Daily fatigue affects many people and results in an inability to perform everyday activities, having a serious impact on all areas of life. Symptoms include lack of motivation, heavy eyelids, and irritability. There are many different causes of fatigue - such as anemia, depression, and sleep deprivation - but fortunately, a healthy diet can go a long way in combating these issues. Read on for a few healthy meal ideas that will help you avoid the debilitating condition of fatigue.
Oat bran topped with orange, strawberries, and melon, with a glass of orange juice
This meal will give you a great start to the day and prevent snacking prior to lunchtime. Studies have shown that increased intake of oat bran increases endurance and reduces the post-exercise inflammatory response. This means that it is likely to provide you with the energy to perform physical tasks, such as getting to work or cleaning the house, without tiring out you or your muscles. The fruit will also give you a vitamin C boost, increasing the absorption of iron in the body and facilitating oxygen transportation. Just make sure the orange juice is 100% fruit and contains no added sugars.
Poached eggs on whole grain toast and a glass of tomato juice
Eggs are one of the best sources of protein, which is essential for beating fatigue. The amino acids in protein support muscle growth, which can prevent muscle fatigue as well as providing you with the strength to exert yourself physically - often a problem for fatigue-sufferers. The protein also keeps you feeling fuller for longer, avoiding unhealthy snacking and giving you the brainpower to stay alert and motivated. In addition, the tomato juice will add a good dose of vitamin C to your morning, combating fatigue and helping to protect you against colds and infections.
Chicken rice in tomato sauce and a side salad topped with lemon
Poultry contains all-important protein and iron. The protein will contribute to muscle strength, while the extra iron will decrease the chances of developing iron deficiency anemia, which is one of the main causes of fatigue. The rice should be whole grain, because the fiber in the carbohydrates helps reduce feelings of tiredness, whereas highly processed white rice contains little of this fiber. The vegetables in the side salad will contain vitamins and minerals that help combat depression, a cause of fatigue, and the dash of lemon is an easy and tasty way to increase vitamin C consumption while avoiding fatty and unhealthy salad dressings.
Avocado and strawberry toast
This is an unusual but tasty way to ensure you are getting enough fiber, vitamin C, and essential fatty acids, which will all decrease the chances of developing fatigue. Begin by toasting whole grain bread and then spread with mashed avocado paste. Then, top with strawberry pieces and mozzarella cheese. Finish by grilling it until the cheese is melted and the toast is slightly brown. This won't spike up your blood sugar, so it will help you stay satiated until your next meal.
A healthy diet consisting of the right vitamins, minerals, and fats is essential for avoiding crashing fatigue. It can sometimes seem daunting to change established dietary habits, but doing it slowly and gradually is the best way to make sure it is sustainable. Once the new foods are a fully established part of your routine, it will become a welcome and even enjoyable part of everyday life.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2011). Iron and Iron Deficiency. Retrieved September 15, 2014, from http://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/everyone/basics/vitamins/iron.html
- Donatto, F.F. et. al. (2010). Effect of oat bran on time to exhaustion, glycogen content and serum cytokine profile following exhaustive exercise. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 7, 32. doi: 10.1186/1550-2783-7-32
- Love, S. & Lindsey, K. (2003). Dr. Susan Love's Menopause & Hormone Book. New York: Three Rivers Press.