When you are dealing with extreme fatigue, especially chronic fatigue syndrome, it can be difficult to expend the effort to make healthy food. However, research is beginning to suggest that making that effort may actually help you manage your fatigue more effectively. While there is no official chronic fatigue syndrome diet, there are some suggestions of what foods you can eat that might help you kick chronic fatigue.
As simple as it sounds, the best advice for anybody suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome is to ensure that they eat a well-rounded diet. This means eating foods from every food group in order to maximize the number of different nutrients that your body is receiving from your food. While anybody can benefit from this diet, it is especially useful for patients of chronic fatigue syndrome.
Foods to Focus on
The most important foods to focus on in a diet for chronic fatigue syndrome are:
- Low-fat dairy products
- Green vegetables
- Whole grains
- Lean meats
Vegetarians and vegans can substitute lean meats with dishes containing tofu, which provide healthy protein as well. These foods all provide necessary energy to your body - fruits and vegetables have special vitamins not found in other foods, grains provide necessary carbohydrates, and the others have protein and other essential nutrients.
Foods to Avoid
There are also several foods to avoid when you're trying to manage chronic fatigue with your diet; these include:
- High-sugar foods
- Saturated fats
- Trans fats
They might cause an increase in energy for a short period of time, but you will soon crash and feel even more tired and fatigued than before.
In addition to the normal dietary suggestions that are beneficial for everybody, there are a few suggestions for nutrients that may have special significance for those with chronic fatigue syndrome. Studies have found possible evidence that there may be deficiencies in certain vitamins and minerals among many patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. Increasing intake of them may help to fight off chronic fatigue.
Several of the B group vitamins - including folic acid (B9) and vitamin B12, among others - as well as vitamin C (ascorbic acid) have been found to be lacking in people suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome. Folic acid is found in leafy greens, citrus fruits, and beans, while B12 is mostly found in meat and dairy products. Oranges are famous for their vitamin C, but red peppers, Brussels sprouts, kale, and even strawberries are other excellent sources of the vitamin.
Magnesium can be found in leafy greens like spinach and kale, nuts, seeds, and beans, as well as avocados and bananas. Zinc is also found in leafy greens, many seeds, eggs, and meats like beef and turkey.
Essential fatty acids, especially omega-6 and omega-3, should be consumed as well. Nuts, seeds, and fish are highest in these nutrients. Nuts and seeds also contain another important nutrient, L-tryptophan, which is also found in eggs, cheese, tofu, salmon, and turkey. The nutrient L-carnitine can be obtained mostly through meat products, although there are low levels in asparagus, avocado, and whole wheat bread. Coenzyme Q10 is available in organ meats like liver, but can also be found in spinach, broccoli, and cauliflower.
Although diet is just one facet of improving the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome, it may provide enough help to make your condition manageable. Read all about chronic fatigue syndrome, it's symptoms, and treatments.