Life Food
  • Facebook
    Facebook
  • Twitter
    Twitter
  • Pinterest
    Pinterest
  • +
  • Linkedin
    Linkedin
  • WhatsApp
    WhatsApp
  • Email
    Email
SHARE THIS
  • Facebook
    Facebook
  • Twitter
    Twitter
  • Pinterest
    Pinterest
  • Linkedin
    Linkedin
  • WhatsApp
    WhatsApp
  • Email
    Email

The information provided on the show is for general information purposes only. If you have a health problem, medical emergency, or a general health question, you should contact a physician or other qualified health care provider for consultation, diagnosis and/or treatment. Under no circumstances should you attempt self-diagnosis or treatment based on anything you have seen on the show.

You’re probably already familiar with all the usual suspects that contribute to daily fatigue – stress, lack of sleep, long hours at work or a sedentary lifestyle, to name a few. What you may not know, however, is that our diet can also play a major part in how much energy we have, or how tired we feel. Stopping by Your Morning to dish out some info on the most common food-related fatigue culprits, Registered Dietitian Anar Allidina says that there are several nutrient deficiencies that you could be suffering from that can make you tired.

Check out her tips on how to avoid this below, and be sure to watch the video above to hear more from Anar!

VITAMIN B12

What is it?

Along with the other B vitamins, vitamin B12 helps transform the food you eat into energy that your cells can use. It keeps your body’s nerves and red blood cells healthy it is essential for DNA synthesis. When we do not have enough B12 we may feel tired, weak and dizzy.

Where to find it?

B12 is naturally found in animal products, including fish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk, and milk products, and is generally not present in plant foods. It is, however, typically fortified in breakfast cereals and nutritional yeast, which is a go-to food for many vegetarians and vegans. It provides a depth of flavor to cooking it gives a cheese-like flavour. Finally, sea vegetables have small amounts of B12.

Who is at risk?

Normally, vitamin B12 is readily absorbed in the last part of the small intestine (ileum). However, to be absorbed, the vitamin must combine with intrinsic factor, a protein produced in the stomach.

  1. Older adults – Approximately 10–30% of adults over the age of 50 have difficulty absorbing vitamin B12 from food. This is because they produce less stomach acid and proteins, which are required for proper absorption.
  2. Vegans – Vegetarians and vegans are at risk of B12 deficiency since animal foods are the only natural food source of this vitamin.
  3. Those with GI disorders – Conditions that affect the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, such as celiac disease and Crohn’s disease, may interfere with the body’s ability to absorb B12.

What can you do?

The percent of vitamin B12 your body can absorb from supplements is not very high — it’s estimated that your body only absorbs 10 mcg of a 500-mcg B12 supplement. For people over 14, the RDI for vitamin B12 is 2.4 mcg – most people meet this requirement through diet.

IRON

What is it?

Lack of energy is the most common symptom of iron deficiency. Iron is an important part of hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen all around the body. When you’re iron deficient, levels of oxygen in the blood are low, and you can become anemic. This might make you feel tired and weak, since oxygen is not being delivered to cells (if your cells are sluggish, you will be too).

Where to find it?

Meats, fish and poultry contain the most iron per serving, and whole grain enriched and fortified breads or cereals can deliver a significant amount too. Good vegetarian sources of iron include soybeans and tofu, legumes, nuts, seeds dried fruit, and vegetables like dark, leafy greens. To maximize iron absorption, pair these foods with sources of vitamin C.

Who is at risk?

  1. Pregnant women – Along with women of childbearing age, pregnant women are at an increased risk of deficiency.
  2. Vegetarians and vegans – People who do not consume animal products also may get less iron in their diets naturally.
  3. Blood loss –  More than half of your body iron is in your blood. Therefore, blood loss through menstruation or internal bleeding can deplete levels.

What can you do?

Include a varied diet of animal and plant based foods. Supplements are also an option, but because there is a risk of excessive iron intake consult your doctor to find out which supplement is best for you.

MAGNESIUM

What is it?

Magnesium is a mineral that plays an important role in how enzymes regulate bodily functions, including energy production. In addition to making up part of your bones and teeth, magnesium is also important for proper muscle and nerve functioning. Not getting enough can lead to fatigue plus, research is not yet conclusive – magnesium may help you sleep, since it is involved in muscle relaxation and binds to a neurotransmitter that reduces anxiety, in turn reducing insomnia. And there’s no better energy boost than sleep!

Where to find it?

Magnesium is present in:

  • leafy greens
  • avocado
  • dark chocolate
  • legumes
  • whole grains
  • nuts
  • seeds

Who is at risk?

Over a third of adult Canadians aren’t getting adequate intakes of magnesium through their diets. In fact, magnesium is among the four nutrients that have the highest inadequate intakes among the population, according to latest Statistics Canada numbers.

There are physical signs and symptoms that may indicate if you don’t get enough magnesium, such as:

  • Muscle weakness, spasms and/or cramping: This is due to the role magnesium plays in muscle contraction. This is also the most common and identifiable sign of magnesium issues
  • Insulin resistance: Magnesium plays a role in over 300 enzyme systems in the body, including those that control blood sugar
  • High blood pressure: this is because magnesium relaxes blood vessels and thus lowers blood pressure
  • Irregular heartbeat: Magnesium plays a role in muscle contraction, and thus contraction of heart muscles and heart rate
  • Low HDL (or good cholesterol): This is due to the role of magnesium in the metabolism of fats
  • Tingling and numbness: Magnesium plays a role in nerve transmission
  • Migraines: Magnesium reduces vasoconstriction, and the intake of magnesium can reduce occurrence of migraines by 40 per cent

What can you do?

Men over the age of 31 need 420 mg of mg while women in the same age need 320 mg. Include a diet in leafy greens, whole grains, nuts and legumes. If you do supplement, do not exceed a dose greater than 350 mg. One of the supplements often used for deficiency of this nutrient is magnesium glycinate, which is magnesium bound to glycine. This type of supplement has very good absorption levels, which means your body can make the most of it once it’s ingested.