While red meats are high in iron which can help boost your energy level, they’re also higher in fat compared to other meats and poultry. When you consume fats the body has a harder time breaking them down and as a result your body uses up more energy, which then leaves you with that fatigued feeling.

Salmon – This is a very healthy food to include in your diet as it’s a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and protein. However, salmon and other types of fish are also rich in vitamin B6. The body uses vitamin B6 to create melatonin, which can give off sedative effects.

Energy-Boosting Foods

If you’re wanting to boost your energy level, then there are certain goods that can help you do that, including apples and oranges, quinoa, oatmeal, beverages such as coffee and green tea.

Apples and Oranges – Apples are a good source of both healthy carbs and fibre. They’re also rich in antioxidants which allows the body to digest carbohydrates slower and releases energy over an extended period of time. Oranges also contain antioxidant compounds which can help to decrease feelings of fatigues. They’re also rich in vitamin C, which helps boost the immune system and fights against illnesses like the common cold.

Quinoa – This is a gluten-free seed that is becoming more and more popular, with some people even using it in place of lettuce for salads. While it’s considered higher in carbohydrates, it’s also known for its high content of protein and other important nutrients which assist in the production of energy.

Oatmeal – This is one of the best foods you can start your day with. It’s a while grain that contains a soluble fubre known as beta-glucan, which delays the blood from absorbing glucose. In addition, it’s rich in B vitamins, iron and manganese that all help with the production of energy.

Coffee and Green tea – Two thirds of Canadians enjoy at least one cup of coffee each day. Coffee contains caffeine, which stimulates both the body and brain and can help you feel both alert and focused through the day. Similarly, green tea also contains caffeine in addition to a compound know as L-theanine. Together, caffeine and L-theanine increases alertness, and helps you feel more focused.