Each of us is prone to feeling tired from time to time but, for some, the effects of fatigue can be debilitating. Whilst feeling tired may appear as an intangible symptom to most, in many cases it can be linked to one’s nutrition.
There are several critical nutrients that always need to be considered in fatigued persons, in addition to corresponding foods that may help to boost their levels. Nutrients that are commonly associated with fatigue include:
|Nutrient||Risk Factors||Symptoms of deficiency||Rich food Sources|
|Iron||Menstruating women, blood loss, poor dietary intake, vegetarians and vegans, digestive disorders (poor nutrient absorption), chronic infections||Fatigue, weakness, pale skin, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, brittle nails, poor concentration||Red meats, nuts, sesame seeds, eggs, spinach, silver beet, miso, tempeh, tofu|
|Vitamin B12||Poor dietary intake, vegetarians and vegans, poor nutrient absorption||Fatigue, weakness, tongue soreness, tingling in hands and feet, poor concentration and memory||Eggs, beef, veal, lamb, turkey, snapper, sardines, mussels, oysters, rabbit|
|Folate||Poor dietary intake, poor nutrient absorption, the elderly||Fatigue, poor concentration and memory, loss of appetite, irritability||Spinach, cabbage, flour (chickpea and soy), sesame seeds|
|Vitamin D||Limited sun exposure, darker skinned individuals, poor nutrient absorption, chronic kidney and liver disease||Fatigue, recurrent infections, brain fog, bone pain||Herring, sardines, calamari, milk, cheese, egg yolk|
|Zinc||Poor dietary intake, poor nutrient absorption||Recurrent infections, slow wound healing, poor skin health, reduced sense of smell and taste||Oysters, red meats, nuts, chicken, turkey, cheese, eggs, sesame seeds|
|Magnesium||Poor dietary intake, poor nutrient absorption, certain medications, alcoholism, diabetes mellitus||Fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, eye twitches, muscle cramps/spasms||Red meats, chicken, pork, turkey, nuts, dark chocolate|
Comprehensive case taking and pathology screening with a Naturopath can identify if nutrient deficiencies are present. If your energy levels aren’t as they should be and you suspect nutritional deficiencies may be at work, a Naturopath may be able to help you target this underlying driver behind the cause of your fatigue.