Are We Making the Right Choices in Foods to Fight Fatigue?
The moment we feel low in energy or are tired, we turn to caffeinated drinks or energy bars to perk up ourselves. A cup of coffee, a can of energy drink, a granola bar or some sugary snack looks so appealing when we are tired. But do these choices help? Doctors and nutritionists believe that they may provide initial energy high but soon the levels plummet, and we end up feeling more tired than before.
Foods to Fight Fatigue
1. Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Don’t underestimate the power of a bowl of salad or a serving of fruits. Fresh fruits and vegetables are full of vital nutrients that help to keep the metabolism going and improve energy levels. The fresher the fruit or vegetable, the better it is for your health. Also, the energy provided is at a more consistent rate, and this helps the body to cope better with demanding mental and physical work. They are ideal foods that prevent fatigue and depression.
2. Unprocessed Food
Burgers, pasta, French fries, boxed meals, ready-to-eat snacks, and other such items may seem like enticing options when low on energy, but they are bad for health and provide no nutrition to the body. Instead, they cause sharp spikes and dips in sugar levels leading you to feel a burst of energy and then feeling thoroughly washed out. Choose unprocessed food options like whole grains, brown bread sandwiches or a glass of milk, which are better food options that prevent fatigue.
3. Hydrate with Non-Caffeinated Drinks
A cup or two of coffee daily is alright, but when coffee becomes the go-to drink to get by every hour, then it is harmful to health. You could instead choose fresh fruit juices, milkshakes, green tea or smoothies to help tide over low energy levels. They make for nutritious options for foods that prevent fatigue.
4. Whole Grains and Complex Carbohydrates
Most of us skip breakfast for a little bit of extra sleep or choose unhealthy options like bagels, doughnuts, or high-calorie snacks for sustenance. To have stable energy levels throughout the day, decide to eat an oatmeal breakfast or have whole grain options like whole-wheat pancakes, multigrain sandwiches or quinoa. These have a high amount of good quality carbohydrates that provide fuel to our brains and muscles, so they work efficiently and make great foods to fight fatigue.
If you are feeling tired between meals, the best snacking options are nuts and seeds like almonds, walnuts, Chia seeds, flax seeds, and pistachios. You could also go for sunflower seeds, Brazilian nuts, hazelnuts, pecans or pumpkin seeds as well. All of these make for healthy foods that fight fatigue. They provide essential nutrients, fibre and a boost of energy to the tired body. Chia seeds have earned the reputation of being a ‘runner’s food’ as they help in improving endurance and enhance physical performance. Most nuts are rich in magnesium, potassium and other vital nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids that are potent antioxidants. These are the perfect fatigue-fighting foods.
Nothing fights fatigue like proteins. Beans, tofu, cottage cheese, and sprouts are foods that fight fatigue. Most of these are rich in magnesium that helps to restore the energy levels.
Mushrooms are an unassuming source of energy. They are rich in proteins and fibre and replenish essential nutrients like folate and B vitamins like riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, etc. They prevent damage to mitochondria which are the powerhouses of the cells. They also combat fatigue by providing support to the adrenal glands. They can be eaten as part of salads, in sandwiches or as a snack in themselves.
Whenever we are tired, we almost always forget to account for dehydration. Water helps the body to work optimally without adding any calories. It makes for a perfect drink whenever you are feeling down and out. Guzzle down two litres of water a day to keep your energy levels up.
Bananas are one of the best foods to fight fatigue. Rich in potassium, vitamins, and minerals, bananas are one of the cheapest and most readily available energy sources around the world. Have in a smoothie, as is or incorporate in a milkshake to get benefitted twice over.
Packed with fibre, carbohydrates, and protein (a good trio), beans are right on top of foods that fight fatigue. They are rich in fibre that helps to stabilize the blood sugar levels and prevent sudden spikes or dips in sugar levels. There is a range of options available like kidney beans, cluster beans, regular French beans, and garbanzo beans. Eat them as a snack or as part of a curry.
11. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are a healthier option to potatoes when looking for good carbohydrates to sustain bodily functions. They are high in fibre and rich in potassium. Potassium keeps the electrolyte balance maintained and helps the body by lowering the blood pressure. When the body is relaxed, it responds better to stress and fatigue. Also, know about the stress foods to avoid.
12. Green or Black Tea
Tea has much less caffeine than coffee. Also, it has an amino acid- theanine which helps to enhance concentration and makes one alert. Be warned, though. If you have some tea close to your bedtime, it might hamper with your ability to hit the sack on time.
A good night’s sleep, eating meals on time and making healthy choices when it comes to foods that do not cause fatigue will go a long way in keeping you feeling energetic and active. Nothing can replace a good lifestyle to fight off exhaustion in this fast-paced world. Replace junk and processed food with nuts and whole grains with the right foods to fight fatigue. If you still feel tired or experience low levels of energy, talk to your doctor.
Must Read: 9 Energy Giving Foods to Fight Fatigue