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5 tips to feel energised again & why you may be tired all the time!

01/12/2020

With our current busy and stressful lifestyles, we can often feel defeated with no energy to tackle the day. There are a few little tweaks you can make to your diet and lifestyle to help improve your energy levels so you don’t need to refuel on caffeine and energy-dense snacks throughout the day! Make sure you read until the end to find out how your DNA may be the reason for low energy and what you can do about it! 

 

Feeling fatigued, tired, and sleep-deprived have sadly become a normal part of day-to-day life. It is important to recognise and acknowledge when you feel this way instead of pushing it aside or dismissing it as a normal feeling. That way you can explore some sustainable solutions to help you feel better!

So, what are the main nutrients involved in stabilizing energy levels?

Iron (transports oxygen around the body)

Iron is found in hemoglobin, which makes up our red blood cells. The main function of red blood cells is to transport oxygen around the body, to ensure it reaches our vital organs. If we do not have enough iron, oxygen cannot efficiently be transported around the body, which not only results in fatigue and feelings of tiredness but also can hinder the function of the brain and other important systems in our body! 

There are two types of iron found in food: haem and non-haem iron. The word haem means blood, so haem iron is found in animal products while non-haem iron is found in plants. Our bodies can absorb haem iron more so than non-haem! Carry on reading to find out how to aid the absorption of plant versions.   

 

Vitamin B12  (Helps produce red blood cells)

B vitamins are known for their importance in energy levels as they help us breakdown glucose which is used for energy. B-12 specifically is involved in producing red blood cells and ensuring they’re in a healthy shape. As mentioned above, red blood cells deliver oxygen around the body so is important to keep up energy levels. The first signs of a deficiency in B-12 are actually fatigue and tiredness. 

 

How can your DNA impact energy levels? 

Small genetic variations in your DNA can result in you being less efficient metabolszing or processing different nutrients in your body. 

Many genes govern iron transport and absorption around our body and 2 in 5 of us have certain variations in genes such as TMPRSS6, TFR2 or the TF can cause you to be inefficiently absorbing iron when you need it! 

The same goes for vitamin B12! The FUT2 gene codes for an enzyme that helps us absorb and transport B12. About 4 out of 5 people have a variation in this gene, putting them at risk of low levels of B12 and subsequently can cause them to be low in energy. 

Understanding which genetic variants you hold could help explain why you feel fatigued and tired due to being at risk of potential nutrient deficiencies and also offer a solution with personalised dietary advice based on your results!

 

Now that you understand the nutrients behind our energy levels, here are 5 tips on how to feel more energetic

Eat rich sources of iron daily 

Found in: red meat, chicken, nuts, kidney beans, and spinach 

Pro tip: Increase absorption of iron in the body by consuming plant-based iron sources along with vitamin C rich foods and at least 3 hours apart from consuming caffeine. This will ensure you are extracting as much iron as possible from the food. 

Choose rich sources of B12 

Found in: fish, meat, eggs, poultry, dairy, and yeast extract

Pro tip: If you follow a plant-based diet, you may want to consider taking a B12 supplement as it is difficult to find in strictly plant-based foods.

Make sure you get enough sleep

7-9 hours a night is the recommendation for all adults!

Sleep is absolutely essential for you to feel energetic in the morning. Sleeping allows our brain to flush out toxins that accumulated throughout the day that result in feeling exhausted and losing focus. 

Choose your snacks wisely

Energy-dense, high sugar, and high-fat snacks are easily accessible when you’re busy or on the go. But they will result in a crash in energy quickly after you consume them. To keep energy levels stable, make sure you have snacks that contain fibre to balance blood sugars (i.e. fruit, whole grains) and some healthy fats for brain health (nut butter, smoked salmon, etc.). 

Stay hydrated!

Dehydration can cause headaches, feelings of fatigue, and lack of focus. Make sure you are drinking enough water throughout the day to keep you hydrated and avoid feeling unwell during the day. If you wait until you feel thirst, chances are your body is already dehydrated! 

These tips are a great starting point to help you on your way to a more energised you! If you’d like to dig deeper into your unique dietary requirements, to tackle low energy with a dietary consultations & nutrigenomic testing get in touch with us to find out more about personalised advice and meal plans. Contact Rachel Clarkson RD at bookings@thednadietitian.co.uk 020 71267101

 

 

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