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Eating to combat Fatigue

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A good balanced diet will in theory provide everything a healthy person needs, but we have increased requirements that may be best met by taking supplements. However, just by adjusting our diet we can make some inroads into the problem of fatigue:

If you are "running on empty", eating protein either alone or with a carbohydrate will replenish brain chemicals and you'll be re-energized.

If you need to relax, eating carbohydrate alone, without protein, will produce more serotonin in the brain.

Neither effect is immediate, there being a delay of about half an hour whilst the food is absorbed into the bloodstream from the gut.

Protein-full foods to give you a boost

3-4 ounces of:

  • shellfish
  • chicken (without skin)
  • veal
  • very lean beef trimmed of all visible fat
  • low-fat cottage cheese
  • skimmed/ low-fat milk
  • low-fat yoghurt
  • dried peas/beans (pulses)

Carbohydrate-rich foods to make you feel more relaxed

  • bread
  • crackers, muffins, bagels
  • pasta
  • potatoes
  • rice
  • corn

If you want to know more:

Managing Your Mind and Mood through Food by Judith J. Wurtman
Food and Mood: The Complete Guide to Eating Well and Feeling Your Best by Elizabeth Somer.