Do you struggle to get out of bed every morning? Do you find yourself saying no to activities simply because you have no energy or have you found that you crash frequently and need to take a nap to get through the day? 

While fatigue is common, it’s not normal to feel run down or sluggish all the time. This may indicate a case of nutrient deficiency since every cell in your body relies on a wide range of nutrients to produce energy. In this article, we will look at common nutrient deficiencies that are linked to fatigue and how you can eat your way to more energy.


Common Link between Nutrient Deficiencies and Fatigue 

Imbalances in both macronutrients and micronutrients can contribute to fatigue. Some of them are:


  1.     Iron

Iron deficiency is a common cause of anemia that frequently manifests itself as persistent fatigue. Iron is required to produce hemoglobin in the red blood cells that are responsible for transporting oxygen within the body. The first sign of anemia is fatigue along with pale skin and dull hair. So, if you are unusually tired it is vital to get your iron levels checked. Get iron from spinach, leafy greens, beans, chickpeas, and kidney beans.


  1. B-Vitamins

The B family of vitamins are needed for the body to convert nutrients into energy. These water-soluble vitamins include B1 Thiamin, B2 Riboflavin, B3 Niacin, B5 Pantothenic Acid, B6 Pyridoxine, B12 Cobalamin, Biotin and Folic Acid. Together these micronutrients work in the body to support energy production. Therefore imbalances in any one of these nutrients can often compromise important biochemical reactions needed for the mitochondria inside the cell to transform food into fuel. Vitamin B12 is especially linked with fatigue and low iron absorption as well. Eating a nutrient-dense diet with natural whole food is important to obtain this class of micronutrients from your food.

  1.     Omega-3 Fatty Acid

This type of essential fat cannot be synthesized by your body and hence you need to obtain it from the food you consume. An imbalance of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids can lead to fatigue and inflammation, setting the stage for chronic diseases. The Omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA support the body’s cell membranes and effectively modulate the body’s inflammatory pathways, supporting brain function as well. They are abundant in fish oil and krill oil. Plant-based sources include nuts and seeds, avocado.


  1.     Magnesium

An essential mineral nutrient, magnesium also reduces the mitochondria’s ability to resist to free-radical damage and results in excessive production of oxygen-derived free radicals and low-grade inflammation. Low magnesium levels have been linked to an increased risk of chronic fatigue. A lot of studies have shown that the depletion of magnesium in chronic fatigue patients shows clinical improvement in energy levels.


  1.     Vitamin D

If you are spending most of your time indoors and not soaking in the sunlight, chances are high that you are deficient in Vitamin D, the most important prohormone that supports several bodily functions. A deficiency in this vitamin can sap bone and muscle strength, leading to a drain in energy. There are not many natural sources of this vitamin except for certain types of fish like tuna, salmon, and other fortified foods such as milk, cereals, and orange juice.


  1.     Potassium

Another important mineral that is vital for a healthy heart, nerves, and muscles, it can improve muscle recovery and endurance. On the contrary, low levels of potassium can lead to fatigue, muscle weakness, and numbness. A common cause for deficiency in potassium is the high consumption of processed foods that are too high on sodium. It is important to maintain the right sodium-potassium balance through proper diet. Bananas, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, and broccoli are some rich sources of potassium.


  1.     Carbohydrates 

Carbs often get a bad rap for being a villain in your diet. However, carbohydrates are still required in the right quantities and quality to provide energy. While including too many carbs in your diet leads to weight gain, not consuming can also have its drawbacks. It is vital to consume complex carbohydrates and fiber available in fruits, vegetables and whole grains and avoid refined carbohydrates. 


How to Overcome Nutrient Deficiencies?

A poor diet low in nutrients or a diet rich in inflammatory foods like sugar, gluten, dairy, caffeine, can result in a leaky gut which again leads to poor nutrient absorption and chronic health issues that are often associated with fatigue. The good news is that nutrient deficiency linked to fatigue can be easily reversed with proper food choice.

Eating a nutrient-dense diet that contains natural sources of the above nutrients will help you overcome conditions of chronic fatigue and set you up for success in life.

Remember that no single food, including those labeled as superfoods, can compensate for unhealthy eating. It’s important to eat a variety of natural food in its whole form as much as possible and steer away from processed food. Choose quality over quantity and eat a rainbow platter of food that satiates your taste and keeps you full for a long time.