Of the list below, ask yourself "yes" or "no" to the symptoms that are familiar and applicable to yourself.
Are you perhaps;
• feeling tired all the time?
• using coffee, tea, or a cigarette to get you going in the morning?
• feeling unrefreshed after a nights sleep?
• experiencing energy slumps during the day?
• having mood and concentration swings?
• craving sweet and starchy food, coffee, tea, alcohol and/or cigarettes?
• getting angry easily?
• over-reacting to pressing or antagonistic situations?
• regularly feeling impatient?
• feeling anxious or nervous?
If you answered "yes" to five or more of the above symptoms, you will almost certainly feel more energetic if you consider the following advice:
Sometimes everything just seems like such an effort, and all you can think of is bedtime.
We all have our off days when we feel low in energy, but for many people, this is pretty much a permanent way of life.
Yes, it's normal to feel tired after a week of getting up early, working hard, exercising, and going to bed late.
But the tiredness some people experience is more like a constant, wiped-out, drained feeling.
And when you feel that way, it's almost impossible for you not to get testy with your family, friends, and associates.
Unless you have an underlying illness, your weariness and irritability are probably easily surmountable.
With a little effort, you can identify and tackle the root causes of your tiredness and adopt a diet and lifestyle that truly energize you.
However, if your tiredness is extreme or prolonged, you should talk to your doctor in order to rule out any potentially serious causes.
Identifying the cause of your tiredness
There is a host of reasons why you may be feeling weary, many of which are simple to overcome.
For example, being dehydrated can make you tired.
Try drinking at least six glasses of bottled or filtered water daily and you may well quickly see an improvement in your energy levels.
Similarly, if you're not eating nutritious, energy-foods, you may be missing out on some important energy nutrients.
Your doctor may find that low iron stores (especially common in women and vegetarians) are at the root of your problem, in which case you will need to increase your intake of iron-rich foods and even perhaps take iron supplements.
If your body is not detoxifying efficiently, you can raise your energy levels by changing to a diet that supports your body's detoxification mechanisms rather than hampering them.
Alternatively, your tiredness could be the result of a sensitivity to certain non energy-foods.
Again, simple dietary changes, ie; identifying and eliminating from your diet the foods that are causing the adverse reaction, can make all the difference to you.
Common causes of persistent tiredness that are not directly diet related include an under active thyroid gland, which your doctor can test for.
Lack of sleep is another obvious culprit, if you're not sleeping well, you're bound to be tired and testy.
Depression may also manifest itself as ongoing tiredness and irritability.
The link between your diet and how energetic you feel is easy to understand, I mean after all, we know that if we drink a strong cup of coffee and eat a chocolate bar, we'd be buzzing...for a while anyways.
On a cellular level, we are, through our energy-foods diets, literally fueling all our cells to produce energy through a carefully controlled chemical reaction.
The type of fuel we use correlates to our performance, much like that of our vehicles.
In fact, many people are probably more careful about fueling and servicing their vehicles than they are their own bodies.
To produce energy, each cell needs a supply of energy-foods or fuel in the form of glucose, derived from the carbohydrates and sugars that we eat.
There's little danger of any of us not getting enough carbohydrates, but the process of converting the fuel into energy requires a range of micro-nutrients.
The best way to provide your body with all these nutrients is to eat a varied diet of fresh and unprocessed energy-foods.
It can also help to take vitamin and mineral supplements, but it is important to remember that they are just that, "supplements", not "substitutes", for a good diet.
Avoiding foods that sap your energy is just as important as eating energy-foods.
The energy drainers are generally foods, drinks and especially stimulants, such as coffee, alcohol, and candy, that play havoc with our blood-sugar levels.
Breaking the Dependency
Especially when we're feeling constantly exhausted, we often become addicted to stimulating foods and drinks to keep us going.
Unfortunately, these can give us only a very temporary boost, followed by a dive in mood and energy that leaves us reaching for the next stimulant.
Meanwhile, we require ever larger doses to produce the desired temporary buzz.
Harsh as it may sound, the best way to stop the seesawing of energy and moods is to give up stimulants altogether.
Coffee - friend or faux pas?
Coffee can certainly give you a buzz but, like many "addictive" substances, the initial high is inevitably followed by a low, in effect, a withdrawal symptom.
It is no coincidence that coffee drinkers often sleep less soundly than non-coffee drinkers.
And, apart from playing havoc with your adrenal glands, coffee is also a diuretic, so it can leave you dehydrated, which can also make you tired and short-tempered.
Nor is decaffeinated coffee a viable alternative, because not only does it still contain other natural stimulants, such as theophylline and threobromine, but it also may contain residues of harsh chemicals used in the decaffeinating process.
You don't necessarily have to give up coffee entirely, just cutting back can help your energy levels to recover.
For some people, this may mean cutting down from five daily coffees to one, maybe two and for still others, it may mean going from two cups to no cups.
If you find this hard, I'd suggest you try not to have a coffee before maybe 10-11 a.m., that way you're not relying on a stimulant to kick-start your day.
As you begin to reduce your intake, you may feel even more tired or have an achy head.
This is perfectly normal and NOT a good reason to start up again.
If you're maintaining even blood-sugar levels and eating a balanced, nutritious, energy-foods diet to help boost your energy and maintain even moods, you should find you no longer require so many caffeine fixes.
Eat your energy-foods
Key Energy-Foods Nutrients
Nutrient Rich Energy-Foods Sources Vitamin B1
Beef kidney and liver, brewer's yeast, brown rice, garbanzo beans, kidney beans, pork, rice bran, salmon, soybeans, sunflower seeds, wheatgerm, wholegrain wheat and rye.
Almonds, brewer's yeast, cheese, chicken, mushrooms, wheatgerm.
Beef liver, brewer's yeast, chicken, eggs, fish, sunflower seeds, turkey.
Blue cheese, brewer's yeast, corn, eggs, lentils, liver, lobster, meats, peanuts, peas, soybeans, sunflower seeds, wheatgerm, wholegrain products.
Avocados, bananas, bran, brewer's yeast, carrots, filberts, lentils, rice, salmon, shrimps, soybeans, sunflower seeds, tuna, walnuts, wheatgerm, wholegrain flour.
Blackcurrants, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, collard greens, grapefruit, green peppers, guava, lemons, oranges, papaya, potatoes, spinach, strawberries, tomatoes and
Beef, brewer's yeast, chicken, eggs, fish, fruit, milk products, potatoes, whole grains.
All foods, particularly beef, mackerel, sardines, soy oil, spinach.
Almonds, fish, green leafy vegetables, kelp, molasses, nuts, soybeans, sunflower seeds, wheatgerm.
Egg yolk, fish, all meat, milk, molasses, oysters, sesame seeds, soybeans, sunflower seeds, turkey, wheatgerm, whole grains.
One last note;
Speaking of energy-foods, we'd like to take this opportunity to introduce to you an energy food (fruit) that has only been known to a handful of North Americans for a couple of years BUT has skyrocketed to the top of many super foods lists as the news gets out.Tweet
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