Chronic fatigue is not the same as tiredness that says, “I need another cup of coffee.” It’s a crippling ailment that can have a long-term influence on your life.
There haven’t been any large research on the impact of nutrition on chronic fatigue syndrome yet (CFS). However, Jose Montoya, MD, a professor of medicine and a specialist at Stanford’s chronic fatigue clinic, claims that food appears to affect chronic fatigue.
Diet may have an influence on chronic fatigue, but we know very little about what will work best for everyone. We know that some foods make certain people’s symptoms worse or better and that individuals should be aware of this.
While further study is needed, there are many things you can do to assist improve your energy and ensure you’re eating a nutritious, well-balanced diet. Here are 12 diet tricks you should try for reducing chronic fatigue.
1. Try Eating Anti-Inflammatory Foods
Since inflammation tends to play a role in chronic fatigue, Montoya suggests adopting an anti-inflammatory diet or adding anti-inflammatory items like fish and olive oil to your diet. Reduce your intake of inflammatory foods such as sweets, fried meals, and processed meat.
2. Try To Stay Hydrated
While drinking more water isn’t a cure-all for chronic fatigue, it is a significant step in the right direction. Dehydration is known to exacerbate tiredness. It is critical to be hydrated in order to improve or maintain one’s health.
3. Maintain a Food and Symptom Journal
A meal journal is an excellent approach to identify foods that either relieve or exacerbate your symptoms. It’s also beneficial to keep a diary of how you felt from day to day to discuss with your doctor. Track how you feel and what you eat every day to see if there are any patterns. Because 35 to 90 per cent of persons with chronic fatigue have symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, it’s critical to pay close attention to any stomach disturbance or irritation.
4. Don’t Do All At The Same Time
In the face of a vague, intractable sickness like chronic fatigue, it’s tempting to cut out all you can, but there’s no proof that a severely restrictive diet helps symptoms. Consult your doctor before removing any items from your diet to avoid overburdening your body and depriving it of essential nutrients. Only try an elimination diet if your doctor and dietitian agree it’s a good idea for you.
5. Make Sure You Experiment With Your Diet
Certain meals might either make you feel better or worse. Some of Montoya’s patients, for example, have reported benefits after eliminating gluten or high-carbohydrate items from their diets, while others have reported no change. Because there is no conventional diet for CFS, it may be worthwhile to experiment with your diet to see what helps you feel the best.
It is ideal for collaborating with your nutritionist or doctor to create a dietary plan that is tailored to your specific needs. You may get started on your own by observing how certain meals make you feel.
“With chronic fatigue, it’s vital to listen to your body and observe how you feel,” said Stanford Health Care’s Leah Groppo, RD, CDE. This is especially crucial if you suspect that certain foods are exacerbating your symptoms or if you want to make dietary modifications.
Groppo suggests making tiny adjustments, such as adding extra veggies to your meal every night, if you want to try something new. Stick with it for a month before judging whether or not the modification helped your symptoms. If you introduce healthy behaviours gradually, you’ll be more likely to stick with them in the long run.
6. Restrict Your Caffeine Consumption
Caffeine appears to be a terrific method to boost your energy, but it has some drawbacks. Caffeine, according to Montoya, might give you a false sense of vitality and cause you to overdo it. Some folks may be alright with a small amount of caffeine. Just be careful not to overdo it and make sure your intake does not interfere with your sleep.
7. Eat Small Meals
Many persons suffering from chronic fatigue are either too wary of eating or are not hungry. If you’re attempting to lose weight or eat enough during the day, Groppo suggests eating smaller meals more frequently or adding tiny snacks between meals. Eating more regularly may help you maintain your energy levels. Smaller servings may also be easier to tolerate.
8. Consume Sugar In A Limited Amount
Sugar can also briefly boost your energy, but the slump that follows might exacerbate your exhaustion. Groppo recommends eating naturally sweet meals with a little protein instead of processed sugar items to help equal out your blood sugar and energy levels. Berries with plain, unsweetened yoghurt are a delicious combination.
9. Eat A Lot Of Veggies
Consume plenty of nonstarchy vegetables. Include veggies of all hues in your diet throughout the day to get the benefits of their distinct nutrients and perks. Red vegetables, for example, are high in phytonutrients, which function as antioxidants and aid in inflammation reduction. Yellow vegetables are high in vitamins and minerals such as A, C, and B6.
10. Avoid Eating Heavily Processed Foods
Heavily processed foods often have fewer nutrients than whole foods. It’s critical to eat plenty of plants, such as legumes, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, to meet your body’s nutritional requirements.
Do you have no idea what to eat? Groppo advises eating foods that are “as near to how Mother Nature produced them as possible.” Choose popped corn over corn flakes or brown rice over spaghetti, for example.
11. Consume Some Healthy Fats
A sprinkling of walnuts, a few slices of avocado, a couple of ounces of trout: adding healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids throughout the day may be simple. Healthy fats are essential for brain and heart health, and they can also aid in inflammation reduction.
12. Prepare Your Meal Plan In Advance
Meal planning and food preparation ahead of time are one of the greatest strategies to ensure a balanced diet. On days when you have more energy, plan out what you will eat for the remainder of the week and prep your basic components or make the entire dish. Your meals will be ready to serve. You won’t have to think about what you’re going to eat on any given day. Even better, enlist the assistance of another person to assist you so that you may get more done without exerting yourself.
Wrapping It Up
We’ve all heard that what you eat has an impact on how you feel. This is especially true in the case of chronic fatigue. While no specialised diets exist for chronic fatigue, a well-balanced, nutritious diet can be an important element of your treatment approach. Just make sure to always consult with your doctor and a nutritionist before making significant changes to your diet or adding supplements.