Are you one of the one million Americans who suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)? CFS-related fatigue can range from mild to severe—from having a hard time getting up in the morning or sustaining the energy to walk across the street to being completely bed ridden. Here are some foods that CFS sufferers can keep on hand that might actually improve their symptoms:
Pumpkin Seeds. These tasty seeds are high in magnesium—a mineral that fights fatigue. Snack on ¼ cup of these seeds and you’ll get half your recommended daily allowance of magnesium!
Yogurt. Yogurt that contains live bacterial cultures (probiotics) can help combat fatigue, particularly in those who suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). Because research suggests that an imbalance in healthy bacteria in the digestive tract is partially to blame for CFS, Swedish researchers tested the effects of eating yogurt rich in probiotics on 15 CFS patients. After eating 2 deciliters (about 6.8 ounces) of yogurt twice daily for 4 weeks, 14 of 15 study subjects reported improvements in fatigue symptoms, physical health or mental health.
Dark Chocolate. Working with CFS patients, researchers at Hull York Medical School in the United Kingdom compared the effects on patients given 45g of dark chocolate versus those receiving a placebo (45g of white chocolate dyed brown). Those eating the dark chocolate reported significantly less fatigue. The scientists suggest that polyphenols in dark chocolate increase levels of the happiness-boosting brain chemical serotonin and thus reduce feelings of fatigue.
Red Bell Pepper. Red bell pepper contains Vitamin C, which not only fights colds, but is a powerful antioxidant. Because antioxidants help prevent damage from free radicals, one of the factors believed to contribute to CFS, Vitamin C-rich foods like red bell peppers are powerful allies. In a small study of 44 adults published in the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine, those who received 6 g of Vitamin C every day for 2 weeks felt less fatigued. Study participants also had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Red bell pepper is an excellent way to get Vitamin C. 1 cup of sliced red bell pepper contains only 29 calories and you'll squeeze in almost 200 percent of your daily recommended Vitamin C - that's more than the amount in an entire orange.
What are you favorite natural ways to fight fatigue?