That rundown feeling, where fatigue is your constant companion can be very debilitating. And unknown to us, very often it’s the food that we eat which is the culprit.
So, by the same rule, ensuring right foods in our diet can definitely help us overcome it to quite an extent. Follow these 12 steps.
Do this: eat sprouts at least thrice a week
Want to ensure sure shot energy? Then put some sprouts on your plate.
Enzymes get greatly activated in the sprouting process and it’s the absence of enzymes in the body that often produces a constant tired, run-down feeling.
Add a splash of vinegar
You’ll be surprised, but vinegar can help beat exhaustion. Amino acids in it can help counter the lactic acid build up in the body due to excessive exercise or severe stress. Lactic acid can cause aches and a feeling of fatigue.
Plus vinegar contains potassium and enzymes, which further help relieve tiredness.
Do this: So next time you are feeling deadbeat, add a tablespoon or two of apple cider vinegar to a glass of chilled water and sip. Don’t like the taste much? Add sliced cucumbers to the above mix and refresh your-self with this tasty cucumber nosh.
Reach for probiotics
Probiotics can help good bacteria thrive in the intestines (essential for better digestion of food and assimilation of nutrients). Another big benefit is that they are loaded with B vitamins, which are crucial nutrients for the energy transfer process (from the food to the cells) during the break-down of the food. That’s precisely why these vitamins are called energy vitamins too.
Do this: Consume probiotics regularly, ideally daily to help good bacteria thrive in the intestines.
Low GI foods> High GI foods
Choose low GI foods over high GI foods and give sugar intake a break (leads to steep spikes in blood sugar that leave you feeling sluggish and slow when they plunge a few hours later).
Do this: switch the white stuff with brown. Go whole basically.
Watch for allergies
Food allergy can lead to a big drain on your energy (red meat, eggs, soya products, wheat and dairy products are common allergens). Observe if you feel fatigued right after a meal?
Do this: maintain a food diary as that can help pinpoint the culprit. Get checked if in doubt and stop the culprits.
As far as possible go organic.
Pesticides and pollution can both alter energy production in the body. The free radicals these generate in your body can inhibit and even destroy the energy production machinery in the mitochondria (energy producing seat in your cells), resulting in tired-ness.
Do this: as far as possible opt for organic food as it is relatively toxin free, so can help you score more energy.
Check for iron deficiency
Tiredness is often a manifestation of low haemoglobin levels in the body (normal levels are between 14-18 g/dl).
The cause is usually iron deficiency and this translates into underpowered red blood cells which can't deliver enough oxygen to every cell in your body – thus fatigue.
Do this: Look out for accompanying abnormally pale skin, fast heartbeat and irritability. Iron supplements and iron rich diet can help rectify this.
Check Your Thyroid Function
Thyroid is a small gland at the base of your neck that controls your metabolism.
Feeling tired first thing in the morning is a hallmark of weakening thyroid function.
Do this: Eat selenium rich foods to counter this. Just 2 hazelnuts a day can help. Or get it from organ meats, eggs, whole grains and seafood.
Increase antioxidant level in your diet by including pomegranate and amla, and lots of green leafy vegetables. Alfalfa sprouts can be a big help.
Avocados help as they are loaded with multiple nutrients and healthy fats which besides giving satiety, give our body energy that will last for long.
They also contain lots of fibre, which helps keep our blood sugar stable and helps avoid those sugar highs, followed by the lows, which can lead to a lot of fatigue.
Do this: take baby steps to develop a taste for avocados, begin with once a week and build on.
Grab a banana
Ever noticed why banana is a hot favourite with all athletes? That’s because it contains three natural sugars – sucrose, fructose and glucose – combined with an extra-large dose of fibre, so it gives an instant boost along with sustained and substantial energy (that’s why you see so many top-level athletes munching on bananas during competitions).
It also has high iron content, so has the ability to stimulate haemoglobin production in the bloodstream, and help keep fatigue away.
It should be your go-to fuel to avoid tiredness. It is a great source of magnesium and B vitamins too, which again help keep the beaten down feeling at bay.
Do this: let banana be your go-to in between weals snack.
Have a handful of dates
Dates are a favourite for breaking the fast with during the Ramadan month as they instantly replenish energy and revitalize the tired body. And this is for a reason.
Do this: Take 3-4 pieces of dates and boil them with one glass of milk or water. Eat the dates and drink the milk or water. This gives instant energy, and hydrates effectively too.
Are you having enough fermented foods?
Feel tired in the afternoons? Include one fermented food in your lunch meal to help good bacteria thrive in the intestines. This will help in better digestion of food and assimilation of nutrients, which ensures enough energy.
Do this: consume more dhokla, yoghurt, kombucha, buttermilk, kimchi and kanji.
(Kavita is a nutritionist, weight management consultant and health writer based in Delhi. She is the author of Don’t Diet! 50 Habits of Thin People (Jaico), Ultimate Grandmother Hacks: 50 Kickass Traditional Habits for a Fitter You (Rupa) and Fix it with foods.)