Five Home Remedies to Fight Fatigue
A recent survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey found that Americans are tired. Yet they can use home remedies and natural treatments to fight fatigue.
In fact, 15 percent of women and 10 percent of men said they felt very tired. My guess is that many more Americans are fighting fatigue daily. As a full time working mom of two boys, I wake up weary and feel I am always commiserating with other moms, co-workers and neighbors as to how exhausted we look and feel. Typically, we chalk it up to having too much to do and not enough time to do it, especially during extra-busy periods, like back-to-school. What studies have shown is that the true culprits are our everyday habits - what we eat, how we sleep and how we cope emotionally.
Want to fight fatigue? Here are five easy ways to refill your tank naturally through these home remedies.
Break for Breakfast: Mom was right! Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. A morning meal ignites your metabolism and fuels the brain and body with the calories needed to provide energy, and our energy levels also can be impacted by what we eat for breakfast. Foods at the top of researchers' list to fight fatigue, include high-fiber whole grains like oatmeal, dairy foods such as milk and Greek yogurt, as well as walnuts and bananas. All of these foods contain fiber and protein, which help sustain our energy throughout the morning. Try one of our delicious Butternut Squash Oatmeal or Greek Yogurt Bowl recipes to help jump start your day.
Snack Strategically: Energy levels can take a dive when we go more than four to six hours without eating, or consume high fat, high sugar snacks in an attempt to fuel up fast. As a registered dietitian, I recommend “gap” snacks, or snacks between meals, that are focused on providing energy. Healthy snacks should supply essential vitamins and minerals most Americans are missing like calcium, potassium, vitamin D and dietary fiber. Some fatigue fighting snacks include a cheese stick and apple slices, yogurt topped with a small amount of nutty granola and fresh fruit, or a glass of milk with a couple of graham crackers. Looking for something more sophisticated? Kick start the afternoon with creamy avocado hummus served with crispy vegetables. It’s a perfect combination of protein from the Greek yogurt, carbohydrates from the chickpeas and healthy fats from the avocado. Dairy foods are not only great to incorporate into meals and snacks as they provide more than just calcium, but they also provide high-quality protein and carbohydrates, which together help revive energy to keep you fueled throughout the day.
Sip Smartly: Caffeine and energy drinks, as well as sugary snacks may send your energy soaring at first, but you’re destined to plummet back into fatigue. To boost energy and keep it up, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends Americans skip the soda, sugary coffee and energy drinks, and instead quench thirst with water, fat-free or low-fat milk, low-calorie flavored water or unsweetened tea.
While the old adage “drink eight glasses of water a day” has been suggested as a diet myth, science proves that even mild dehydration can result in significant dips in energy levels. For proper hydration a person needs to consume six to eight cups or 48 to 64 ounces of fluid each day.
Can’t cut the caffeine? You are not alone. According to the National Coffee Association, Americans drink an average of three cups each day with more than 60 percent enjoying their first cup in the early morning hours. However, new science suggests that if people want to get the most out of their caffeine, they should shift their cups of Java to 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. when natural cortisol levels are lower and caffeine will have the biggest impact.
Move It: Overall, Americans are too sedentary. It’s hard to find the energy to exercise when you are tired, but skipping that nap and lacing up the sneakers will help provide that boost of energy we need. Studies show that physical activity can actually increase energy. Get up and take a brisk walk, park further from the door for a boost in exercise, or best, incorporate 60 minutes of mild to moderate physical activity into most days for overall good health and increased energy levels.
Get Good Shut-Eye: In order to fit in all the demands on our life, sleep often gets compromised. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that adults 18 and over get at least seven hours of sleep every night. Do you? Lack of sleep is not only the number one cause of fatigue during the day, but also it can lead to obesity, decreased concentration and mood swings. To help establish healthy sleep habits, keep a consistent sleep schedule, create relaxing bedtime rituals and shut down technology before getting into bed.
Remember these five simple steps to fight fatigue naturally and I bet you’ll start feeling more energetic in no time!
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