A Food-Based Approach to Reducing Fatigue

Which food groups reduce fatigue?

Foods high in protein, good fats, and fibre are the best choices. It is also beneficial to consume foods rich in iron and other nutrients. To improve your life even more, you might want to reduce certain foods or eat at certain times. 

By reducing sugar and caffeine, for example, you can improve your health. Although they provide energy, it quickly wears off! If your energy rushes off too quickly, you may feel more fatigued or sick during treatment.

There are lots of great alternatives to coffee, including peppermint tea! By stimulating the central nervous system, reducing pain, and improving concentration, this tea can boost your physical activity and cognitive function.

What is the best tea for energy and focus?

  • Lemongrass 
  • Yerba Mate
  • Ginger 
  • Rooibos
  • Rosemary 

For information on herbal tea, read our blog - Herbal Tea Recipes to Overcome Cancer Fatigue 

Top 10 Energy Foods: Alternatives to sugar based foods

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.

1. 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. 

2. 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!

3. Yoghurt
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! 

4. 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.

5. 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. 

6. Iron-rich foods
It is possible for cancer treatments, including chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and bone marrow cancers, to cause anaemia. Anaemia is when your body does not have enough red blood cells, resulting in fatigue. The red blood cells transport oxygen throughout your body to assist it in functioning 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.

7.  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.

8. 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.

9. Leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables
In addition to supporting gut health and immunity, green vegetables, including leafy ones (like spinach and kale) and cruciferous ones (like broccoli and Brussels sprouts), are rich in vitamins that help fuel the body. As well as vitamins A, E, and K, they're also fat-soluble.

10. Beans and lentils
In addition to providing B vitamins and iron, beans and lentils support red blood cell production and oxygen levels, which are essential to reducing fatigue. A slow-burning energy source due to its fibre and complex carbohydrates, lentils are a long-lasting energy source. 

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

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