Stress Less This Holiday Season

Feeling fatigued? It’s a good bet that you’re also stressed. Fatigue and stress feed off each other.

How to perk up? Add whole foods to your diet, find more time to exercise, and cut down on sugar and caffeine. Adding some key supplements may also help.

In his book No More Fatigue, natural health expert Jack Challem identifies “The Five Circles of Fatigue” as stress, poor dietary habits, hormone imbalances, chronic illnesses (and many medications), and the aging process. Common medical causes of fatigue include anemia, sleep disorders, depression, chronic pain or infection, and inflammatory disorders. Stress is an underlying contributor to all of these.

Nutrition for Stress and Fatigue

  • Avoid Sugar and Caffeine

    Contrary to popular opinion, sugar is not an energy food and coffee is not an energy drink. Relying on either for a pick-me-up will leave you more tired.

    Consider instead the nutritional density of whatever you consume. For example, sugar has a lot of calories, but it offers little in the way of vitamins, minerals, or other nutrients. On the other hand, protein and vegetables are nutrient dense.

  • Eat Green Foods for Energy

    Many green foods are nutrient dense, including alfalfa, barley grass, chlorella, green tea, kelp, spirulina, and wheatgrass.

    In addition to being loaded with vitamins, minerals, and fiber, these supergreens have the added benefits of enzymes and chlorophyll. Enzymes are essential for nearly every biological process, and chlorophyll (the pigment that makes plants green) oxygenates blood and delivers magnesium.

  • Supplement with Supergreens and More

    Supergreens are available in supplements, including powders, tablets, and tinctures. Here are other proven fatigue-fighting supplements.

    • B-complex vitamins, which help turn food into energy
    • Vitamin C, necessary for making chemicals that keep the brain energized
    • Coenzyme Q10, known to boost energy levels and enhance stamina
    • L-carnitine, which helps transport fat to the cells’ mitochondria, where it is burned for energy
    • Alpha lipoic acid, which fosters energy production
    • Quercetin, which increases your body’s ability to metabolize glucose and fat for energy
  • Try Adaptogens for Energy

    Also consider adaptogens: herbs that generate a defensive response to stress. Adaptogens that specifically help fight fatigue and increase energy and endurance include American and Asian ginseng, ashwagandha, cordyceps, eleuthero, holy basil, rhodiola, and schisandra.

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The Taste for Life Staff

The Taste for Life staff come from a wide variety of backgrounds and specialties. We believe learning is a life-long process, and love to share the knowledge we gain.