We’ve all been there – in the midst of a mid-day low energy slump, and tempted to grab another cup of coffee, or a sugary snack, in the hopes they will alleviate fatigue. Unfortunately, relying on caffeine and sugar for energy can come along with side effects, and the inevitable crash. To combat low energy, fatigue and the health issues that come along with it, we suggest taking a more strategic approach to your diet – and planning the contents and timing of your meals to provide you with sustained natural energy, all day long! Here are some suggestions you can easily implement:
Up your iron intake – via plant-based sources!
Almost 10% of women between 20 and 49 lack sufficient levels of iron, a deficiency which can minimize endurance and create a constant feeling of low energy and fatigue. Iron is essential in delivering oxygen to the cells around the body, and a lack of it can decrease immunity. Iron-rich foods include beans, spinach, lentils, and sesame seeds. These foods are best consumed alongside foods containing vitamin C, for maximum absorption!
Cut the caffeine!
We know this one is a toughie – but caffeine can, in fact, be detrimental to individuals suffering from feelings of fatigue. Since it’s a stimulant, it gives your body a temporary (and false) feeling of increased energy, which can cause you to feel even more tired than you were originally once it wears off. If you feel like you might be “emotionally” addicted to the taste and smell of coffee, try a decaffeinated version. There’s a good chance that it will trick your body into believing you’ve consumed caffeine and perk up as a result!
Don’t skip – or skimp on – breakfast!
This all-important meal may mean the difference between lasting energy and day-long fatigue, so don’t compromise by grabbing a bagel and a cup of coffee! Balance is key, so ensure your morning meal incorporates protein and carbs – and ideally some fresh fruits and vegetables as well. For some simple breakfast options that will up your energy levels, check out our round up of healthy and easy breakfast options to jump start your morning routine.
Ditch the processed foods in favor of more “whole” alternatives.
We get it – snacking is a natural, and beneficial way to maintain your energy levels throughout the day. But, it’s crucial that you snack consciously! This means swapping out refined and overly processed foods for their unadulterated alternatives. In other words, eliminate sugary fruit juices and bars in favor of real, whole fruit – and substitute whole grains for boxed chips, granola bars, and crackers. Sometimes, these whole alternatives may seem more dense in calories than their processed counterparts, but remember – additional calories aren’t always a bad thing – especially when the goal is to fight fatigue!
Remember that eliminating fat isn’t always beneficial.
Some healthy fats enhance antioxidant absorption, and eliminating these fats from your diet can mean lower energy levels and fatigue. Antioxidants are crucial for maintaining energy, as they fight free radicals and enhance cell health. Some of these essential antioxidants need to link onto fat cells in order to be absorbed from the digestive system into the bloodstream, making conscious fat intake integral to fighting fatigue!
And there you have it – some simple lifestyle changes you can make to up your energy levels and fight fatigue! For another power-packed (and all natural!) energy boost, try our Chalkboard Mag approved Pure Energy Wellness Oil! Packed with potent botanicals like peppermint and rosemary, this expertly crafted blend will increase your mental focus and physical endurance, without a crash.