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Feeling Lethargic


Your body needs nutrients from the right kind of food to keep it going. More often than not, lethargy or low energy levels may be naturally treated by simply making some adjustments in your diet.

Food is the primary energy source of your body. Review your diet and observe the following guidelines while eating:

Consume food rich in thiamin

Thiamin, also known as Vitamin B-1, works by converting carbohydrates into energy in the muscles and in the nervous system. It is naturally found in food such as whole grains, oatmeal, eggs, asparagus, kale, cauliflower, oranges and many others.

B supplements

While it is best to obtain your nutrients from natural food sources, Thiamin and other B vitamins are often destroyed during the cooking process. If you feel that you are not getting enough B vitamins from your diet, consider taking a multivitamin that is packed with the right amounts of B vitamins.

Check food labels

Government regulators require food manufacturers to display a list of their products' ingredients and nutritional information on their packaging. Most processed foods contain food additives either to enhance their flavours or to prolong the shelf life of these products.

While these additives may have passed government safety standards for human consumption, there are, however, an increasing number of studies that show a link between hyperactivity or ADHD in children and food additives. A sudden spike in energy levels leading to hyperactivity can also result in a sudden drop or lethargy when the effect of the additive wears off. It is still best to eat more foods that are closest to their natural state and to avoid processed food to maintain your energy levels.

Have your iron levels checked

Your body needs oxygen to be able to function well. Oxygen is transported to the brain and to the other organs of the body with the help of red blood cells. When your iron levels drop, you may not have enough red blood cells to bring oxygen where it is needed. Women, in particular, tend to suffer from iron deficiency more than men, because of their monthly period and their tendency to avoid red meat. An iron deficiency can lead to a condition called anemia. Anemia is characterized by an abnormally low level of red blood cells in the body. Keep yourself from feeling low by consuming a fair amount of beef, more green leafy vegetables, and legumes.

Cut down your sugar intake

Consuming excessive sugar is harmful to your health. It causes your body to experience a sudden rise in its energy level, more commonly known as a "sugar rush". However, when the effects of the sugar subside, your energy level plunges drastically, making you feel lethargic. Aside from avoiding sugar-rich foods like cakes, pastries, bread and soda, look out for hidden sugars found in pastas, and some fruits.

Exercise regularly

It cannot be denied that diet and exercise go hand in hand in the road to wellness. Eating right is the first step. Getting into a fitness routine lets you feel the effects of your diet sooner. Vigorous exercise of at least thirty minutes a day increases your heart rate and helps your body convert nutrients from the food you eat into energy. What's more, a good workout can leave you feeling happy or energized because of the release of the "feel good" chemical in your brain, known as serotonin.

If your feelings of lethargy persist, it's important to seek the expert advice of your health care professional, to ensure there are no underlying problems.

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