You are what you eat, the old saying goes. So, if your diet is structured around junk food, what does that make you? Due to ill-advised dietary habits, many people often experience lower energy levels, mood swings, reduced mental agility and even brain fog. If not heeded timely, these conditions may become a rather obnoxious daily nuisance and before you know it, you may find yourself nodding off at work or taking an afternoon nap even though you never had the urge for it before.
WHO states that proper nutrition combined with regular workouts and adequate rest times can considerably lower the risk of chronic diseases such as persisting fatigue, diabetes, cardiovascular problems, osteoporosis and cancer. But do you truly know what proper nutrition means, and how it impacts your energy levels and health as a whole?
Proteins participate in the buildup of all tissues in the body, from muscles, bones and internal organs to nails, hair and skin. A diet low in protein hinders the normal functioning and development of tissues, leading to fatigue, overall weakness, muscle loss, proneness to infections, brain fog and in extreme cases even shock and death. To keep exhaustion at bay, include tofu, legumes, lean meat and dairy products in your everyday diet – you will certainly feel the difference waking up each day thoroughly recharged.
Vitamins and minerals
Minerals and vitamins are micronutrients that regulate LDL cholesterol and blood sugar levels and promote bone growth, muscle functioning, buildup of blood and cells and a range of other bodily processes, ensuring good health and normal sleep cycles. If your diet is lacking in vitamins and minerals, you are in for anemia, chronic fatigue, osteoporosis, dental problems, cardiovascular diseases and hormonal imbalance. If you cannot meet the RDA, try supplementing with quality formulas (you can find out more about the best options here) for optimal health and stable energy levels throughout the day.
We often hear it said that carb intake should be monitored carefully to avoid diabetes, obesity, physical sluggishness and heart disease, but not all carbs are in fact bad. Simple sugars, or monosaccharides, found in most processed foods such as refined sugar, candies and comfort food provide a quick energy fix but they can disturb insulin levels, and their effects wane quickly. Complex carbs, on the other hand, provide lasting energy and keep cravings at bay, so look for these in legumes, potatoes, brown rice, grains and starchy veggies if you want to avoid fatigue, depression and a host of other health problems that may upset your normal daily functioning.
The average H2O intake for an adult with a sedentary lifestyle totals 2-2.5 liters a day, but the figures go up for people actively working out, breastfeeding women and population living in hot climate areas. Without a sufficient intake of fluids, your body will not be able to complete the fundamental organic processes normally, which can hinder blood flow, brain functions, heart rate and exchange of matter in the organs. Because of low daily liquid intake, you may experience fatigue, constipation and memory problems, so do remember to take a glass of water now and again, just to stay on the safe – and the vigorous – side.
Chronic fatigue is the common side-effect of prolonged periods of strenuous physical activity or increased stress, but even if you do not strain yourself to excess regularly, a diet lacking in vital nutrients will take its toll on your stamina eventually. Do not wait for the persisting drowsiness to come knocking on your door – you can avoid fatigue easily by structuring your diet around healthy options such as fresh vegetables, lean meats, dairy products, sufficient H2O intake and quality supplements.