How to rebuild your health when you're rundown and overworked.
Anxious, brittle nails, tired all the time, can't sit still, always catching the sniffles, can't get to sleep, and on top of that you're skin complaints are flaring up, you're feeling sluggish, bloated and having troubles in the restroom. Does this sound like you?
Sounds to me like you may be burning the candle at both ends!
If your busy schedule doesn't look like its slowing down anytime soon. Here are my top essential nutrients to help you cope, and where you can get them.
Zinc - supports:
- Wound healing, so bruises, cuts and infections can heal quicker
- Skin health, helping to calm down acne and skin irritation, as well as overall appearance
- Immunity, so you can get over your cold quicker and help ward off other nasty bugs
Put this on your plate: red meat, chicken, pork, crab, oysters, pumpkin and sesame seeds, cashews, quinoa, kidney beans and lentils.
Calcium - supports:
- Proper muscle and nerve function to help you keep up with stress and tensions of your busy schedule
- Heart health, the heart is also a muscle and it needs calcium to help it perform at its best
Put this on your plate: salmon with tiny edible bones, sardines, dark leafy greens eg. kale and spinach, tofu, chia seeds, almonds, sesame seeds/tahini, dried figs, dairy products if tolerated/desired.
Selenium – supports:
- A healthy thyroid. Selenium and iodine work together to keep thyroid function strong and consistent. The thyroid gland is responsible for controlling the speed of metabolism (metabolic and chemical processes) in our bodies, by affecting every cell, tissue, organ and organ system by the release of various hormones to the cells in our body. Despite being fairly rare to have, if this system isn’t in balance, then we can suffer a whole range of symptoms making us feel lousy including fatigue, brain fog, low energy, mood swings; or on the opposite end of the scale: anxiety, irritability, hot flushes, irregular heart beat and restlessness. Please note: These symptoms could be occurring because of a whole host of other reasons so it’s best not to self-diagnose, and go get checked out by a GP
Put this on your plate: brazil nuts, tuna, cod, red snapper, beef, chicken, turkey, sardines, prawns, liver, eggs, oats and spinach.
Vitamin D – supports:
- Neuromuscular and immune function
- Reduction of inflammation
- Calcium absorption in the gut and maintains adequate serum calcium and phosphate concentrations to enable normal mineralization of bone
Put this on your plate: oily fish – salmon, tuna, mackerel, beef liver, egg yolks, and select mushrooms.
B Vitamins – support:
- Enzymatic function in the body – allowing your body to perform at its optimum by giving your cells the nutrients it needs to perform hundreds of daily functions including energy production
- B12 helps keep the body's nerve and blood cells healthy and helps make DNA, and also helps prevent a type of anemia called megaloblastic anemia that makes people tired and weak
- B6 supports immune function and metabolism of nutrients allowing us to get the most out of our food
Put this on your plate: B12 – beef, liver, clams, fish, meat, poultry, eggs, nutritional yeast and dairy if tolerated/desired. B6 – in addition to the B12 choices, banana, potatoes, chickpeas and turkey.
- DHA omega-3s support proper function of our nervous system—including optimum brain function helping you work productively and efficiently in both work and daily tasks
- EPA omega-3s support a reduced risk of excessive inflammation and inflammation-related disease helping you combat stress induced inflammation
Put this on your plate: salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, and sardines. Plant based options: flaxseeds/linseeds, chia seeds, walnuts, soy beans.
Magnesium – supports:
- Us through stressful periods – we zoom through our magnesium stores when we are stressed out, and Magnesium is a cofactor in more than 300 enzyme systems that regulate a whole range of reactions in the body including protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control, and blood pressure regulation
- Restful sleep by helping to calm our nervous system down and decrease chronic inflammatory stress levels
- A good memory and mood – by improving brain electrical activity and neurotransmitter release of key chemicals such as serotonin, the happy hormone
Put this on your plate: dark leafy greens, mackerel, nuts and seeds, beans and lentils, dark chocolate, figs, banana, avocado, quinoa, and peanut butter.
Iron – supports:
- Our energy levels by providing oxygen from our lungs to all our tissues including our muscles and brain allowing them to function at their best
Put this on your plate: red meat, dark leafy greens, dried fruit, sardines, liver, oysters, white beans, chickpeas, lentils, soy beans, eggs and spinach. Note: Avoid caffeine when eating these foods and add a vitamin C rich food to help absorb the iron content.
- Sleep is so crucial for our body to recover, repair and restore - try and get as much as you can despite your busy schedule because its only going to benefit you!
- If you're too exhausted for a high intensity gym session or class, don't run yourself further into poor health by pushing yourself to do it - opt for restorative sessions of yoga, pilates, meditation and some simple weight training until your schedule calms down again and you can get into a better routine with more consistent exercise and energetic activity.
- Always carry water with you and drink it to ensure you remain hydrated as so many symptoms of feeling overworked can simply be because you're not drinking enough water.