Do you ever feel completely exhausted at the start of the week, even after a calm and rested weekend? Most of us tend to attribute general fatigue to a mixture of stress, age, and the activities of a modern, hard working life. However, recent studies in health and nutrition have suggested that there may be some factors that can contribute to a marked increase in feelings of fatigue and exhaustion.
We now know that certain foods have the potential to encourage feelings and symptoms of fatigue. This is often due to ‘hidden’ food intolerances that individuals may have to specific foods, without even knowing it. Addressing these intolerances and sensitivities is a great first step to restoring energy levels and vitality, particularly for those suffering from adrenal fatigue. We discuss this in much greater detail in the book, but here is a list of three leading culprits.
1. Dairy Products
Dairy products like milk and cheese are tremendously nutritious foods, but in those with dairy sensitivities they have also been shown to contribute to chronic fatigue. Dairy sensitivity manifests from either an allergy to casein or a more general lactose intolerance, and affects a small percentage of Caucasians but a much larger proportion of people of Mediterranean, African and Asian descent.
The digestion of dairy, or any other food that a person is allergic to, causes a great deal of extra stress on the body. The immune system fights against it, resulting in inflammation that can range from joint pain to headaches to a swelling in the small intestine. And it is this swelling in the small intestine that hinders digestion and the effective processing of nutrients. When sensitivities like this impair our ability to get the nutrients we need from our food, we are left tired, unenthusiastic and lacking in energy.
Wheat is a foodstuff that, whilst being very addictive, can cause cravings and mood swings. Gluten is most often the allergen when it comes to wheat sensitivity, and though scientists have yet to pin point the exact reason, gluten has been intrinsically linked to causing high levels of fatigue in those who have an intolerance. Some believe the exhaustion is a consequence of the malnutrition that comes with a severe gluten problem like celiac disease, or in individuals who suffer from anemia and are not on a gluten free diet.
3. The Nightshade Family
Another very common food group that has been linked to severe fatigue include the fruits and vegetables belonging to the nightshade family. These include popular items such as tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, eggplants, gooseberries and even tobacco. If you are suffering with fatigue and exhaustion and are aware that you are specifically allergic to one of these foods, then it is highly likely that you are sensitive to some or all of the other foods within the family.
These constant and debilitating feelings of fatigue and exhaustion can be managed and helped in many different ways, but one of the first things to examine should always be food intolerances and sensitivities.