Fatigue is often felt not only on a physical level but also on an emotional, mental and spiritual level. If you are tired for a long time, it is therefore important to investigate in various ways what makes you tired and what you can do to regain energy.
You are what you eat
You are what you eat is a commonly used phrase in food land and for good reason. Eating healthy doesn’t just give you energy. It also improves your mood, balances your hormones, smooths bowel movements, and makes you resistant to many diseases.
You can also think of food as the fuel of your body. It ensures that you move forward and function optimally. If you don’t eat the right foods, it can have a lot of consequences on how you feel. For example, it can aggravate fatigue symptoms and even be the cause of the fatigue symptoms you have.
Intolerances and deficiencies
Fatigue can be a result of deficiencies in certain vitamins and minerals. It may also be the case that you are sensitive or even intolerant to specific foods or that you eat unhealthy, too much, or too little (of certain foods).
Chances are that with a few small adjustments in your diet you can already experience major differences in energy levels. Food is meant to provide energy. Yet we often eat things out of habit that doesn’t make our body very happy and that makes us tired.
Acidification and inflammation
You may have acidity in your body or inflammation that exacerbates fatigue. You can recognize acidification by walking up the stairs and being extremely tired in your legs. It can have various causes such as stress and an unhealthy diet and lifestyle. With the right nutrition, you can make your body less acidic, reduce inflammation and feel fit again.
Holistic nutrition tips against fatigue
1. Avoid sugars and fast carbohydrates
Sugars and fast carbohydrates cause high peaks and deep troughs in blood sugar levels, which can cause you to experience a huge dip after eating. By eliminating them from your diet, you ensure a more stable blood sugar level and long-lasting energy.
Sugars are mainly found in processed products. Fast carbohydrates are found in bread, rice, pasta, potatoes, crackers and breakfast cereals such as muesli. Preferably leave these products out of your diet and replace them with unprocessed, protein- and fat-rich products or products that contain slow carbohydrates such as oatmeal, sweet potatoes, buckwheat and quinoa.
2. Eat protein and fat
Sources of proteins are grass-fed/organic meat, fish, eggs, legumes, tempeh, quinoa, hemp seed, and in moderation goat cheese and, for example, feta cheese.
Sources of natural fats are oils, avocado, nuts, linseed, chia seeds, kernels, eggs, and fatty fish such as salmon, herring, mackerel, and sardines. These foods also counteract acidification and inflammation.
3. Cut Out Caffeine
Coffee may give you an energy boost. That’s right, it does. However, it is a very temporary ‘solution’ for the lack of energy that you experience when you are tired and it does not solve anything structurally. In fact, it only makes you want more of it and become dependent on it.
If you consume more than two cups of coffee a day, there will be no health benefits from caffeine. On the contrary, it can ensure that the quality of your sleep decreases and that you experience more unrest in your body because the caffeine continues to circulate through your body for a long time. Especially if you ‘need’ coffee to start the day, you would do well to leave it out for a while. Find out what it does to you and if it changes the way you get up. Do you wake up easier and more rested?
If the step to omitting coffee is too big, make sure that you drink a maximum of two cups of black coffee per day and no more after 2 p.m. Energy drinks also contain caffeine and large amounts of sugar. So leave it out anyway.
Replace coffee and energy drinks with:
- Water with mint oil
- ginger shots
- Plant-based milk lattes with Reishi or Chaga
- Golden milk with turmeric
In this article you can read 10 more reasons to let the coffee stand.
4. Eat small portions
Digesting food takes a lot of energy, especially if it is unhealthy food that does not make your body happy. It may be worth investigating whether it gives you more energy if you eat small and multiple portions a day, or just three main meals a day. That differs per person.
Also, for some people , fasting for 12-16 hours a day can provide more energy . If you are tired for a long time, it is important that you examine in small steps how this feels for you. Don’t go without eating anything for 16 hours at once, but start with 12 hours a day and gradually increase it if it feels right. Experiment with this and discover what it can do for you.
5. Eat as fresh as possible
Make sure you eat green leafy vegetables and cruciferous vegetables such as spinach, endive, kale, Savoy cabbage, white cabbage, Brussels sprouts, radishes, cauliflower, kale, broccoli, and sprouts on a daily basis. These are very rich in vitamins and minerals and balance hormones.
Also eat one or two pieces of fresh fruit a day. Fruits and vegetables are basic foods that counteract acidification and inflammation. Products that worsen acidity and inflammation include red meat, caffeine, and products with refined sugars, and alcohol. Leave it out as much as possible. Drinking a glass of fresh vegetable juice every day can also contribute to more energy.
6. Stop eating after dinner
If you are tired and especially if you have trouble falling asleep, it is a good idea not to eat anything after the evening meal. Your body therefore no longer needs energy for digestion but can focus fully on sleeping and recovering.
Do you wake up hungry if you don’t eat anything after dinner? Then eat a protein or fat-rich snack at least three hours before you go to sleep, such as a handful of nuts or a boiled egg.
7. Keep your gut healthy
The healthier the gut, the more energy you have. As mentioned before, omitting fast carbohydrates, sugars, gluten, wheat, and lactose is interesting to experiment with if you suffer from fatigue.
You make your intestines very happy with extra fiber from legumes, linseed, psyllium fiber, and oatmeal, but also by adding fermented foods to your food. Think pickles, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, miso and natto.
Do a blood test
In general, the above advice provides more energy and a calmer stomach for most people. But everybody is different so it is especially important that you discover what works for you.
If you suffer from prolonged fatigue and the above tips do not work, it is worth having a blood test and investigating which products you can best avoid increasing your energy levels. This way you can look very specifically at what you can do with food and supplements to feel more energetic.
Look beyond food
By optimizing your diet you can quickly feel a lot better. In addition to nutrition, it is also important to look at other themes in life and to investigate where other causes of your fatigue can lie. It often plays on different levels. You can get started with the following points:
- Optimize your sleep
- What makes you happy and do you do that enough?
- Move enough and in the way you like
- Track your menstrual cycle
- Do breathing exercises daily
- Make sure you have enough relaxation
- Is your work/life balance in balance?
- Are you touched enough?
- Do you have nice people around you?
Have you done everything you can to experience more energy, but the fatigue persists? Then seek help and see a doctor. Long-term fatigue can also be a symptom of other underlying problems such as iron deficiency, B12 deficiency, anemia, depression, thyroid problems, diabetes, or burnout.