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Foods to Fight Fatigue

author image Jill Andrews
Jill Andrews began writing professionally for various online publications since 2009. Andrews holds a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry/nutrition from Memorial University in St.John's, Newfoundland. She also holds a Bachelor of Science in occupational therapy from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Foods to Fight Fatigue
A basket of fresh walnuts. Photo Credit fototdietrich/iStock/Getty Images

Fatigue refers to feelings of weariness, weakness and low energy. According to Medline Plus, fatigue differs from drowsiness and apathy, and instead is a loss of energy and purpose. Many lifestyle changes may help combat fatigue, including meditation, regular sleep and avoiding stressful situations. Eating a healthy and well-balanced diet also provides the nutrients you need to feel energized, and certain foods help prevent nutritional deficiencies that can leave you feeling fatigued.

Foods Rich in Magnesium

Foods rich in magnesium may help you fight fatigue and boost your energy. The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends a daily dose of 300 to 1,000 milligrans of magnesium for feelings of fatigue. However, research studies have been mixed, and more research is required to establish a benefit. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, a combination of 600 milligrams twice a day of magnesium and malic acid can also act to increase your energy levels. Magnesium can affect your blood pressure levels, so check with your doctor before taking a supplement. Rich food sources of magnesium include nuts and seeds, whole grains and green leafy vegetables.

Foods Rich in Vitamin B-12

If you are deficient in vitamin B-12, you may develop anemia, a condition characterized by pale skin, appetite loss and diarrhea. Other common symptoms include fatigue, light-headedness and a reduction in energy levels. If you develop anemia due to low vitamin B-12 levels, increasing the vitamin B-12 in your body can help combat your anemia and increase your energy. Vitamin B-12 occurs naturally in animal foods, such as meat, fish, eggs and dairy products, but vegetarians can get B-12 from fortified foods or supplements.

Foods Rich in Iron

Fatigue can also be a result of a condition called iron-deficiency anemia, a type of anemia that develops if you are deficient in iron. Symptoms of this condition include fatigue, energy loss and weakness. You can boost your iron levels by a supplement or through your dietary choices. Food sources of iron include red meat, pork, poultry, shellfish, eggs, beans, nuts, dried fruits, dark leafy greens and peas. Some foods, such as whole-grain breads and cereals, are also fortified with iron.

Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fats that your body requires for proper growth and development, and normal brain function. Your body cannot produce these fats, so you must obtain them from dietary sources. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, if you are deficient in omega-3 fats, you may experience dry skin, mood swings and fatigue. Food sources of omega-3s include fatty fish, such as tuna, mackerel, salmon and herring. Other sources include flaxseeds, flaxseed oil, hemp seeds, hemp seed oil and walnuts.

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