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The Foods that Fight Fatigue

Are you tired of Looking tired? Julie Daniluk gives tips on how to use food to look and feel more energized.

Nutritionist Julie Daniluk’s first book, 'Meals that Heal Inflammation', advises on allergy-free foods that both taste great and assist the body in the healing process. She also hosts 'The Healthy Gourmet' on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), a reality cooking show that looks at the ongoing battle between taste and nutrition. Check out more amazing recipes and nutrition tips at www.juliedaniluk.com

Check out Julie on Facebook at Julie Daniluk Nutrition and on Twitter @juliedaniluk

Have you ever been in a meeting at work when one of your co-workers says, “You look really tired today, did you sleep OK?”, and it hits you hard because you actually got 8 hours sleep for a change? Do you suffer from pesky dark circles under the eyes? Not only do under-eye rings signal a lack of sleep, they can also lead to a sallow-looking complexion. Your face deserves to sparkle. Here are some tips on how to keep you looking fresh and revitalized throughout the rest of your day!

What Causes You to Look Tired?

Cause: Dehydration. Dehydration is a huge factor in fatigue and tired looking skin. The effects of alcohol can contribute to swelling and puffiness — even under your eyes. Stick with one cocktail, and drink water before and after you go out to minimize the visible damage.

Try This:

Hydrothearapy: switching between pulses of cold and hot water can surge blood flow and help lift your facial tissues.

Start with splashing warm water on your face to cause Vasodilatation, which is dilation of the blood vessels. This will help you we appear more fresh. Follow with chilled teabags to create a great cold compress. When applied topically, caffeine tightens up the skin. Moisten black-tea bags and chill them in the fridge for an hour, then place on your eyes for 5-10 minutes.

Be cool as a cucumber. Cut up two cucumbers rounds and place over eyes. Put a cool washcloth over the cucumbers and lay down for about 5 minutes. If you are challenged with dark circles, try 2 slices of raw potato over your eyes for 15 minutes, as they have a skin-lightening enzyme called catecholase that can reduce the dark skin pigment.
Also consider stocking a bag of frozen peas because it will contour to the shape of your face, and the coolness tightens up pores and leaves your feeling enlivened!

Recommendation: Drink half your weight in ounces of fluid each day. For example, if you weigh 130 lbs., drink 65 oz. of water or herbal every day, which translates into 8 glasses of water. Rich mineral source teas include Nettle, Tulsi (Holy Basil) and Red Raspberry.

Cause: Water Retention

Recommendation: Watch the salt-shaker and limit your sodium intake to 2,300 milligrams a day. Salty foods can lead to swelling under the eyes. Load up on powerful natural diuretic plants such as dandelion and parsley. Also look for vitamin B6 foods like avocado and any green vegetable as they may actually reduce swelling.

Foods to focus on:

Dandelion, parsley, asparagus, and avocado are all rich in potassium, which can increase urine formation, decreasing water retention and lower blood pressure. Another benefit is that they are all high in B vitamins, which helps reduce stress and gives you energy.

Cause: Nutritional Deficiency. An unbalanced dietary intake can be the underlying cause of developing fatigue.

Recommendation: Get enough iron, protein and b-vitamins by eating lots of green vegetables and vitamin C rich fruits.  Vitamins and minerals play a big part in managing stress. If necessary, supplement vitamin B, C and iron to ensure you have enough critical nutrients for energy production. It's also important to eat lots of foods rich in vitamin A, such as yams and carrots.

Iron rich foods include spinach, teff, and tiger nuts. Vitamin C foods include red pepper, purple cabbage, and raspberries, vitamin B foods include collards, kale, and bok choy.

Cause: Allergies

Allergic reactions can also contribute to congestion and dark circles under the eyes. If you experience darkness and swelling underneath one or both eyes on a fairly regular basis, you may want to investigate if food could be the culprit.
When the sinuses became congested, it becomes more difficult for blood to continue on its path back to the heart, and the small veins right under the skin below the eyes may enlarge with pooled blood. Because these little veins are so close to the skin's surface, their swelling typically shows up as darkness (often purplish) right under the eyes.
Recommendation: The Elimination Detox

For most people, a simple reduction in refined sugar in combination with the simple diet adjustments detailed above will result in one feeling a lot less tired. However, for some people these shifts are not enough. Even after making better diet and lifestyle decisions, creating more energy or losing weight can be elusive to some people despite their best effort.

A big percentage of these people benefit from taking an additional step of testing the removal of certain foods from their diet for a short period of time.

Foods that cause fatigue and dark circles contain gluten (wheat bread, cereal, and wheat pasta) or are dairy (cheese, milk, ice cream). Other potential allergy foods include peanuts, soy and potato.

Many people have seen a tremendous increase in their energy levels, often combined with a reduction in physical pain simply by avoiding foods that contain gluten. This is why books such as Wheat Belly are very popular.
Recommendation: Find your Acid Alkaline Balance

Dark circles and under eye puffiness can be a sign of excess acidity in the body. Acidity in the body can stress both liver and kidney function that can manifest as a yellow cast on the skin and dark circles under the eyes. To balance your body’s PH, choose to eat lots of high mineral vegetables. For example, try berries for breakfast. Berries are filled with anti-oxidants that help fight oxidative damage on the skin.

Secret Tips for Looking and Feeling Energized

  1. Eat more good fats such as those found in fish and nuts, and reduce consumption of bad fats like those found in deep fried foods.
  2. Highlight on Coconut Oil: Coconut oil contains MCT’s that your body uses as fuel instead of storing as fat!
  3. Any fresh fruit or vegetable is going to energize you. Knowing and believing that these foods can make you feel less tired can help motivate you to make better choices during the day.
  4. Eat healthy amounts of high quality protein. Meat from grass fed animals contain more healthy omega-3 fats over meat from animals that are fed corn.
  5. Eat more natural antihistamines such as Quercetin Found in Red Onion and Apples to help boost the body’s immune response to food allergies and environmental irritants
  6. Reduce high glycemic carbs such as bread, bagels, cereals, muffins, potatoes, candy and sugar containing drinks that sap energy and leave you feeling and looking tired

Sadness Shows in the Skin

Psychological factors such as anxiety and/or depression can also result in fatigue. Elevate your mood by increasing folic acid, omega-3 fats, and vitamin D. Studies have shown that taking a high quality fish oil helps improve mood, reduce pain and increase cardiovascular health.

Go out and have fun! Have you ever seen a friend who just had a boost of joy and it took a few years off their face? Give yourself a break and invite your friends to a healthy potluck or out for tea, or take an inspirational walk with a loved one. You’ll be amazed how energized it can be!


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

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