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Foods That Make You Tired

author image Martha Premie
Martha Premie began writing in 2001. She is a licensed acupuncturist in Asheville, North Carolina, where she also teaches yoga and consults individuals on holistic health and nutrition. She has been published by the "Mountain Express Asheville" and "Take 5." Premie holds a degree in literature from SD Mesa College and a Traditional Chinese Medicine degree from the Daoist Traditions School of Chinese Medicine.
Foods That Make You Tired
Boy yawning at dinner table Photo Credit: Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images

Eating should provide your body with energy, and if you are feeling tired after eating, consider consulting your doctor and getting tested for food allergies. Hard to digest foods can also make you tired, as well as those high in sugar. Portions of food play an important role on whether you will feel energized or fatigued after eating a meal. Once you figure out what is causing you to feel tired after eating, you can adjust your diet to incorporate foods that will give you energy and mental clarity for your daily activities.

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Food that Cause Allergic or Inflammatory Reactions

Food allergies or intolerances may cause you to feel tired after eating. One of the most common foods to have this effect is celiac disease. This is an intolerance to gluten, and exposure to gluten causes intestinal inflammation and difficulty absorbing nutrients. Over time, this can lead to fatigue due to malnutrition. If you suffer from celiac disease, you need to exclude any type of food containing gluten, such as wheat, barley and rye. Other foods that cause allergies and can make you tired are dairy products, including cheese, butter and milk, as well as nuts and shellfish.

High Glycemic Index

Foods with a high glycemic index will make you feel tired because they provoke a rise in your blood sugar and later cause it to drop dramatically. This can eventually cause you to suffer from hypoglycemia, which is a condition where your blood glucose is too low, usually below 70 mg/dL, according to Pub Med Health. Some of the foods that have a high glycemic index include refined carbohydrates -- such as bread made with white flour -- sweets, soda and fruit juice. Avoid eating foods with high glycemic index if you need to concentrate at work or school right after eating a meal.

Hard To Digest

Many times foods that are hard to digest will make you feel tired after eating because they cause your body to increase the blood flow to your stomach to be able to digest properly. This includes foods high in fat, such as red meat. Fried foods also fall into this category and you should avoid fast food French fries and other fried food if you experience fatigue after eating these, especially if you have digestive problems such as heartburn or irritable bowel syndrome.


Each person's physiology is different, and you might encounter other foods that make you feel tired after eating. If you're concerned that one specific food in your diet is causing your fatigue, considering going on an elimination diet to determine the culpret. During an elimination diet, you'll eat a limited number of foods, and slowly incorporate new foods until your determine which one -- or ones -- causes you to feel tired.

Several medical conditions -- including nutrient deficiencies -- can also cause tiredness and fatigue. If you feel tired all the time, seek medical attention to determine the underlying cause.

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