Natural ways to handle fatigue

Alan Hayes shares natural alternatives for beating fatigue

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Tired and irritable? Check your diet and try these natural remedies.

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THE fast pace of today's hectic world quite often results in skipping meals and eating the wrong food, which leads to fatigue, exhaustion, irritability and a general feeling of tiredness.

One of the underlying causes of these complaints is often an inadequate diet - in particular, an insufficient intake of vitamins and minerals. Lack of B group vitamins, especially vitamin B12, and the mineral magnesium, can cause chronic irritability, exhaustion and mental fatigue.

Although vitamin supplements are readily available, it is far better to maintain a well-balanced diet: include fresh fruit and vegetables, and plenty of herbs.

Foods to help motivate you and get you going are apples, bananas, corn, grapefruit, mangoes, papaya, peaches and yellow squash.

A small glass of fresh carrot juice each day is also an excellent boost to the system. Of all the juices it has the best balance of vitamins and minerals.

Natural food sources of magnesium are almonds and other nuts, fish, prawns, leafy green vegetables, molasses, soybeans, sunflower seeds and wheat germ.

Herbs that provide this element are alfalfa (eat daily as sprouted seed), cayenne, dandelion and peppermint. Fresh dandelion leaves can be cooked like spinach or the young, tender leaves chopped up and served in a salad.

B group food sources are brewers' yeast, sprinkled over breakfast cereal, grains and seeds, rice bran, sunflower seed, nuts, legumes, potatoes, almonds, mushrooms, soya beans, citrus fruits, molasses, spinach, cauliflower, salmon, and some dairy products.

Vitamin B12 can be found in most meats; however, this should be lean and eaten sparingly.

Herb sources of B complex vitamins are dandelion, fenugreek, parsley, alfalfa, watercress, cayenne, burdock and sage.

A cup of lemon balm or chamomile tea will also help you to relax and soothe those irritated nerves. Chamomile tea acts as a mild sedative to help an active brain go to sleep.

Laying back and luxuriating in a warm bath, to which has been added a few drops of lavender oil, will not only help to reduce physical and metal fatigue but will also revitalise you.

And when your concentration is flagging, you will find that inhaling a few drops of basil and bergamot oils on a handkerchief will help conquer mental fatigue.

Most important, if you feel tired, irritable and exhausted, first assess what you are eating and as much as possible include plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and herbs in your daily diet. This will give you the energy to get out and enjoy life, rather than sleeping it away.

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