Modern life comes with jam-packed schedules, making people more tired than ever. While occasional fatigue is normal, chronic fatigue is not, especially when severe. If people experience debilitating physical and mental fatigue that lasts for more than six consecutive months, they may have chronic fatigue syndrome, or CFS. Additional symptoms associated with CFS include poor memory, headaches, sore throat, and pain in the muscles or joints.
Cause and Treatment
Experts have yet to identify a lone cause, but some think chronic fatigue syndrome may develop from a number of triggers including immune disorder, infection, stress, trauma, or toxins. While there is no known cure for CFS, treatment involves a number of strategies including cognitive-behavioral therapy, moderate exercise, sleep management techniques, and good nutrition. A wholesome diet may help prevent or relieve symptoms of CFS. Two red fruits in particular offer many benefits.
Red apple skins are a rich source of the antioxidant, quercetin. This potent flavonoid helps fight free radicals that can cause cell damage and disease, and it raises energy levels by enhancing the immune system and increasing the number of mitochondria in cells.
Studies on trained athletes show that treatment with quercetin supplements can boost endurance. Another study from the University of South Carolina at Columbia tested the endurance of somewhat-active college students on an exercise bicycle. After taking 500 mg of quercetin twice a day for one week, cycling endurance improved as well as lung function in all students. The lead author of this study indicated the results might be good news for people suffering from energy-draining conditions like chronic fatigue syndrome.
While tomatoes offer a rich source of lycopene, scientists at the South Central Agricultural Research Laboratory (SCARL) in Lane, Oklahoma have shown that watermelon offers even more. This powerful antioxidant and others in watermelon help fight harmful free radicals that contribute to disease. Nutrients like vitamin B6, vitamin B1, magnesium, potassium, and L-citrulline found in watermelon also help people with CFS by boosting energy levels by as much as 23 percent.
A nutritious diet helps prevent a wide range of health problems. Additional red superfoods that may help prevent or relieve symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome include tomatoes, strawberries, cherries, and raspberries. In addition to whole fruits and vegetables, people with CFS should add lean poultry, wild fatty fish, whole grains, nuts, and seeds to the shopping cart. It helps to eliminate processed foods and sodas and drink plenty of pure, clean water. People with CFS shouldn't smoke, and they should limit consumption of alcohol.