Are you fed up with always feeling tired? Low energy levels can have many causes.
The Quantity and Quality of Sleep
The first most obvious one is a lack of good quality sleep. Your diet affects not only your sleep but also your energy levels even if you are sleeping well.
Including a wind down routine at the end of the day can help you to switch off from the worries of the day.
Nutrients help relaxation and energy
If your body is short of the nutrients that support your nervous system, such as the B vitamins, magnesium, Vitamin C and iron, you may find it difficult to relax. These same nutrients are important for your body to produce energy, these nutrients are found in leafy green vegetables, and nuts.
Carbohydrates need careful attention
Carbohydrates are used mainly for energy production but if you reach for the white bread, white rice and sugary drinks to give yourself a lift, you may find your energy levels going down and not up in the long term. These refined carbohydrates will not give you the B vitamins and magnesium you need to efficiently produce energy. Instead eat whole grains which are rich in B vitamins. In addition the refined carbohydrates can lead to a sudden rise and consequent drop in your blood sugar levels, leaving you feeling washed out and lethargic.
Energy needed for Healing
Most illnesses will be accompanied by low energy as the body puts its resources into healing, so it important that you rest at times of illness and get other help your body needs to recover.
There are many nutrients and remedies used by naturopaths to help increase your energy levels. The most important but also the most neglected is water, if you are even mildly dehydrated you will feel yourself flagging mentally and physically. Give yourself an energy boost and drink at least 2 litres of plain still water every day.
Ideal ratios of protein, fat and carbohydrate vary
High quality fats are also an important source of energy. The ideal ratios of protein, fat and carbohydrate vary with different people. A high carbohydrate diet gives some people boundless energy but leaves others flagging. Similarly a high protein diet can result in fatigue in some but the opposite in others. Metabolic Typing can be used to assess the best type protein, fat carbohydrate ratios for you.
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Original May 2009 Copyright Jaine Kirtley