How to Reduce Fatigue by Avoiding Certain Foods

Ensure your diet is nutritious. 

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 


This might wake you up but you can come crashing down when the effects are over.

If you love the flavour of coffee, stick to decaf or limit your daily intake.

Added Sugar

Just like coffee sugar will spike your energy levels for a limited amount of time.

Sugar promotes inflammation and uses up a lot of nutrients since the body has to process it. 

Swap sugar for honey and fruit. 

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)

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.


The 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.

Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate has caffeine and also contains serotonin, a neurotransmitter that can help you relax. But milk chocolate doesn’t contain serotonin and can actually make you feel more awake!


Potassium and magnesium in bananas can make you sleepy by relaxing your muscles. Instead, reach for an orange because its citrus scent can be energising.

Energy bars & Granola

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

Pumpkin Seeds

While seeds are great for our health, pumpkin seeds are incredibly high in magnesium. If you're eating pumpkin seeds, monitor portion sizes and include another source of energising protein to balance it out. Great 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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