Friday, June 8, 2012

Superfoods for Relief from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

The main indications of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) are overall general physical and mental weariness. There are many different causes of tiredness. Just because you’re frequently tired doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve got CFS. The condition must persist for more than six consecutive months and include other symptoms such as memory loss, sore throat, headaches and muscle/joint pain without swelling or redness.

Though there are several potential causes for CFS, the main reason for all fatigue is most likely to be poor nutrition. Other causes could be faulty digestion, food allergies, obesity, sleep problems, tension or depression. Smoking, alcohol and drugs are also contributing factors.

English: Green, yellow and red bell peppers fr...
English: Green, yellow and red bell peppers from the capsicum annuum plant. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The main symptoms of CFS are physical and mental fatigue. It can be so severe that people are unable to participate fully in normal, everyday activities. Even getting plenty of rest doesn’t seem to make any difference for most sufferers. While some drugs are now available for this condition, most have harmful side effects, and are simply not a viable option for long-term use - at least if you want a long and healthy life. But, with basic lifestyle changes and a diet rich in whole food nutrients, almost anyone can help prevent or even reverse these symptoms.

The first step would be to switch to a more wholesome diet that consists mainly of fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Citrus fruits, berries, tomatoes, potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, red and green bell peppers, cabbage, and spinach are all full of vitamin C, which helps promote a healthy immune system. Zinc does the same. Red meat, fortified whole grain cereals, peanuts and whole-milk dairy products are all good food sources of zinc.

Brussels Sprouts
Brussels Sprouts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
And, for protein, focus on fish high in omega-3 oils and lean poultry, since they are loaded with essential fatty acids (EFAs) which help improve circulation and oxygen uptake with proper red blood cell flexibility and function. It’s imperative to get EFAs from your dietary choices, as the body cannot manufacture them. EFA deficiencies are linked to diminished mental capacities and immune function.

Other things that will help include decreasing stress and getting plenty of good quality rest and regular moderate exercise. Drink lots of pure, clean water, and avoid sweets, caffeine, sodas, processed and salty foods. Set obtainable goals and think positively. 

Hopefully with these tips, you'll soon see an improvement in symptoms. But hang in there - it could take several  months for these lifestyle changes to take effect. Remember if you've been feeding your body junk and processed foods for years, it's going to take some time to get back to a healthy norm. (A gentle detox diet, like the Total Wellness Cleanse, can be a great place to start, and get you back on track to health.)

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