How to Reduce Fatigue by Avoiding Certain Foods

How to fight chemo fatigue  

While cancer and treatments like chemotherapy and radiotherapy can cause fatigue, consuming certain foods can reduce this side effect. The body needs certain foods to maintain energy for a long time. Some of these can cause us to crash later, resulting in more severe side effects. A healthy body runs on what it is given. The best way to make sure you are getting the most energy  from your food is to eat nutritious foods. 

Why you feel tired after a big meal 

Besides what you eat, when you eat can also impact your energy. Have you ever noticed how you feel sluggish after a big lunch or dinner? That’s because your body is using its energy to digest that meal instead of powering the rest of your body. The easiest way to avoid a post-meal coma is to eat several smaller-portioned meals throughout the day. This will keep your body well nourished whilst reducing nausea.  

Protein rich food and carbohydrates 

Furthermore, protein and carbs can make you sleepy, as the body produces more serotonin after eating. Serotonin is a chemical that regulates mood and sleep cycles. Foods high in protein contain tryptophan, an amino acid that helps produce serotonin. Carbohydrates help the body absorb tryptophan. If you are having trouble, you may want to avoid these foods together or during the day. 

Fatigue-causing foods 

1. Coffee 
Even though this may wake you, you may come crashing down once the effects have worn off. If you enjoy the taste of coffee, stick to decaf or limit your intake on a daily basis.

2. Added Sugar
Just like coffee sugar will spike your energy levels for a limited amount of time. As sugar promotes inflammation, your body uses up a lot of nutrients to process it. Consider changing sugar for honey or fruit. 

3.  White pasta & rice 
Refined foods like white rice and pasta can spike your blood sugar levels quickly. Stabilise your blood sugar levels by eating high fibre foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. (Brown rice & pasta)

4. Fast Foods
Digesting saturated fats requires diversion of blood and oxygen to your digestive system and away from your organs and muscles, which can produce fatigue.

5. Cherries
This fruit is naturally high in the hormone melatonin, which controls your sleep and wake cycles. The extra dose of melatonin can send a signal to your body that it’s time to go to sleep.

6. Dark Chocolate
A dark chocolate bar contains caffeine and serotonin, a neurotransmitter that promotes relaxation. A milk chocolate bar does not contain serotonin, and as a result can actually increase alertness.

7. Bananas
A banana, which is high in potassium and magnesium, can cause you to feel sleepy by calming your muscles. An orange, on the other hand, is high in citrus oils, which can provide an energising effect.

8. Energy bars & Granola
Often loaded with carbohydrates, fats and sugar, and all of that processing can make it high in additives that can cause blood sugar imbalance. It's wise to read the labels on these bars to decide which ones are lowest in sugar.

9. Pumpkin Seeds 
While seeds are very beneficial for our health, pumpkin seeds are high in magnesium. If you're eating pumpkin seeds, monitor portion sizes and include another source of energising protein to balance it out. Some fantastic options include Greek yogurt or chia seed pudding. 

Check out other blogs for more help and tips - 'How to Create a Fatigue Diary'

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