Reducing Fatigue Through Food

Fatigue can be the toughest part of cancer, affecting you physically, emotionally and mentally. But there are several foods that can help beat feelings of fatigue during the day. Look for foods that are high in protein, good fats, and fibres. Foods high in iron and other nutrients are also helpful. Furthermore, some foods you might want to cut down on, or eat at certain times of the day to improve your life even more. 

For example, cutting down on sugar and caffeine can be beneficial. Even though they do give you energy, it wears off quickly! Having a rush of energy that wears off quickly can cause you to feel even more fatigued or to feel more ill during treatment. Peppermint tea is a great alternative! This tea can boost your physical activity and cognitive function by stimulating the central nervous system, reducing pain, and improving concentration.

There are also many other teas that can help with fatigue

  • Lemongrass 
  • Yerba Mate
  • Ginger 
  • Rooibos
  • Rosemary 

We all know keeping up with our nutrition is important. Even if you can’t eat a lot right now, grazing on healthy snacks throughout the day can help give you needed nutrients, energy and may help reduce nausea.

Here are some foods that will help reduce fatigue and alternatives to sugar based foods

 Hummus 

Chickpeas, the main ingredients in hummus, is loaded with iron, folate, phosphorus, and B vitamins. Which gives you steady energy. Hummus also contains lemon juice, adding a great source of vitamin C as well as antioxidants. Another ingredient, tahini, which is made of sesame seeds is loaded with copper, zinc, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus. 

Apples 

Due to their rich content of natural sugars and fibre, apples can provide a slow and sustained energy release, whilst helping to stabilise blood sugar. Why not try dipping apple slices into peanut butter? And create a super boosting energy snack!

Yogurt 

Yogurt contains some of nearly every nutrient that your body needs! The carbs in yogurt are mainly in the form of simple sugars, such as lactose and galactose. When broken down, these sugars can provide ready-to-use energy. Try adding fruit, oats and seeds to help boost your energy levels even more! 

 

Bananas 

An excellent source of complex carbs, potassium, and vitamin B6, all of which can help boost your energy levels. The vitamin B6 can metabolise carbohydrates and fats, turning them into energy and help produce more red blood cells. The vitamin C in bananas help to absorb iron better helping reduce fatigue. Both of these vitamins may protect your body from treatment.  

Eggs

Eggs contain plenty of nutrients, fat and protein. Fat and protein provide energy and help the body absorb vitamins. Leucine is the most abundant amino acid in eggs, and it’s known to stimulate energy production in several ways. Leucine can help cells take in more blood sugar, stimulate the production of energy in the cells, and increase the breakdown of fat to produce energy. 

Iron Rich Foods 
  • Cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and cancers that affect the bone marrow, can cause anaemia.
  • When you are anaemic, your body does not have enough red blood cells, causing fatigue. 
  • Red blood cells are the cells that that carry oxygen from the lungs throughout your body to help it work properly.
Try eating the following:
  • Red meat, pork and poultry.
  • Seafood.
  • Beans and peas.
  • Dark green leafy vegetables, such as spinach.
  • Dried fruit, such as raisins and apricots.
  • Iron-fortified cereals, breads and pastas.
Unprocessed foods
Processed foods, such as some packaged or canned foods, candy, boxed meals, and precooked meats are typically full of preservatives, additives, sodium, trans fat, and artificial ingredients that may slow you down.
Nuts & Seeds
Many nuts contain a blend of protein, fats, and some carbohydrates to provide energy throughout the day. Nuts are typically also rich sources of vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, calcium, or phosphorous.

 

For more help read - 'Avoiding Certain Foods to Reduce Fatigue'