Spring has well and truly sprung and it is time to come out of hibernation! If your energy is not there to match, read on and see if any of these common energy tips apply to you.
If you feel tired, pale and possibly at times dizzy or breathless, it could be iron deficiency.
According to the World Health Organisation, iron deficiency is a global public health problem of epidemic proportions.
A key role of iron is transporting oxygen in the blood as well as being necessary for DNA synthesis, breathing, immune function and energy production.
Symptoms of iron deficiency include tiredness, neurobehavioural disorders like ADHD and restless leg syndrome. The requirement for iron is increased in growing children, menstruating women and pregnancy.
Dietary iron is found in two forms:
Heme iron. This type of iron is found in lean red meat, poultry, and fish. Heme iron is easily absorbed into the body.
Nonheme iron. Nonheme iron is poorly absorbed into the body. Kale, broccoli, legumes, brown rice, nuts and seeds all contain nonheme iron.
Eating food rich in vitamin C along with nonheme iron-rich foods slightly increases the amount of iron your body absorbs.
If you are not sure how your iron stores are looking, this is assessed in a simple blood test by a GP. If you are suffering from iron deficiency you are likely to find supplements like the herbal tonic Floradix or iron supplements like Ethical Nutrient’s Iron Max will boost your energy in combination with good food sources.
Most people have heard of ginseng and those in the know are familiar with ginseng’s prized place in Japanese and Korean culture as a root that bolsters physical strength, energy, wellness and longevity.
Ginseng is an adaptogen. Adaptogens are herbal remedies that make you more resilient to mental, physical, and environmental stress. They are thought to work by reducing the stress hormone cortisol while strengthening the adrenal glands.
Research supports 3 key benefits of ginseng:
Improves energy levels
Supports physical and mental endurance
Assists recovery from fatigue
Most research is around Panax ginseng, however there is overlap with the actions of Siberian ginseng and American ginseng and these are often used as they are less expensive than Panax ginseng.
Ginseng is ideal at times where you are in the midst of a big project or issues that can’t be delayed. If there is no chance to step back and relax, taking Ginseng in the short term may help to manage the stress.
Many people know that good levels of the group of B Vitamins (usually referred to as B complex in supplement form) is important for energy and mood. B Vitamins are used in hundreds of important biochemical reactions in the body that can’t go ahead properly without particular B vitamins.
The B Vitamins work together as a team and reduce stress, anxiety and depression, PMS and improve memory.
Sources of B Vitamins include:
Dark, leafy greens (chard, kale, spinach, etc.)
While B Vitamins are in a wide range of foods, levels can still become low and benefit from supplementation. It is quite common for people eating a gluten free diet to be low in Vitamin B6 and for vegetarians and vegans to be low in B12.
A B complex supplement is quite a popular recommendation by Naturopaths as it is common for clients to come back two to three weeks later saying they feel better already. If you need more help, feel free to come and ask us in store.