Feeling Sluggish and Exhausted? These 5 Foods Can Help
Have you been feeling run down and drained lately? It's no wonder you're feeling that way, considering how we live our modern lives. If you’re not diagnosed with a debilitating illness that causes chronic fatigue, you may benefit from making some lifestyle tweaks, particularly what you put on your plate.
But before we proceed to the top foods you need to improve your energy, it's essential to understand the common causes of exhaustion.
What causes exhaustion
Exhaustion is almost expected in our 21st-century lives, especially as the omnipresence of screens can easily blur the lines between work and personal lives. It also affects sleep quantity and quality—both of which impact your daily energy levels.
Besides screen time, there are other sleep disruptors, like your sleep environment as well as the foods you eat throughout the day.
However, there's a difference between common tiredness caused by work stress and a couple of nights' insufficient sleep and a chronic state of exhaustion that doesn't seem to improve. It's vital to distinguish between feeling chronically fatigued and a debilitating illness called myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) or chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, those afflicted with ME or CFS frequently cannot do their usual activities. The illness makes the sufferer feel tiredness not improved by rest, which confines sufferers to bed at times.
Suppose your exhaustion impacts your ability to function. In that case, we suggest scheduling an appointment with your doctor so you can be properly diagnosed and create a treatment plan alongside a professional.
What to eat for more energy
Beans and lentils
Beans and lentils are high in fiber and are packed with B vitamins and iron, supporting red blood cell production, which helps address fatigue. These foods are also filled with protein, essential for keeping your energy levels up throughout the day.
Blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and all other types of berries provide a boost of vitamin C and antioxidants, which can help those suffering from fatigue. Berries are also anti-inflammatory and high in fiber.
To enjoy your chosen berry, add them to a bowl of salad, Greek yogurt, oatmeal, or smoothies.
Leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables
When you're fatigued, keeping your immune system strong is more important than ever because fatigue makes you more susceptible to illness. Adding more green veggies and cruciferous vegetables to your diet can provide you with many vitamins that help fuel the body by supporting good gut health and strengthening your immune system.
Walnuts contain anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, known to improve brain health and reduce your risk of developing a brain disease.
These nuts are also rich in fiber, heart-healthy unsaturated fats, and protein, which make them an ideal addition to your breakfast dishes or snack recipes. For example, walnuts taste good when added to chia seed pudding, grain bowls, homemade dips, salad bowls, and oatmeal.
The body needs carbohydrates for energy. Although refined carbs also provide energy, they aren't good for your blood sugar. So, you must include high-fiber, high-protein whole grains in your daily menu. Besides balancing your blood sugar levels, this food type is also a rich source of vitamins and minerals.
Various options include amaranth, brown rice, farro, oats, and quinoa. You can enjoy them at different times throughout the day: overnight oats or oatmeal for breakfast, trail mixes and oat bars for snacks, or veggie bowls with a source of protein for lunch or dinner.
Which of these food types is lacking in your diet?