By Stephen Eddey, nutritionist and naturopath, Principal of Health Schools Australia

Are you always yawning once 3pm rolls around? Or maybe you’re getting enough sleep but still waking up tired. The old adage ‘you are what you eat’ may sound outdated, but unfortunately it couldn’t be more accurate. If you’re relying on caffeine to get you through to 3pm, skipping breakfast or not nourishing your body with adequate nutrients, it’s worth considering that the reason you’re experiencing fatigue is that your body’s fuel sources (nutrient stores) are depleted. Before resorting to the office vending machine, consider what your body may be missing, and reach for one of these energy-boosting foods or antioxidants instead. Incorporating the following into your diet throughout the day may be just the thing to keep you powering through until clock-off.

10 energy-boosting foods to fight fatigue

1. Cacao

There’s a reason this ingredient has started popping up in every protein bar and superfood snack you see – it’s one of the most antioxidant-rich foods on the planet. Sadly, your average, store-bought piece of chocolate is made from cocoa – cacao that has been roasted at high temperatures. Raw cacao has a strong, bitter, dark chocolate taste and is capable of boosting particular neurotransmitters that promote a sense of wellbeing – making it a mood booster. Try adding this ‘feel good’ food to milk, find a recipe here.

2. Ubiquinol

You may or may not have heard your doctor speak about the benefits of CoQ10, an antioxidant that is naturally occurring in our body. The majority of CoQ10 in our body is in the form of Ubiquinol and is responsible for not only providing our cells with energy but fighting free radicals, fighting inflammation, maintaining healthy cholesterol and strengthening our hearts. Our Ubiquinol levels naturally decline as we age, starting at age 30, and earlier if we’re stressed and physically active. So if you’re burnt out, there’s a good chance your cells are actually depleted from the energy they need – Ubiquinol. You can find it in food, but you’d need to eat 50 cups of spinach to meet your daily recommended intake, so it could be worth asking your health care practitioner about daily supplementation.

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