Causes of Fatigue
There are two types of fatigue: emotional, and physical. Emotional fatigue is a generalized sense of weariness – a weariness of the mind. Physical fatigue is a general lack of energy.
Causes of physical fatigue are poor diet, too much or too little activity, obesity, a lack of sleep, or too much sleep, drinking caffeine and alcohol before sleeping, sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome, and anemia, to name just a few!
Emotional fatigue can be the result of stress, anxiety and depression which sap your energy and may even cause you to lose your appetite or overeat. Anxiety sends a sense of alarm throughout your body that makes your hormones and heart rate work overtime leading to a sense of being constantly run down.
Stress results from any turmoil in your life from happy events such as a new job or the birth of a child, to unhappy events from divorce to a move to an unpleasant job. Good or bad, stress is exhausting.
Other causes of fatigue are underlying health issues such as hypothyroidism, a urinary tract infection, allergies and hay fever, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and cancer.
Chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, gluten intolerance, dehydration and even periodontal disease can lead to fatigue.
Fatigue interferes with all aspects of our lives, preventing us from feeling good and getting things done. Changing some of our habits can go a long way to relieving fatigue, especially what we eat! Let's look at the top fatigue-fighting nutrients and which foods have the most!
Top Fatigue-Fighting Nutrients
Iron is critical to high energy.
Iron is critical to high energy.
Vitamin C helps regulate amino acids and other energy rich chemicals, and is critical to the absorption of iron in our systems.
Certain complex carbohydrates particularly from vegetables, helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels that do not cause ‘spikes’ in our sugar levels leading to fatigue. Complex carbohydrates provide a boost of energy.
Fiber helps us feel full longer and assists in boosting our metabolism and giving us energy.
Folates promote brain and nervous system health helping to boost our energy and. They also fight depression, a major cause of overwhelming fatigue.
Top Fatigue-Fighting Fruits and Vegetables
- Spinach and other dark leafy greens are among the richest plant sources of iron, vitamin C, folates and fiber. Spinach and other green leafy vegetables such as collards and turnip greens are also rich in other antioxidants such as vitamins A, E and K, as well as potassium and magnesium, all of which promote optimal health and fight inflammation, and the chronic diseases and stress on the body that lead to fatigue.
- Sweet potatoes are rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients. They also provide an abundance of vitamin C. This starchy vegetable is actually a star, not only for the fiber it provides, but also their high amounts of healthful complex carbohydrates. Sweet potatoes may also play an important role in controlling blood sugar levels in the body. They are a proven, excellent vegetable for boosting energy and fighting fatigue!
- Citrus fruits, especially grapefruit and oranges are rich in vitamin C, antioxidants and fiber which boost energy.
- Bell peppers are rich in vitamins C, E and A, fiber and folate, and antioxidants that boost energy.
- Tomatoes also provide a veritable wealth of energy boosting phytonutrients, as well as vitamins C, K, A and E, folate and fiber.
So for a fatigue-fighting beverage that's healthier than store-bought energy drinks full of sugar and caffeine, make a juice or smoothie with some or ALL of the above!