What you eat is one of the most important things to consider when you’re feeling tired and run down. A few changes to your eating habits can work wonders to fight fatigue and give you the energy you need to live your life.
Your mom probably told you more than once that breakfast was the most important meal of the day and she was right. When you wake up in the morning, your body hasn’t had any nutrients for 6-8 hours. Your body can’t get going unless you give it some fuel. A good energy-boosting breakfast will include lean proteins like low-fat dairy products, eggs, canadian bacon or turkey bacon and also complex carbohydrates such as whole-grain toast, oatmeal, fruits or vegetables. Adding healthy fats like peanut butter, avocado, nuts or coconut oil will also help your body rev up for the day.
Not only is it important to not skip breakfast, but it’s also important to not skip any meals. Eating often, throughout the day, will keep your energy up. You may want to consider eating five smaller meals a day rather than the traditional three meals of breakfast, lunch and dinner. Also, don’t overeat at any of your meals. Eat enough to feel full. If you are eating more often you don’t have to worry about being hungry later. Eating consistently means that your body is never running out of fuel and you are never running out of energy.
Eat Real Food
Highly processed foods can give you a quick energy boost, but don’t fall into their trap. These types of food will perk you up but will cause your energy levels to crash a short time later. The end result is that you will feel more fatigued than you did before you ate the processed food. Instead, eat a varied, healthy diet that includes fruits, vegetables, nuts, lean meats, low-fat dairy and whole grains. The biggest advantage to kicking high-processed foods out of your diet and trading them for real food is that your energy will be sustained throughout the day.
Eat Iron-Rich Foods
Lack of iron is a common cause of fatigue. If you’ve been diagnosed with an iron-deficiency, adding iron-rich foods to your diet is one of the easiest ways to boost your iron levels, which in turn, will cut back on fatigue. Start by eating more meat, which is the food that your body can absorb iron from most easily. Beans are another way to get more iron and vegetables like spinach and broccoli are good iron-rich foods to choose. Did you know that clams are high in iron? They are so look for recipes that will allow you to incorporate clams into your diet.
Staying hydrated throughout the day will give you energy. If you start to feel sluggish, grab a big glass of water and drink it. You’ll get an instant energy boost. So how much water should you be drinking? There are lots of recommendations but the amount needed varies for everyone. A good rule of thumb is to drink enough water so that your urine is pale and almost clear. If your urine is dark, you need more hydration.
You can fight fatigue by what you take into your body. Eating throughout the day, choosing nutrient-rich foods and staying hydrated will help you in your quest for sustained energy.
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Written by Darla, a mother of four, fitness enthusiast, cookbook collector and freelance writer for transformyou. Other writing topics include family finances, parenting and grief.