15 Foods That Fight Fatigue

15 Foods That Fight Fatigue
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15 Foods That Fight Fatigue

Read on for the best foods that fight fatigue.


Walnuts have it all; in addition to protein and fiber to help keep you full, crunching on walnuts will help you feel more alert.

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These versatile breakfast staples are high in protein, so they keep you feeling full and alert. But that’s not all! Eggs contain choline, which aids in brain function, helping you feel sharp as a tack.

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Salmon is high in the omega-3 fatty acids human bodies need but can’t produce naturally. If your fatigue is a side effect of depression, research has found that upping your intake of omega-3s can boost the healing effects of anti-depressants.

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According to Rumsey, leafy green veggies are packed with iron, which is proven to boost concentration and may decrease fatigue.

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Wheat Germ

Sprinkling just a tablespoon of wheat germ over your cereal or smoothie will give you a day’s serving of vitamin E, which is known to relieve symptoms in chronic fatigue syndrome patients.

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Grapefruit is an excellent source of potassium, so it will definitely up your energy levels. Plus, grapefruit is packed with immune-system-boosting vitamin C. Just one serving in the morning can help you fight off sicknesses that leave you feeling sluggish.

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Now we’re talking! Dark chocolate cocoa nibs contain an ingredient called theobromine, which is a stimulant similar to, but less harsh than, caffeine. Make sure you’re going for very dark chocolate though; milk chocolate contains a lot of sugar and will lead to a crash.

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If you’re feeling sluggish around lunchtime, you may want to have some lentil soup. Dietician Alissa Rumsey says lentils naturally balance blood sugar levels to help you avoid the dreaded post-lunch energy crash.

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Those little grains pack a big punch. Quinoa is packed with good carbs and fiber as well as protein, so you’ll feel fuller longer and less tempted to reach for energy-zapping candy.

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Sweet Potatoes

The average sweet potato contains just 112 calories, but packs 28 grams of complex (or “good”) carbs that will help your brain produce extra glucose and give you a big burst of energy.

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Everyone knows that ginger aids in digestion, but did you know that it’s also a natural stimulant with an effect similar to caffeine?

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Coconut oil contains a special kind of fatty acid that goes straight from the liver to the digestive tract for a quick boost of energy. Bonus: coconut can increase your energy expenditure, helping you to burn more fat.

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Brown Rice

Whole grains are generally a good source of energy, but brown rice comes with the welcome addition of manganese, a dietary mineral that turns non-carbohydrate food into sugar to burn as fuel. The conversion processes gives you a slow release of energy throughout the day.

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No, not the cinnamon sugar kind. According to nutritionist Alissa Rumsey, raw, unsalted almonds are a great source of healthy fat and protein that will keep your energy levels up throughout the day.

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An apple generally contains about 25 grams of energy-boosting carbohydrates to pep you up, and at just 95 calories, it’s a pick-me-up you won’t regret later.

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Is there a point in your day when you feel drained? For some of us it happens around lunchtime; our eyes start to feel heavy and we're sure we can't make it to 5:00 without passing out at our desks. For others, the work week leaves us too drained to get out of bed on the weekends and we're left binge-watching Netflix in bed instead of spending the weekend out with friends and family. But before you overload on coffee or chug an energy drink, know that there are more healthful ways to give yourself that extra little push you need to get on with your day. You can actually eat yourself awake!

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Alissa Rumsey, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, says that a healthy balance of protein and carbs is the way to go. The carbohydrates will give you quick energy, and the protein will help you feel full, making you less susceptible to the weakness and fatigue that comes from an empty stomach.

Rumsey also says that even though they're tempting, sugary snacks or caffeine-laden beverages are not a good choice when you're feeling tired. "While you may feel more alert initially," Rumsey says, "you get a quick drop soon after which can leave you [feeling] sluggish. Processed foods like white bread, white pasta, and other products that aren't whole grain can also cause your blood sugar to climb, followed by the inevitable crash that will make you feel tired. Energy drinks are not a good option — while these may give you a temporary boost of energy, as soon as the caffeine buzz wears off you'll feel exhausted again. They are also high in sugar, which makes the crash afterwards more apparent."

So, what do you eat to wake yourself up then? If you're looking for some meals and snacks that will fill you up but won't make you feel like lapsing into a food coma, try these healthy and delicious options.

Check out the slideshow above to learn which foods fight fatigue.

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