Fatigue, low energy, and constant tiredness can be extremely frustrating to deal with, especially if you can’t pinpoint the root of the problem. No matter how much sleep you get or how much caffeine you consume, you may still struggle with fatigue throughout the day. As it turns out, one of the most important areas to look into is your diet. Getting the right nutrients into your meals is a key part of allowing your brain to function at its best, especially when it comes to energy levels. If you struggle with fatigue on a regular basis, you may be missing a few essential foods.
To shed some light on some of the most important foods to include in your diet for long-lasting energy throughout the day, we spoke to registered dietitian and nutritionist Krutika Nanavati. She told us that foods rich in iron, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats and proteins all should be priorities. Learn more about the importance of each below.
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1. Food rich in iron
Iron deficiency is one of the common causes of fatigue. This mineral plays an important role in a number of bodily functions, including the transport of oxygen in the blood, which is vital for energy supply. That’s why, as Nanavati notes, “incorporating foods high in iron, such as leafy greens, red meat, and fortified grains, can help alleviate iron-deficiency fatigue.”
2. Complex carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are another valuable component that should be present in all of your meals, especially if you want to keep your energy levels high. “Whole grains and complex carbohydrates release energy steadily, avoiding the highs and lows caused by simple sugars,” explains Nanavati. However, it is important to keep in mind that you are choosing complex carbohydrates is crucial. Refined carbohydrates, such as those found in white bread and other processed foods, can be harmful to your health.
Luckily, there are plenty of delicious healthy carbs to choose from, such as brown rice, whole wheat bread, quinoa, and more.
3. Healthy fats
Don’t be afraid of fat, even if you’re trying to lose weight. It’s always important to include healthy fats (known as omega-3 and omega-6) in your meals because they are “essential for brain function, mood, regulation and energy production.”
There are tons of healthy fats, and many of them are delicious. Options like avocados, nuts, seeds, olive oil, and more will not only help your brain function properly, but may also promote a healthier heart.
It is well known that protein is one of the most important things in your diet. This macronutrient helps prepare your muscles and bones, create hormones and enzymes, and supplies your body and brain with energy. “Eating protein-rich foods like lean meats, legumes, and dairy helps keep blood sugar levels stable and reduces fatigue,” says Nanavati.
While lean meats like chicken and turkey are some of the most popular protein options, there are many plant-based proteins that are just as healthy and delicious. No matter where you get it from, it’s important to add some form of protein to your plate every day.
A balanced diet is not only important when it comes to keeping your body healthy and fit; it’s also extremely important for your brain health and energy levels. So if you’ve been struggling with low energy lately, it might be time to evaluate your diet and see if any of these components are missing. As Nanavati concludes, “A balanced diet rich in these nutrients is essential for energy levels and overall brain function. Without them, our brain may not get essential components, which can cause fatigue and other symptoms.”
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