Modern lifestyle and hectic work schedules have made people struggle with low energy levels and chronic fatigue. Persistent lack of energy is often caused by interaction of a set of complex factors such as poor diet, leaky gut, stress, and sedentary lifestyle. However, the good news is that there are many ways you can boost energy levels naturally by identifying the underlying cause and taking steps to heal your system.
Possible Root Causes of Tiredness
Poor Diet: “You are what you eat,” as your body uses the food you eat, as a fuel to provide you energy. In the fast paced life of these days people either skip meals or eat readily available processed foods. These high-glycemic load (GL) foods are made of refined carbohydrates and simple sugars, which cause an initial high and then a crash in blood sugar levels. These wild swings in blood sugar makes you feel anxious, moody, exhausted and unable to concentrate.
These poor quality diets are also low in fruits and vegetables that lead to nutritional deficiencies (vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients) causing excessive fatigue.
Leaky Gut: Often blood sugar imbalances caused by high GL foods, inflame the digestive tract causing leaky gut. In people with leaky gut syndrome, toxins are able to pass through the perforations into the bloodstream, which triggers an autoimmune reaction that puts constant stress on adrenal glands resulting in a feeling of exhaustion.
People suffering from leaky gut also have altered intestinal bacteria with an overgrowth of “bad” microbial flora and too little “healthy” gut flora. This causes digestive problems such as bloating, gas, reflux, alternating diarrhea and constipation along with severe tiredness.
Food Allergies: Processed foods are often pro-inflammatory, as these are rich in refined carbohydrates and dairy, which can cause allergic reactions in the body.
Further, food allergies and leaky gut syndrome go hand in hand, where on one hand passage of undigested food particles through the leaky gut leads to the development of food allergies and on the other hand allergic reactions to certain foods increase the permeability in the lining of the intestine.
Inflammation: Poor diet, leaky gut syndrome, food intolerance or other factors cause chronic systemic inflammation that promotes excessive tiredness. As, significantly higher blood markers of inflammation such as C-reactive proteins (CRP) and cytokines lead to decreased activation of the brain’s reward center i.e. basal ganglia that help in controlling motion and motivation.
Chronic inflammation also causes persistent stress on body’s immune system that leads to chronic fatigue.
- Stress: Hectic work schedules and unforeseen mental and emotional challenges cause chronic stress in our bodies. Chronic stress puts excessive and prolonged pressure on body’s stress management system causing severe tiredness.
- Sedentary Lifestyle: Sedentary lifestyle causes general lethargy and makes you prone to depression, which increases the risk of chronic fatigue.
So, if you are feeling extremely tired all the time, first find out which one (or more) of these above causes is bothering you and then develop a strategy based on the following suggestions to cure your persistent tiredness.
Steps to cure Tiredness Naturally
Natural remedies such as healthy dietary choices and lifestyle modifications are found most effective in curing tiredness and ensuring overall health:
Healthy Dietary Choices
Switch from Pro-inflammatory diet to Anti-inflammatory diet: Pro-inflammatory diet rich in processed junk foods provoke inflammation, while anti-inflammatory diet naturally lowers your chances of food allergies, inflammation and leaky gut syndrome.
One of the most important components of anti-inflammatory diet is complex, low glycemic load (GL) carbohydrates from whole grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds. These foods are high in fiber, so they are digested slowly and give steady release of energy, which help in balancing sugar levels.
Plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds are rich in anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, which help in seizing inflammation.
Additionally, these natural whole foods are also powerhouse of nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that help in boosting energy levels.
Address underlying food sensitivities
To address chronic systemic inflammation watch out for food sensitivities such as if you are allergic to gluten then go 100% gluten-free by completely eliminating gluten from your diet.
Heal Your Gut: To treat chronic fatigue you need to increase the count of probiotics (friendly bacteria) in your gut that play crucial role in maintaining overall health. Eat “Prebiotics,” complex carbohydrates that act as food for these bacteria i.e. whole grains, banana, onion, garlic and honey. Also, take nutritionally rich fermented foods like yogurt, fermented vegetables (cabbage, cucumber, carrots, and beets), coconut milk and even tea.
Use Anti-inflammatory Spices:
- Turmeric: The anti-inflammatory compound curcumin in turmeric helps in reducing inflammation associated fatigue. Here are some other other benefits of turmeric.
- Ginger: This immunity boosting wonder spice relieves inflammation and helps in increasing energy levels.
Drink 2-3 litres of water: The constant supply of this elixir of life will help you feel energized throughout the day.
Exercise every day: Daily exercise helps in fighting fatigue by reducing stress and improving energy levels. To feel more energetic, find opportunity to include physical activity in your everyday life.
De-stress: Stress happens when you feel like you don’t have the tools to manage all the demands in your life. So, start incorporating these stress management techniques in your life to better manage your everyday stress.
Yoga & Deep Breathing: Besides reducing stress, adding yoga practice and deep breathing exercises in your everyday life can help in improving your energy levels by increasing blood circulation. Also make a conscious effort to belly breathe during the day.
Meditation: Meditation reduces stress levels by keeping the mind calm and relaxed. A few minutes of meditation everyday makes you feel fresh and energized.
Take adequate Sleep: When you are sleep deprived, your body experiences increased stress. Take a minimum of 7-8 hours of sleep to boost your energy levels. A power nap during daytime also helps in reducing excessive tiredness at the end of the day.