We live in a time where we feel like we need to be constantly doing something, achieving more or being more. We work endless hours to achieve that next goal in our career, to be the best parent, to live up to society’s definition of success and they type of life we should have.
Nothing drains you more than trying to live up to someone else’s expectations or feeling like you are not good enough (as defined by someone else). We have seemed to have lost our connection with ourselves and our true wants, the people we care about, and our intuition when it comes to nourishing our body. The result is that we are always tired, stressed and anxious. We are not sleeping well, and forget about sex drive. No wonder so many people are chronically depleted, tiered (but not sleeping well), or moody and depressed.
There are many reasons that a person can be experiencing chronic fatigue, such as, stress, hormonal imbalances, poor nutrient assimilation, over exposure to toxins, or poor nutritional practices. These factors eat away at what little nutrients your body has stored, leaving your more depleted and making your reach for energy draining sugary treats and caffeine just to make it through the day.
Now, the reasons that your are feeling chronically fatigued are individual to your unique situation and lifestyle. However, there are key nutrients that everyone can benefit from on the road to more balanced mood, energy, sleep and outlook on life.
Some key energy boosting nutrients/foods include:
- Omega 3 found in sources such as salmon and herring, walnuts, chia, flax and hemp seeds
- Meat Protein.Quality is the key here. You will want to go for leaner meats like chicken, turkey ,ostrich, or fish. Try as much as possible to get free range organic meat that has been grass fed and not pumped full of antibiotics.
- Vegetarian Protein such as quinoa, nutritional yeast, beans, nuts, seeds, algae, sea vegetables
- Green leafy vegetables like kale, spinach or chard
- Foods rich in Tryptophan such as turkey and milk (vegetarian may need to take a 5 HTP supplement).
- Cocoa powder (raw) / dark chocolate
- Green tea -Helps to reduce stress and anxiety, but drink it earlier in the day, so that you are not up at night.
- Whole Grains
- Foods high in zinc such as oysters, beef, lamb, wheat germ, spinach, pumpkin seeds, squash seeds, cashews, cocoa, chicken, beans and mushrooms.
- Foods high in Vitamin C such as bell peppers, guavas, red and green hot chili peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, green leafy vegetables, kiwi, papaya, oranges and strawberries
- B vitamins – nutritional yeast is a good source of B-complex vitamins
- Vitamin D – found in cod liver oil, oysters, fish, eggs, mushrooms, fortified milk
- Bee pollen
Some health professionals and doctors specializing in the connection between food, energy and mood recommend the Mediterranean diet which focuses on consuming mostly olive oil, fruits, vegetables, fish, and legumes. Diary is usually kept to cheese and yogurt and meat consumption is low.
Chemicals in our food, personal care products and household cleaners can also affect brain chemistry, cause hormonal imbalances and stress the body further.
Common food chemicals to avoid.
- High Fructose Corn Syrup
- Artificial Sweeteners
- MSG (Monosodium Glutamate)
- Trans fats
- Blue Dye #1 and #2
- Red Dye #3 and #40
- Yellow #6 and Tartrazine
- Sodium Nitrate (food especially in loose lunch meat)
- Sulfur Dioxide
- BHA and BHT
- Potassium Bromate
Above all, be true to yourself and live up to your own expectations and what you feel is right for you. Practice stress reduction techniques every day, such as laughing, practicing gratitude, spending time with supportive friends or family, or taking walks in nature.