By now, you’ve probably realised that much of health comes down to digestion. When your digestion is poor, it has a domino effect on the rest of the body. Basically, your digestive system takes the food you have eaten and metabolises it to give you energy.
The small intestine gets to work funnelling those nutrients into the bloodstream so your body can use them as fuel. You know how you feel human again after eating a meal when you’re starving? That’s the principle at work. The problem is many of us aren’t digesting our food well enough for our bodies to extract those nutrients for energy.
We live in a fast-paced, stressful world, so it is not surprising that many of us are low in energy. but, when we are tired for long periods of time, the damage goes further than just making us feel cranky or tired.
Factors affecting your energy (not in any order):
- Adrenals – ‘adrenal fatigue’ is a deep, deep fatigue. You feel like you need to sleep all the time. Exercise is the last thing on your mind. You crave sugar and salty foods. Your sleep is erratic. You are irritable even when you don’t mean to be.
- Thyroid issues – ask your doctor to test your thyroid levels, especially your T3 levels.
- Overexercising – exercise to feel good, not until exhaustion. As always, tune into your body to find out what works for you.
- Poor nutrition – processed foods high in trans fats, additives, preservatives, refined carbs and sugars do not fuel your body in the right way. Eating a wholesome, balanced diet with good iron levels will give you all the energy you need.
- Clogged up liver – when the liver is clogged up, thanks to excessive alcohol, sugar, caffeine, pollution, and some medication, it can’t do its job properly. Fatigue is a common symptom for an overworked liver.
- Poor sleep – prioritise quality sleep for better energy levels.
Vitamins for energy?
With guidance from a health practitioner, these supplements may be healthful in boosting energy:
- B complex
- Iron (important to get your iron levels checked out before supplementing)
- Fish oil and/or flaxseed oil
Processed foods and refined carbs have become staples in modern-day diets. They’re making our digestive systems sluggish and leaving us with that ‘heavy’ feeling in our stomach. In addition, the microbiome (gut bacteria) has a huge impact on energy.
The golden rules for eating for energy are:
- Avoid all gluten (except for oats) for 4 weeks
- If you feel tired after eating eggs, cut them out.
- Try to enjoy good fats at every meal, such as avocado, nuts, seeds, olive oil, tahini, to name a few
- Include protein in each meal
- Stick to 1 coffee per day MAX. Have it before 10am and drink it with or after food.
- Give up refined sugar and artificial sweeteners. Use stevia or cinnamon to sweeten your food instead.