We eat various different kinds of food throughout the day. Some of them give us an immediate surge of energy but causes extreme fatigue afterwards. Over-eating these kinds of foods can cause chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). The symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome include prolonged fatigue, flu-like symptoms, headaches and muscle pains. It can even lead to light-headedness and mental confusion.
Apparently, this state is quite dependent on a person’s diet and lifestyle. More often than not, it is caused by the intake of certain foods which can cause the symptoms of CFS. Not too many major studies have been conducted on the influence of diet on CFS before. There are no known cures of this debilitating condition. But doctors as well as nutritional experts believe that diet does indeed have an impact in triggering CFS. Let’s take a look at a few diet tips to combat chronic fatigue.
Diet tips to combat chronic fatigue:
1. Cut down on the caffeine:
Among the foods to avoid, caffeine ranks highest on the list. Most caffeine addicts would find it impossible to cut down on coffee, which gives them an extra boost of energy. But, once the effect of caffeine wears off, fatigueness comes crashing over the entire body. This causes an intense craving for coffee to get that additional kick of energy. This can disrupt the normal levels of energy in the body and the body becomes dependent on caffeine.
High levels of coffee intake can disrupt your adrenal systems, thereby causing muscle pains in the body. Caffeine is also known to cause sleep disruptions which is common in CFS patients who don’t even drink coffee. The additional disruption of sleeping patterns causes even more fatigue. Hence the most important step would be to cut down, if not eliminate, caffeine from your diet.
2. Substitute refined carbohydrates with complex carbohydrates:
In a world fuelled by fast foods, carbohydrates form a major chunk of our diet. But refined carbs undergo a process of milling which strips off the nutrients such as fibre from the grain layers. For this reason, white rice, white bread and pasta pass through the digestive system faster than complex carbohydrates. The refined carbohydrates can provide an extra surge of energy which quickly goes down and makes a person feel lethargic.
Therefore, we should avoid food containing refined carbohydrates. Not only will this help your body in regulating the effects of CFS but also will help in losing weight. Since complex carbohydrates take more time to digest, a person feels sufficiently full for longer periods of time. Foods rich in complex carbs include barley, quinoa, mullets, oats, multi-grain breads and red rice.
3. Drink lots of water:
Drinking enough water is one of the most important diet tips to combat chronic fatigue. Although drinking water does not cure the effects of chronic fatigue, dehydration can aggravate the conditions related to chronic fatigue. This can cause light-headedness and can also make a person faint. Hence staying hydrated becomes very important to produce enough sweat to facilitate the release of toxins from the body.
The amount of hydration required by a person depends on the climate of their surroundings. Moreover, it also depends on factors such as gender and age. Given this fact, it is important to regulate your water intake. The colour of your urine might be a fair indicator of the amount of water you need. If the colour is a dark yellow, then you should probably drink more water. If it is colourless or pale yellow in colour, then the target water levels have been reached.
4. Having smaller meals throughout the day:
Usually, people suffering from CFS experience a severe loss of appetite. One of the diet tips to combat chronic fatigue is to consume a number of small meals throughout the day. Nutrition ideas related to losing weight also talk about having smaller and well-spaced meals throughout the day. A good idea would be to try to add small snacks in between the meals to maintain high energy levels. Also, smaller portions probably may increase the appetite as well.
5. Ditch the refined sugar:
Sugar is one of the simplest and most easily absorbed carbohydrates out there. But elevated sugar levels can come crashing down after providing an immediate surge in energy. Another one of the diet tips to combat chronic fatigue includes decreasing the intake of refined sugars. A solution to this problem would be to consume foods that are naturally sweet. Experts advise that balancing out the sweetness with some protein can help in evening out the blood sugar levels. Consuming unsweetened yogurt along with berries is an example of a good combination of foods.
6. Increase the intake of vegetables:
When it comes to effective tips related to nutrition ideas, nothing can beat vegetables. Colourful and non-starchy vegetables are quite important as sources of nutrients. Yellow-coloured vegetables are rich in the vitamins A, B6 and C. Red-collared vegetables have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. These help reduce inflammation resulting from the intake of processed foods and refined sugars.
7. Decrease the intake of processed foods:
Processed foods are not only inflammatory in nature, they also have very little nutritional value. It is important to decrease the intake of processed foods and include whole foods in your diet. These processed foods can be substituted with plant nutrients such as whole grains, vegetables, fruits and legumes. These are anti-inflammatory and packed with minerals and vitamins that are essential for the normal functioning of the body. Using whole meat instead of processed meat is another way of making a healthy substitution.
8. Consume healthy fats:
Healthy fats can reduce the effects of inflammation as well. They are digested slowly and are good for the body if you are suffering from chronic fatigue. Such healthy fats can be found in olive oil, nuts, wild salmon and avocado. These good fats are quite beneficial for providing a surge of energy without destabilizing the body and mind.