I'm just wondering what foods I should be eating to reduce the fatigue I feel after eating lunch. It doesn't seem to matter whether it is a salad or sandwich. Some days it is a real struggle to keep my eyes open and my head up.
Feeling a little tired after eating a heavy meal is perfectly normal, however if you commonly feel extremely tired after meals there could be some underlying health problem that needs to be dealt with.
When we feel tired after eating it's usually due to eating processed foods that contain high levels of sugar and refined carbohydrates. Eating these types of foods causes blood sugar levels to rise quickly, which causes a surge in insulin, causing blood sugar levels and energy levels to drop. Excessive secretion of insulin causes tryptophan to move to the brain to make the neurotransmitter serotonin, which makes us feel calm and relaxed and contribute to feeling tired.
Choose wholesome fibre-rich foods that are unprocessed and won't cause sharp spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels. By including protein with each meal you will also help stabilise blood sugar levels and promote balanced energy levels.
Some healthy lunch options would be wholegrain sandwich with turkey, chicken or tuna with light cheese and salad; or a green leafy salad with some form of healthy protein (tofu, boiled egg, legumes, walnuts, salmon). Mini vegie frittatas are a good source of protein. Try snacking on a trail mix with nuts, seeds and dried fruit, or hummus with rice crackers or vegie sticks in between meals.
Other reasons for feeling tired after eating include poor digestion, or allergies or intolerances to certain foods. People with any of these conditions will also usually experience symptoms such as bloating, indigestion, wind, constipation or diarrhoea.
If you suspect you are allergic or intolerant to a certain food, try taking it out of your diet for two weeks, and then reintroduce it again. If your symptoms return, you will be able to identify any offending foods this way. You can help improve your digestion by including bitter foods in your diet such as lemons, apple cider vinegar and bitter lettuce (rocket, endives). Bitter foods help stimulate digestive juices and help break down foods and improve nutrient absorption. Digestive bitters or tablets taken 15 minutes before meals are very beneficial.
For more information visit Lisa's website, Art of healing.