A busy period with a lot of stress, reduced resistance, an unstable day and night rhythm: it all has repercussions on your body, often with fatigue as a result. Can vitamins and minerals play a role in the recovery?
85 percent of people sometimes feel tired. In 47 percent of them, the fatigue lasts for more than a day, with 16 percent it is even constantly present, according to research. The consequence? Lustleness, difficulty getting out of bed and loss of concentration.
When the fatigue is built up over a longer period, the body also needs longer to recover. Think of fatigue and a lethargic feeling due to stress , psychological symptoms or a shortage of vitamins and minerals as a result of a (long) bad diet.
Many people wonder whether vitamins and minerals – possibly in supplement form – can promote recovery from fatigue. Although vitamins and minerals do not provide energy themselves, they do play an important role in energy metabolism. Thus magnesium needed to process calcium properly, and vitamin C is necessary to absorb iron properly. The answer is yes: you need them to get energy from your diet.
250 grams of vegetables
This means that a healthy and varied diet is extra important for people with chronic fatigue complaints. And such a healthy diet includes, according to the Good Food Guidelines of the Health Council, at least 250 grams of vegetables every day and to eat 2 servings of fruit per day. However, the Food Consumption Survey of the RIVM shows that Dutch people receive much less than the recommended amounts of vitamins and minerals. And a shortage can again have an impact on energy metabolism.
Nutritional pattern under scrutiny
Several studies show that for people with fatigue it is worthwhile to look critically at their dietary pattern. Even a small shortage of vitamins and minerals can already play a role in them. This mainly concerns the B vitamins, vitamin C and the minerals calcium, phosphorus, iodine, iron, copper, magnesium and manganese. But also a vitamin D deficiency causes fatigue symptoms.
What’s in it?
B vitamins – Milk and milk products, meat (goods), vegetables, fruit, eggs, bread, potatoes and grain products.
Vitamin C – Vitamin C is found in fruits, vegetables and potatoes, especially in cabbage, citrus fruit, kiwis, berries and strawberries.
Vitamin D – Fatty fish . Meat and eggs also deliver some vitamin D, but a lot less. In the Netherlands, vitamin D is also added to low-fat margarine, margarine and baking and frying products (but not to oil). In butter, vitamin D naturally occurs, but much less. Vitamin D may be added to other products; this mainly happens with dairy products.
Calcium – Calcium is found in milk, milk products, cheese, (green) vegetables, nuts and legumes.
Phosphorus – Phosphorus is found in milk, milk products, cheese, fish, meat, legumes and whole grain products.
Iodine – Iodine naturally occurs in seaweed, sea fish and eggs. Added iodine is iodized kitchen, table and diet salt, bakery salt, bread baked with baker’s salt and some meats.
Iron – Iron is mainly in beef and lamb, wholemeal bread, broccoli and green beans. Hummingbird is only available in animal products and is better available to the body than non-heme iron from plant products.
Magnesium – Magnesium is found in bread and grain products, vegetables, milk and milk products and meat.
Manganese – Manganese is made from wholemeal bread and whole-grain products, tea, vegetables and fruit.
Tips for fatigue
Eat at least 250 grams of vegetables and 2 pieces of fruit daily to get enough vitamins and minerals. If you struggle to get these amounts daily, a supplement can prevent shortages and give extra energy to fatigue.
Watch your vitamin B12 content. Vitamin B12 (cobalamin), a water-soluble vitamin, only occurs in foods of animal origin, such as meat, fish, milk and eggs. Especially vegans are at risk of a low intake of vitamin B12, resulting in fatigue symptoms. The Health Council advises this group to take extra vitamin B12. Even when you take antacids, your vitamin B12 level may be on the low side. Sufficient stomach acid is necessary to take B12 from the diet.
A vitamin D deficiency can cause fatigue symptoms. Vitamin D is mainly extracted from direct sunlight. A long winter with little sunlight can cause shortages. If you also eat little fish and no margarine and margarine, it is difficult to get enough vitamin D. Children up to 4 years old, people with a dark skin color, people who spend a lot of time every day or wear outer clothing such as a burqa, chador or headscarf, pregnant women and the elderly is recommended to take extra vitamin D anyway. Websites like My Green Daily can help you get complete information on ways to get fit and healthy body.
Take your time. It takes a long time before a shortage occurs, but it takes at least as much time for those stocks to be rebuilt. A supplement is recommended every day over a period of 2 months to provide the body with the necessary vitamins, minerals and trace elements.
Not only vitamins and minerals need time; your body also needs time to recover. Your body is not designed to be constantly under tension and needs time to recharge the battery. Therefore, alternate effort every few hours with relaxation and try to get enough moments of rest.
Stress eats energy. If you suspect that stress is the cause of your fatigue, take the cause of it. Find out where the voltage comes from and work on it. Provide sufficient rest, go (again) exercise and turn on help if necessary.
The better you sleep, the sooner your fatigue symptoms disappear. Provide a regular sleep pattern .
A ‘quick fix’ is not possible. Fatigue is not solved with energy drinks or coffee locks . Eat healthy and varied and as little as possible from packages and bags. Avoid refined sugars and alcohol and nicotine. The peace that these products give is short-lived.
For some people, mindfulness training or yoga can provide a solution to create the necessary peace in head and body.