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Foods to Fight Fatigue

Could you use more energy? Well, I think most of us could do with a little more. When we are feeling low, the go-to foods and drinks tend to be high in carbohydrate, especially sugar and/or caffeine. These will give us a temporary boost, but often followed by a dip.



So what should we eat to improve our energy levels? There are in fact numerus options which are healthier than those foods found in vending machines or those cakes in the counters at coffee shops. Here are some useful tips.


Fatigue Fighting Nutrients:

There are specific nutrients that aid feeling healthy and energized. They are not stimulants, like caffeine, but the body uses them to produce energy at the cellular level. This is the key to fuelling your body rather than just speeding things up artificially for a short period.


Some of these nutrients are:

- B vitamins

- Carnitine

- CoQ10

- Creatine

- Iron

- Magnesium

- Protein

- Potassium


You need to also look at carbohydrates and protein. Carbohydrates which come from sugary foods and grains tend to give you short lasting energy. Protein and other nutrients listed above, are better for endurance energy. So ideally you need to combine carbohydrates with these nutrients. This allows you to achieve an immediate energy boost, but you are able to sustain it for long periods instead of reaching a dip.


Lets have a look at some food groups which can ultimately provide you with high levels of vitamins and minerals to give you that extra energy:


Protein (Animal based)

- Meat: beef (COQ10, iron, carnitine, B vitamins, magnesium, creatine), pork (COQ10, iron, magnesium, potassium), poultry (COQ10, carnitine, B vitamins, magnesium)

- Fish: halibut (magnesium, potassium), herring (COQ10, creatine), mackerel (COQ10), salmon (magnesium, creatine), sardines (COQ10), shellfish (B vitamins), trout (COQ10), tuna (creatine),

- Eggs (COQ10, B vitamins)

- Dairy: milk (B vitamins, magnesium)


Protein (non-animal based)

If your diet does not consist of much meat, then you may need to increase your intake of plant based proteins to avoid fatigue. Sources of protein include:

- Nuts: almonds (iron, magnesium, potassium), cashews (magnesium, potassium), pistachio (COQ10, iron magnesium, potassium), walnuts (iron, magnesium, potassium)

- Seeds: Amaranth (B vitamins, magnesium, potassium, protein), chia seeds (magnesium, potassium), pumpkin (magnesium, potassium), sesame (COQ10, iron, magnesium, potassium)

- Grains: quinoa (iron, magnesium, potassium)

- Beans: black beans (iron, magnesium, potassium), edamame (COQ10, potassium), soybeans (COQ10, iron, magnesium, potassium)


Fruits

Fruits are a great source of vitamin and minerals, including those that help to produce energy. However, they are also high in natural sugars (carbohydrates). Fresh fruit is ultimately the best as they can lose vital nutrients as they get older or as they dry.


Here are some good choices:

- Apples (COQ10, magnesium)

- Bananas (magnesium, potassium)

- Blueberries (magnesium, potassium)

- Dates (potassium)

- Goji berries (iron, potassium)

- Cantaloupe (magnesium, potassium)

- Lemons (magnesium, potassium)

- Oranges (COQ10, magnesium, potassium)

- Raisins (iron, magnesium, potassium)

- Strawberries (COQ10, magnesium, potassium)


Vegetables

Vegetables contain multiple energy-producing nutrients and some give you a little of protein. Here are some helpful ideas:

- Asparagus (magnesium, potassium, protein)

- Avocados (magnesium, potassium, protein)

- Broccoli (CoQ10, magnesium, potassium, protein

- Carrot (magnesium, potassium)

- Cauliflower (CoQ10, magnesium, potassium)

- Spinach (iron, magnesium, potassium, protein)

- Squash (magnesium, potassium, protein)

- Sweet potatoes (magnesium, potassium, protein)


Grains

Grains are a source of carbohydrate for quick energy release, some for sustained energy. Here are some examples:

- Brown rice (iron, magnesium, potassium, protein)

- Oatmeal (iron, magnesium, potassium, protein)

- Whole wheat (iron, magnesium, potassium, protein)

- White rice (iron, magnesium, potassium, protein)


Dairy Free

Popular alternatives to milk provide energy natural or through fortification. Here are some examples:

- Almond milk (potassium, iron, magnesium, protein)

- Rice milk (B vitamins, protein)

- Soy milk (riboflavin, magnesium, protein, potassium)


So why don’t you get experimenting in the kitchen this week and rustle up some meals which contain some of these foods listed above. Let’s see those changes in your energy levels throughout the day. For recipe ideas, please visit my blog