‘Why do I feel tired all the time?’ If that’s a question you regularly ask yourself, you may well put it down to long working days or too many late nights out and your response may well be a good night’s sleep and some relaxation time. However, it is well worth considering the role that nutrition plays in both combating fatigue, but also how poor nutrition may itself be a factor leading to feelings of tiredness and fatigue. There are specific nutrients which play a major role in energy production in the body, I wanted to share these with you so you can focus on adding these foods into your diet if low energy is something you struggle with.
All B vitamins are crucial for the entire adrenal cascade. When you are stressed, make poor dietary choices, or consume large amounts of alcohol your body is depleted of B vitamins. The most important group of nutrients to covert food into energy is B vitamins.
Foods high in B vitamins include: wholegrains (oats, brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, legumes, chickpeas, beans), nuts, seeds, eggs, meat, leafy greens and spirulina.
Magnesium is used in over 300 biochemical processes in your body. Magnesium stores get depleted during times of stress, exercise, poor dietary choices and by consuming alcohol.
Foods high in magnesium include: dark leafy greens, pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds, avocado, bananas, beans and legumes, whole grains, raw cacao powder
Protein maintains cells, assists in growth, transports hormones and vitamins, and preserves lean muscle mass. Muscles and many hormones are, in fact, made up of protein. You also need protein for your immune system and to help stabilize blood sugar levels.
Protein sources: eggs, fish, meat, nuts, beans, legumes, quinoa, tofu, tempeh.
Without healthy red blood cells, your body can’t get enough oxygen; the consequence of not having sufficient oxygen in the body is constant fatigue.
Iron rich foods include: beef, lamb, leafy greens, parsley, tahini, spirulina, raw cacao powder.
Vitamin C is important for adrenal health. It is utilized by the adrenal glands in the production of all the adrenal hormones, specially cortisol (the stress and fat storing hormone, which in high levels shifts your nervous system into the ‘flight or flight’ mode). When you are under a lot of stress your vitamin C is rapidly used in the production of cortisol and related stress-response hormones.
Vitamin C rich foods include: fresh fruits and vegetables such as berries, papaya, pineapple, citrus fruits, capsicum, broccoli, leafy greens. One factor to consider when consuming these food is that vitamin C is destroyed by heat.