There are many reasons why fatigue occurs. It may appear periodically - usually at the beginning of autumn and spring. It sometimes occurs at the time of increased intellectual or physical effort, which can be accompanied by sleep deficiency. However, if the state of sleepiness and fatigue persists for a longer time and is chronic, it is worth analyzing your eating habits.
The first component whose deficiencies in the diet will be associated with the occurrence of fatigue is iron. It is a micronutrient that builds haemoglobin, the pigment of red blood cells. Its role is to oxygen transport (essential in the processes of efficiently obtaining energy for the body) to the cells.
Iron deficiency leads to a condition called anaemia, which is associated with a decrease in the number of red blood cells and the amount of haemoglobin.
Symptoms of anaemia include fatigue, lethargy, pale skin, difficulty concentrating and decreased physical performance. To prevent iron deficiency you should eat foods rich in easily absorbable heme and non-heme iron, such as offal, lean red meat, pulses, egg yolks, green leafy vegetables, nuts, nettles, and parsley.
Another important element for the proper functioning of the body is magnesium. It influences the functioning of the nervous, skeletal, and circulatory systems, as well as the stabilization of the DNA structure.
People experiencing excessive stress should pay special attention to its adequate intake. An adequate supply of magnesium has a positive effect on mood, improves brain function, and makes it easier to cope with the challenges of everyday life. This element can be supplied to the body by eating
- bitter cocoa
- pumpkin seeds
- buckwheat groats
B vitamins, especially B6, B12 and folic acid, are necessary for the proper functioning of the nervous and circulatory systems. They are found in eggs, meat, milk, legumes, nuts, green leafy vegetables, yeast, and whole-grain cereal products.
It is worth knowing that vitamin B12 is only found in products of animal origin. Therefore, people following a vegan diet should supplement it. Vitamin B12 and folic acid deficiency leads to megaloblastic anaemia.
Caffeine - a source of energy?
An excessive intake of caffeine can also lead to fatigue and problems with concentration. This alkaloid, which is found mainly in coffee, in moderate doses increases blood pressure and intellectual performance and improves focus and attention. However, if consumed in excess, it will have the opposite effect:
- reduced intellectual performance,
- impaired concentration,
- difficulty falling asleep,
- increased diuresis, or urination, which results in a loss of minerals such as magnesium.
Caffeine is a substance found not only in coffee. It can also be found in tea, energy drinks, cola drinks or bitter cocoa and chocolate. It is recommended that its daily intake does not exceed 300 mg, which equals to drinking about 3-4 cups of coffee.
Excessive sugar in the diet and constant fatigue
Another dietary mistake that can promote the occurrence of chronic fatigue is the frequent reach for foods rich in simple sugars. This group includes sweets, refined grain products, and sweetened sodas. Their high glycemic index causes fluctuations in blood glucose levels. This leads to a drop in energy and makes people reach for more sweets.
Through proper diet composition, the regularity of meals, and the right combination of nutrients, you can provide your body with the right amount of calories, preventing spikes in blood glucose levels. This requires:
- regular meals - the number of meals should depend on your lifestyle, health and many other individual factors
- avoiding processed foods
- limiting or completely giving up sugar and glucose-fructose syrup
In order to reduce sugar in your diet, you should reach for products with low and medium glycemic index - this group includes most vegetables, meat, fish, nuts, seeds and whole-grain cereal products.
It is important to remember that symptoms such as chronic fatigue, weakness, and lethargy can be symptoms of many serious diseases. Therefore, if they continue to occur despite improved eating habits, more sleep and rest, it is worth consulting your doctor.