Nutrition Tips: Eating Healthy For Chronic Fatigue And 5 Foods You Should Avoid
Eating healthy for chronic fatigue, chronic illness, and chronic disease is a lifestyle change that gradually happens over time.
In my last post, I wrote about what I did to recover from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. It took a while to understand just how important nutrition was directly impacting my illness. I always looked to my doctors for direction and advice, but the takeaway I learned is that I am responsible for my health, not anyone else or any medicine.
When our bodies are under immense stress, even if we feel its normal everyday stress, it will give us signals. These signals show up as a headache, digestive issues, arthritis, HBP, tiredness, congestion, mood swings, and body aches and the list goes on. In our modern overworked society, these symptoms have been normalized and they shouldnt. Chronic disease and chronic illness are rampant like weve never seen before in the US, and chronic illness is especially higher in women.
If I wouldve known back then what I know now, I bet I couldve saved myself some time in healing and prevented further damage.
Here is the one quote we should remember and act upon.
Let food be thy medicine, and let medicine be thy food.
More Nutrients And Enzymes
Introducing raw foods into your diet can dramatically reduce the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome. Because uncooked foods are still living, their enzymes and nutrients have a different effect on the body. They actively interact with your system and produce a live energy effect. While scientists may not fully understand why raw foods have such a synergistic effect on the body, they recognize that it occurs.
On the other hand, cooked foods have had their enzymes and nutrients destroyed and can cause an energy-depleting reaction in your system instead. This can be especially troublesome if youre already suffering from chronic fatigue. In some cases, eating highly processed foods can end up causing more fatigue than not eating at all.
Limit Your Caffeine Intake
Caffeine seems like a great way to improve your energy, but it comes with consequences. Caffeine can give you a false sense of energy and lead you to overdo it, according to Montoya. A little bit of caffeine may be fine for some people. Just be careful to not overexert yourself and make sure your intake doesnt impact your sleep.
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Intricate Routes That Lead To Cfs
Like many health problems, chronic fatigue can be influenced by genetics, making some people more predisposed than others to the disorder. Lifestyle and environmental factors combine with genes to trigger the onset of symptoms, creating many potential interacting route causes.
For example, clinical studies have linked CFS with exposure to, or chronic infections from, pathogens like the herpes virus, mold, and mycotoxins . Different types of stress also influence CFS by affecting hormone balance. Chronic emotional, post-traumatic, and physical stress can wreak havoc on your bodys hormones, including the steroid hormone cortisol.
As chronic stress or infection changes your hormone balance, it also affects your immune system. Some studies have shown that, during the onset of CFS, the immune system can appear stuck in overdrive. Eventually, this wears your immune system out, making it weaker and less able to manage stress and fight infection.
The defining symptom of CFS is a draining fatigue that cannot be alleviated with rest and that intensifies after any physical or mental exertion. Other symptoms can include muscle and joint pain, headaches, and mental fogginess that makes it difficult to focus, think clearly, or remember things accurately. When these symptoms persist for several months, they may be indicative of chronic fatigue syndrome.
Increase Your Vitamin B Intake
According to a study published in the Journal of Royal Society of Medicine, researchers found a direct link between reduced vitamin B levels and chronic fatigue syndrome.
The study focused on B-6, riboflavin and thiamine, and researchers believe that B6 is particularly important. Vitamin B6 rich foods include wild tuna and salmon, bananas, grass-fed beef, sweet potatoes, turkey, hazelnuts, garlic and cooked spinach.
Vitamin B6 helps to prevent and relieve fatigue, and it supports a healthy immune system. As stated above, some researchers believe that certain viruses play a role in CFS, therefore increasing B6 levels can be a helpful treatment. B6 helps supports T-cell functioning, allowing them to more adeptly fight infections.
Importance of Methylation
Methylation is the term given to the process in the body where methyl compounds are used in the critical functions of the body immune function, energy production, mood, inflammation, nerve function, detoxification, and even DNA all of which are challenges in chronic fatigue syndrome patients.
Methylation helps you process toxins, make hormones, and even helps in the production of neurotransmitters such as melatonin. How well your body can methylate effects all of these important areas. Poor methylation can lead to a variety of chronic conditions including certain types of cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, allergies, digestive upset, mood and psychiatric disorders, and chronic fatigue.
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Some Easy Dietary Changes Can Boost Your Energy And Improve Overall Health
Low energy is a common complaint in doctors offices, and older adults are especially vulnerable.
Fatigue is largely underreported in the elderly, says Joan Eckerson, Ph.D., professor and chair of the department of exercise science and prehealth professions at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb. By some estimates, as many as 50 percent of older adults suffer from some sort of mild fatigue.
Underlying health conditions and medications can cause that tapped-out feeling, as can loneliness, anxiety, lack of exercise, boredom, and stress-induced changes to your normally healthy habits .
The coronavirus pandemic may have exacerbated some or all of these factors, but you have an excellent tool to help fill your tank.
From an energetic standpoint, nutrition is one of the most helpful modifiable behaviors that can help an older person feel better, says Wayne Campbell, Ph.D., a professor in the department of nutrition science at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind.
The following tips will help shore up your diet and boost your energy reserves.
Not So Virginal After All Choosing Your Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Olive not only tastes good but has anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties and one of the group in the study took at least 4 tablespoons a day. They used extra virgin olive oil something that may be hard, believe it or not, to find given that that a UC Davis study found that up to 70% of store bought olive oils arewatered down with canola, sunflower and other oils. In fact an entire book has been written on the scams perpetuated on consumers of this unique and delicious oil.
How tell if youve actually purchased real olive oil? One blog recommended putting the bottle in the fridge to see if thickens and becomes cloudy. A better way to ensure thats it real is purchase from the few manufacturers oils that passed a UC Davis test in 2010 , McEvoy Ranch Organic, Corto Olive, and Kirkland Organic). You might also focus more on California olive oils because these oils which must pass stricter standards, were far less likely to be bogus than European oils.
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Foods To Eat If You Have A Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Your diet can significantly help you to manage or reduce the symptoms of CFS in your body.
The number one thing you can do to alleviate CFS without going to the hospital is to adjust your diet. Your intake influences many things on your body, and even a slight change can make a lot of difference.
Here are ten kinds of food you should include in your diet if you are suffering from CFS.
Raw Food Helps Restore Probiotics
Probiotics have been shown to improve the levels of gut dysfunction that often accompany chronic fatigue syndrome. Fermented foods, like sauerkraut and kimchi, are both delicious and have probiotic properties. Certain types of yogurt and kefir are also great sources of probiotics that are acceptable on a raw food diet.
There are even probiotic supplements you can buy that are made from raw foods to relieve some of your CFS symptoms. Eating real chocolate, which contains cacao phytonutrients, can also help alleviate your symptoms.
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Meal Plan And Prep When You Can
Having a meal plan and preparing your meals ahead of time can make it easier to eat food that improves CFS symptoms. By having a plan in place, you can ensure meals are ready to go when you need them. The thought of cooking food is often one of the biggest hurdles when you have chronic fatigue, but with a little preparation, you can give yourself the best chance to stay energized.
Foods That Give You Energy
Eggs provide the body with plenty of protein and nutrients for sustained energy. One large, hard-boiled egg contains about 6 grams of protein and 5 grams of fat, as well as vitamins and minerals to help keep your body energized and feeling full for longer.
2. Yams and sweet potatoes
Yams and sweet potatoes are good sources of complex carbohydrates and high in fiber, which may help slow the bodys release of sugar into the bloodstream. Sweet potato is also high in potassium, helping to keep fatigue at bay.
Oatmeal is another complex carbohydrate that contains beta-glucan, a soluble fiber that forms a thick gel when combined with water. It digests slowly, providing longer-lasting energy.
4. Brown rice
Brown rice contains manganese, which helps enzymes break down carbohydrates and proteins to generate energy. Brown rice is less processed than white rice and thus retains a lot of its nutritional value.
Pomegranates are high in antioxidants, vitamin C, and fiber, which can provide a surge of energy as well as build immunity, improve digestion, fight type 2 diabetes, and keep your blood pressure in check.
Beside being delicious and refreshing, watermelon is 92% water, full of cell-protecting antioxidants, and contains vitamins A, B, and C that help prevent infection. It also has lycopene, which acts as a shield to protect the body from UV rays.
11. Low-fat yogurt
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Keep A Food And Symptom Journal
Writing down all the foods you ate is a great way to find out which improve your symptoms and which worsen them. Recording how your felt day to day may also help provide your doctor with valuable information about your diagnosis. By doing this, many CFS patients have discovered that their symptoms are associated with irritable bowel syndromea condition that 35 to 90 percent of CFS patients also have.
Best Foods To Reduce Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
A balanced diet is themain source of energy that is much needed to a person who is already feeling weak and tired. Studies showed that eating small frequent meals assist CFS patients as it fuels them up throughout the day without over-indulging them.
The truth is eating larger amounts can tire anyone sick or healthy because blood get directed away from the brain and limbs but to your stomach and intestines.
So how to adapt your nutrition routineto reduce your Chronic Fatigue Syndrome ?
Here are the 10 Healthy superfoods to add to your diet to beat CFS :
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How Your Healthy Lifestyle Can Be Making You Tired
Lisa Drayer is a nutritionist, author and CNN health and nutrition contributor.
Let me guess: Youre eating clean, enjoying lots of fruits and vegetables, cutting out meat and are much more plant-based. Youve also banned bread, cookies and cake from the house. There is just one problem: You cant seem to stay awake and alert during the day.
Are Supplements Helpful
There are many claims that nutritional supplements help CFS, including multi vitamins, B vitamins, magnesium, essential fatty acids , carnitine, and co-enzyme Q10. Any benefit of supplements in CFS is unproven and there is need for further research in this area. Some are very expensive and contain huge doses of the active ingredient.
Large doses, for instance of Vitamin A and B6, can be harmful. If you are concerned about your nutritional intake, a multivitamin and mineral supplement, that provides no more than 100% of the recommended daily amount, , may be recommended. If you are housebound, or dont go outside much, your doctor should check your vitamin D levels, as you are at risk of low Vitamin D status. A Vitamin D supplement of ten micrograms daily is recommended all year round for those at risk.
Pay Attention To Sugar
Sugar can also increase your energy temporarily, but the crash afterward can compound your tiredness. Instead of reaching for foods with refined sugar, Groppo suggests eating naturally sweet foods with a bit of protein to help even out your blood sugar and energy levels. Berries with plain, unsweetened yogurt is a great option.
Fill up on nonstarchy veggies. Try to include vegetables of all colors throughout the day to get their unique nutrients and benefits. Red vegetables, for instance, are full of phytonutrients that act as antioxidants and help reduce inflammation. Yellow veggies contain important vitamins and minerals like vitamins A, C, and B6.
How Food May Help
Although there is no known cure for CFS, certain nutrients in foods may help to improve symptoms.
- Some of the symptoms of CFS include swollen glands, inflammation of the joints and other flu-like symptoms, all of which may be relieved temporarily by foods rich in essential fatty acids .
EFAs may help to block release of inflammatory substances in your body. There may be an abnormality in essential fatty acid metabolism in some people with chronic fatigue syndrome. A particular type of EFA, omega-3 fatty acids, may also help to fight off depression, which often accompanies CFS.
It’s possible that consuming foods rich in vitamin B12 could help to minimize the fatigue and depression of CFS. Other B vitamins, such as thiamin, B6 and riboflavin, are instrumental in fighting fatigue by assisting the body in energy production.
- For many people, CFS occurs directly after they have fallen ill from a cold, the flu or an intestinal infection. Therefore, consuming foods rich in vitamin C, will help to fortify a weakened immune system .
Zinc promotes the destruction of foreign microorganisms and hinders the growth of viruses such as the common cold, and also helps to enhance and repair the immune system.
- Since a number of people with CFS get headaches and muscle aches, foods rich in magnesium are helpful.
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What Are The Symptoms
Symptoms include some, or all, of the following:
- constant, overwhelming mental and physical tiredness
- sleep disturbance, un-refreshing sleep
- post-exertion malaise
- muscle pain and/or weakness or joint pain
- headaches, poor concentration or poor memory recurring sore throats or flu-like symptoms
- feeling sick,
- symptoms of IBS , such as wind/bloating, stomach pain, diarrhoea and constipation
- intolerance, or sensitivity, to alcohol, caffeine, some foods or medications
CFS/ME is poorly understood, with no specific diagnostic test. Diagnosis is made by excluding other causes of the symptoms.
Best Diet For Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
When you are dealing with extreme fatigue, especially chronic fatigue syndrome, it can be difficult to expend the effort to make healthy food. However, research is beginning to suggest that making that effort may actually help you manage your fatigue more effectively. While there is no official chronic fatigue syndrome diet, there are some suggestions of what foods you can eat that might help you kick chronic fatigue.
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Is There Anything I Can Take For Fatigue
When it comes to products and supplements specifically aimed at fatigue, most of the time they are loaded with unwanted sugars and nasty additives which, while being a quick fix wont sustain your energy levels for too long.
Thats why here at A.Vogel, we prefer to focus on more natural alternatives. As Ive mentioned throughout this article, getting the right balance of vitamins and minerals is absolutely pivotal for healthy energy levels which is why, as a nutritionist, I often recommend our Balance Mineral Drink. This contains a combination of important electrolytes like potassium, vitamin D, magnesium, calcium and zinc which can help to support normal muscle function and is great if youre experiencing bouts of fatigue and tiredness.
As a liquid, its also easier for your body to absorb, plus, when mixed with water, it provides a pretty tasty strawberry flavour. Ideal as a post-workout drink, you could also try taking this when you feel that afternoon slump coming on!