5 healthy eating tips to help combat tiredness
When fatigue sets in, most of us reach for a “pick-me-up” in the form of caffeine or sugar.
Many cases of tiredness are due to stress, not enough sleep, or a poor diet.
We spoke to a registered dietitian Mbali Mapholi of Mbali Mapholi Inc to share self-help tips that will help restore your energy levels.
Some foods contain empty ‘calories” meaning that they have energy but it is not accompanied by essential nutrients e.g. fibre. These foods cause quick spikes in blood sugar levels resulting in high energy levels, but these energy levels are not sustained for long resulting in a crash. What goes up must come down. It is important to have such foods in moderation as part of a healthy diet.
It is important to choose more sustainable and nourished foods such as whole grains, a variety of vegetables and fruits, nuts and seeds, lean protein to name a few.
You do not need to run marathons to be active, but it can be as little as thirty minutes of movement every other day during the week. Keeping active has been proven to significantly help reduce symptoms of fatigue on top of a long list of other health benefits.
Manage your caffeine intake
Caffeine can offer an energy boost; however high intake of caffeine can impact duration and quality of sleep resulting in chronic fatigue. Lowering your caffeine intake to recommended levels that are person dependent can give you more energy in the long run. On average an adult can tolerate about 400mg of caffeine a day, but tolerance is great person dependent.
Eat smaller frequent meals
Eating smaller meal portions more frequently can help keep our blood sugar levels stable which is important in keeping us upbeat. Skipping meals, on the other hand, has been associated with fatigue and an increased risk of chronic disease. Add three meals and snacks in between which are wholesome e.g. high fibre crackers and low-fat cheese, plain yoghurt and seeds, slice bread, toast, and peanut butter
Drink alcohol in moderation
A little nightcap does help most people sleep soundly through the night. This is due to alcohol’s sedative effects that make one drowsy. However, alcohol has other effects that can interfere with quality sleep especially when consumed in high quantities and increase frequency. It feels like a permanent hangover – chronic fatigue and tiredness. It helps to drink in moderation.