Our Better Health

Diet, Health, Fitness, Lifestyle & Wellness


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Top 5 must-have foods for every diet

By Dr. Joey Shulman DC, registered nutritionist

Read about the five foods you should add to your diet.

There are literally hundreds of healthy food items that should be part of your diet. However, certain foods offer more nutritional bang for their buck. While I am always wary of news reports that claim a specific food is a “cure all”, there is no denying that specific nutrient-dense foods are higher in antioxidants (which help neutralize free radicals that cause disease), minerals, vitamins and phytochemicals.
As a whole, the diet should be filled with an abundant amount of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and essential fats. However, if I were to name 5 of the foods that ranked high on the nutritional superstar scale, the following would be my choices:

Kefir – Kefir is a creamy rich dairy product similar to yogurt. Kefir is low in calories (one cup has only 87 calories) and rich in protein, calcium, magnesium and vitamin B12. Kefir also offers a rich amount of “good bacteria” called probiotics that are helpful for people with digestive complaints. Kefir can be used in your morning smoothie, used to marinate your favorite meat or fish or added to a cream or vegetable puree soup. While kefir can be purchased in most health food and grocery stores in Canada, it is best to avoid flavored kefir (i.e. fruit flavored) as it is higher in sugar.

•Substitute kefir for the called-for amount of yogurt in this delicious Curried Lentil Burgers with Coriander Yogurt recipe.

Walnuts – Walnuts have the highest amount of omega-3 essential fat in comparison to any other nut. They are also rich in protein, fiber, B vitamins, anti-oxidants and vitamin E. The research on walnuts and their associated heath benefits is incredibly strong and convincing. Scientific studies show that including walnuts in the diet helps to reduce the risk of heart disease (by improving blood flow and elasticity of the vessels) and aids in lowering LDL cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol). The only caveat – similar to other nuts, walnuts are higher in calories. Thus, 1.5 ounces or 20 walnut halves per day is recommended.

• Walnuts for dinner? This recipe for Linguine with Walnuts and Garlic Oil is a great way to add the nutrition of nuts to your dinner plate.

Blueberries – All fruits are known for their health benefits; however, blueberries appear to be topping the charts. According to the US Department of Agriculture Analyses, blueberries have 40 per cent more antioxidant capacity than strawberries. Blueberries are high in vitamin C and can help strengthen the immune system. This delicious berry has also shown other health benefits such as improving eyesight and circulation, acting as a natural diuretic, enhancing blood flow and helping to alleviate symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Blueberries can be frozen for future use, but do not wash them before freezing. Use blueberries in a morning smoothie, in salads, yogurt or muffins or alone as a sweet, scrumptious snack.

• Try Blueberry Oatmeal Squares for a delicious snack.


Whole grains – The benefits of whole grains vs. refined grains is immense. Whole grains remain intact and contain all three parts of the grains which are;

1) The Bran – The bran is the outer shell of the grain that is rich in fiber, b vitamins and trace minerals.

2) The Germ – The germ is the inner part of the grain that is also rich in b vitamins, vitamin E, unsaturated fat and phytochemicals (plant chemicals that prevent disease)

3) The Endosperm – The endosperm contains carbohydrates, some protein and b vitamins.

Examples of whole grains are sprouted grains, quinoa, bulgur, brown rice, whole wheat flour, oatmeal and millet. Repeated studies have shown whole grains to reduce the risk of stroke, Type II diabetes, heart disease and assist with weight maintenance.

• Fill your family up with good-for-you fibre. Try Whole Grain Couscous as a simple side dish.

Wild salmon – Wild salmon is an excellent source of highly digestible, high quality protein. This delicious fish is rich in nutrients, containing Vitamins D, B6 and B12. Salmon is also a good source of vitamin E which has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease. Salmon is an oily fish rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids (specifically EPA & DHA). Omega-3 fats have been shown to reduce inflammation, improve brain function, decrease cholesterol levels and they also help alleviate and heal bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease and colitis. Salmon also contains far less saturated fat than other protein sources such as chicken and red meat. Poached, baked or on the BBQ – wild salmon is a wonderful addition to the diet.

• This Grilled Salmon with Ginger Green Onion Relish recipe is a family favourite, and is also great for nights when company’s coming.

In addition to the list above, other “nutritional superstars” that should make it into your grocery cart include:

• Omega-3 eggs
• Raspberries
• Hemp seeds
• Green leafy vegetables
• Bright orange vegetables
• High quality yogurt
• Ground flaxseeds
• Red and kidney beans
• Blueberry
• Cranberry
• Artichoke
• Broccoli and spinach (to name just a few!)

Bon appetit to health!

Dr. Joey Shulman DC, registered nutritionist is the author of the best selling book The Last 15 – A Weight Loss Breakthrough. For more information or to book a free weight loss assessment, please visit http://www.drjoey.com



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Whole Grains: Quinoa from the Andes

by Karen Railey

Quinoa (pronounced Keen-wah) is an ancient food that is not yet well known in North America. It has been cultivated in South American Andes since at least 3,000 B.C. and has been a staple food of millions of native inhabitants. The ancient Incas called quinoa the “mother grain” and revered it as sacred. Each year at planting time it was traditional for the Inca leader to plant the first quinoa seed using a solid gold shovel! Quinoa was used to sustain Incan armies, which frequently marched for many days eating a mixture of quinoa and fat, known as “war balls.” Beginning with the Spanish conquest in the 1500s, there was a 400-year decline in the production of quinoa. It became a minor crop at that time and was grown only by peasants in remote areas for local consumption.

In Peru, Chile and Bolivia, quinoa is now widely cultivated for its nutritious seeds, and they are referred to as “little rice.” The seeds are used in creating various soups and bread, and also fermented with millet to make a beer-like beverage. A sweetened decoction of the fruit is used medicinally, as an application for sores and bruises. Quinoa has been grown outside of South America for a relatively short time. It is grown in Canada and has been grown in the U.S., in Colorado since the 1980’s by two entrepreneurs who learned of the food from a Bolivian. They developed test plots in high arid fields in the central Rockies and began test marketing in 1985. Quinoa can be found in most natural food stores in the U.S.

Technically quinoa is not a true grain, but is the seed of the Chenopodium or Goosefoot plant. It is used as a grain and substituted for grains because of it’s cooking characteristics. The name comes from the Greek words, chen (a goose) and pous (a foot). This is due to a resemblance of the leaves of the plant to the webbed foot of a goose. The leaves are lobed or toothed and often triangular in shape. The succulent like plant grows from 4 to 6 feet high and has many angular branches. The flower heads are branched and when in seed looks much like millet, with large clusters of seeds at the end of a stalk. The plant will grow in a variety of conditions but favors a cool, arid climate and higher elevations. Beets, spinach, Swiss chard, and lamb’s quarters are all relatives of quinoa.

Quinoa grains range in color from ivory to pinks, brown to reds, or almost black depending on the variety. There are over 120 species of Chenopodium, but only three main varieties are cultivated; one producing very pale seeds, called the white or sweet variety; a dark red fruited variety called red quinoa; and a black quinoa. The seeds are similar in size to millet but are flat with a pointed oval shape and look like a cross between a sesame seed and millet. Quinoa has a delightful characteristic that is all it’s own: as it cooks, the outer germ around each grain twists outward forming a little white, spiral tail, which is attached to the kernel. The grain itself is soft and delicate and the tail is crunchy which creates and interesting texture combination and pleasant “crunch” when eating the grain. Quinoa has a fluffy consistency and a mild, delicate, slightly nutty flavor that borders on bland. The leaves of the Goosefoot (quinoa) plant are also edible and make a pleasant vegetable, like spinach. A quinoa leaf salad is generally more nutritious that most green salads.

Before cooking, the seeds must be rinsed to remove their bitter resin-like coating, which is called saponin. Quinoa is rinsed before it is packaged and sold, but it is best to rinse again at home before use to remove any of the powdery residue that may remain on the seeds. The presence of saponin is obvious by the production of a soapy looking “suds” when the seeds are swished in water. Placing quinoa in a strainer and rinsing thoroughly with water easily washes the saponin from the seeds. In South America the saponin which is removed from the quinoa is used as detergent for washing clothes and as an antiseptic to promote healing of skin injuries.

The quinoa seed is high in protein, calcium and iron, a relatively good source of vitamin E and several of the B vitamins. It contains an almost perfect balance of all eight essential amino acids needed for tissue development in humans. It is exceptionally high in lysine, cystine and methionine-amino acids typically low in other grains. It is a good complement for legumes, which are often low in methionine and cystine. The protein in quinoa is considered to be a complete protein due to the presence of all 8 essential amino acids. Some types of wheat come close to matching quinoa’s protein content, but grains such as barley, corn, and rice generally have less than half the protein of quinoa. Quinoa is 12% to 18% protein and four ounces a day, about 1/2-cup, will provide a childs protein needs for one day. The 6-7% fat of quinoa is relatively high when compared to other grains, but it boasts a low sodium content and also provides valuable starch and fiber. Quinoa also contains albumen, a protein that is found in egg whites, blood serum, and many plant and animal tissues. The seeds are gluten-free which makes this a nutritious and flavorful alternative grain for those with gluten sensitivity. Quinoa would be a worthy addition to anyone’s diet, supplying variety as well as good nutrition. The seed is also excellent feed for birds and poultry and the plant itself is good forage for cattle.

Cooked quinoa is excellent in hot casseroles and soups, stews, in stir-fries, or cold in salads. The seeds cook very quickly, in only 15 minutes. Uncooked seeds may be added to soups and stews as you would barley or rice and quinoa is often substituted for rice in rice dishes. Dry roasting quinoa in a pan or in the oven, before cooking will give a toasted flavor, and it can be cooked in fruit juice to add character to the flavor for use as a breakfast cereal or in desserts. Cold salads consisting of quinoa and chopped vegetables or cooked beans make a quick, easy, and nutritious dish. Quinoa flour is used in making pasta and a variety of baked goods such as pancakes, bread, muffins, and crackers. Quinoa seeds can be sprouted and eaten as raw, live food for snacks or in salads and sandwiches. To sprout the seeds, soak about 1/3 cup seeds in a jar for 2 to 4 hours, then drain and rinse the seeds twice a day for 2 to 4 days. When the sprouts are about 1 inch long, place them near a window for chlorophyll to develop, which will give them a vibrant green color. Another fascinating way of using quinoa is to “pop” the seeds in a dry skillet and eat them as a dry cereal.

Due to the relatively high oil and fat content of quinoa, the grains and flour should be stored in glass jars in the refrigerator. Use the grains within a year and flour within 3 months.

source: chetday.com


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Obesity rates rise, threaten health in OECD nations

LONDON Tue Feb 21, 2012


(Reuters) – More people in developed countries are overweight or obese than ever before, dooming them to years of ill health, pushing up healthcare costs and piling more pressure on health systems, a report by the OECD found on Tuesday.

The Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development found obesity rates vary widely from a low of 4 percent inJapan and Korea to 30 percent or more in the United States and Mexico.

But in more than half of the 34 OECD countries, at least one in two people is now overweight or obese, and rates are projected to rise further. In some countries, two out of three people will be obese within 10 years, the report said.

A man walks past the New York Stock Exchange after trading hours in New York August 17, 2009. Credit: Reuters/Lucas Jackson“(These people) will die early, and send healthcare costs ever higher,” the report’s authors wrote.

Experts say severely obese people die on average eight to 10 years sooner than people at normal weight, with every 15 extra kg increasing risk of early death by around 30 percent.

Obesity, defined by the World Health Organisation as a body mass index of more than 30, is estimated to be responsible for between 1 and 3 percent of total health spending in most countries – and for between 5 and 10 percent in the United States – and “costs will rise rapidly in coming years as obesity related diseases set in,” the OECD report said.

Body mass index or BMI is a measurement which compares weight and height. People are defined as overweight if their BMI is greater than 25 kg per meter squared (kg/m2) and obese if it is greater than 30 kg/m2.

A large global study last year found that more than half a billion people, or one in 10 adults worldwide, were obese and that the obesity epidemic was rapidly spilling over from wealthy into poorer nations.

This report, which the OECD said was a 2012 update to its 2010 report on the economics of obesity prevention entitled “Fit Not Fat,” did however find some good news.

New data for 10 of the 34 OECD countries showed that over the past decade, obesity rates slowed or stopped growing in England, Hungary, Italy, Korea and Switzerland, and grew by only 2 to 3 percent in France and Spain. Yet in Canada, Ireland and the United States obesity rates rose by 4 to 5 percent.

Looking at childhood obesity, rates have stabilized England, France, Korea and the United States and the OECD said this was partly due to governments stepping up efforts to tackle the root causes of obesity.

It noted that some governments, including those in Denmark, Finland, France, Hungary, had passed legislation in 2011 imposing higher tax rates on high-fat or high-sugar foods.

(Reporting by Kate Kelland)

source: reuters


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Foods That Can Help Save Your Life

By Anthony Gucciardi

Contributing Writer for Wake Up World

Chances are that a number of food-based and environmental stressors are adversely affecting your health, putting pressure on your biological function and taxing you away from your optimum health potential. If you eat junk food, live in a polluted city, drink alcohol, smoke, or take pharmaceutical drugs, you could be unintentionally loading your body with toxic substances. Thankfully, a mixture of great tasting and powerful food products can help heal this damage in addition to boosting your overall health condition.

Turmeric & Cayenne Pepper Nutrient Drink

For starters, Turmeric is one nutritional powerhouse that you should be consuming on a daily basis. Before purchasing any old Turmeric spice product, however, it is important that you buy the right kind. Look for pure Turmeric powder, as opposed to commercial curry powders that contain less concentrations of pure Turmeric. It is also highly preferable that you purchase 100% organic Turmeric to avoid fillers and lower quality ingredients. One great recipe involves Cayenne Pepper and Turmeric combined together in a health-enhancing recipe.

Take 1 teaspoon Turmeric & the smallest pinch of Cayenne Pepper and mix them with some olive oil in a glass shooter. This makes for a great start to the day, nourishing your body with vital nutrients. Alternatively, you can powder your breakfast meal choice with high quality Turmeric or purchase a whole food Turmeric supplement if that is not an option. Next up, it is time to discover the benefits of green superfoods.

Chlorophyll, The Green Nutrient Powerhouse

As you may know, Chlorophyll is actually responsible for the green pigmentation in plants. The biomolecule is what absorbs energy from the sun to facilitate photosynthesis in plants. Vital to metabolic functions such as growth and respiration, chlorophyll acts as the ‘blood’ of the plant, and it also provides powerful benefits to human health. Amazingly, research has found that chlorophyll can actually help to expel toxic mercury from your body — a truly potent quality in modern society, where mercury has run rampant. Even high-fructose corn syrup, a ubiquitous ingredient that populates supermarkets worldwide, has been found to contain mercury.

Beyond removing mercury from your body, chlorophyll has a whole host of other benefits.

Overall Health Benefits of Chlorophyll

According to peer-reviewed research, chlorophyll has been found to:

  • Help prevent cancer: Studies published in the journals Carcinogenesis and Food and Chemical Toxicology highlight the ability of chlorophyll to actually inhibit carcinogenesis.
  • Provide antioxidants & anti-inflammatory benefits: Carrying high levels of the vitamins A, C and E, chlorophyll has strong antioxidant capacity and has also been found to help reduce inflammation.
  • Rapid delivery of magnesium: A highly alkalizing effect, chlorophyll is a powerful source of readily available magnesium.
  • Contain protein, calcium, and folic acid: These nutrients are essential in red blood cells and boosting your immune system.

Altogether, this powerful string of healing foods will be reinforcing your immune system, removing waste, and much more — but where’s the true flavor? You may be pleased to learn that chocolate is the next top food, though it is important to choose the right kind.

Consume Dark Chocolate with 70-80% Cacao Content

Chocolate is full of nutrients, such as vitamins A, B1, B2, D, and E. Of course it is important to first look at the quality of the chocolate before biting in. It is important that the chocolate is organic, and contains at least 70% cacao content. The higher percentage of cacao, the better the chocolate is. This means that the chocolate will be darker, but not dark to the point of bitterness.

Oftentimes brand name chocolate found in grocery stores contains high fructose corn syrup and other harmful additives, making it a poor decision to eat or feed to your children. Make sure to check the ingredients list of your chocolate product to ensure it is free of these additives.

Epidemiologic investigations have found through numerous studies that chocolate consumption reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. This is due to flavonoids that are present in cacao, which promote heart health. The April, 2008 Journal of Nutrition published a double-blind controlled study that evaluated the effects of flavanol-containing dark chocolate. 49 adults participated in the study, who ate a diet set by the American Heart Association.

Participants consumed 1 cocoa dark chocolate bars 2 times daily, while keeping activity levels the same. The results were very interesting. Chocolate consumption reduced systolic blood pressure after 8 weeks, and reduced bad cholesterol by 5.3%. You can stay healthy and enjoy a treat at the same time with high quality organic chocolate. Organic dark chocolate can often be found at your local grocery store for a reasonable price. Reward yourself and your children with a treat that both tastes great and improves overall health.

Green Tea

Drinking green tea can slash your risk of illness, as it contains powerful antiviral components that a new study has associated with a lower risk of flu infection. Researchers examined more than 2,000 elementary school students who were given questionnaires about their green tea consumption and illness during influenza season. What they found was those who consumed green tea daily were sick less often.

The research concluded that drinking between 1-5 cups per day slashed flu rates, though the benefits stopped after 5 cups. The abstract of the study states:

However, there was no significant association with the consumption of [more than] 5 cups [per day]. Our findings thus suggest that the consumption of 1-5 cups [per day] of green tea may prevent influenza infection in children.

Green tea has been used for centuries by many cultures as a medicinal tea.

Seaweed: Kelp, Dulse

Various forms of seaweed, particularly kelp, are beneficial to your overall health as well as protecting you from harmful radiation. A natural source of iodine, kelp is a great food to consume and stockpile in the event of a nuclear catastrophe such as the Fukushima disaster. Choked full of vital minerals, these ocean superfoods will help to regain optimum levels of essential minerals within your body. It is important to ensure that you are purchasing these products from a high quality source, as ocean life is particularly prone to mercury contamination.

Mushrooms

Shiitake, Matsutake, Chantrel — mushrooms are a great source of riboflavin, niacin, and selenium. Selenium, of course, is an antioxidant that works with vitamin E to protect cells from the damaging effects of free radicals. Oftentimes, many individuals may not be taking full advantage of selenium, or other nutrients that mushrooms often contain such as potassium. In the Baltimore study on Aging, men with the lowest blood selenium levels were 4 to 5 times more likely to have prostate cancer compared to those with the highest selenium levels. One medium portabella mushroom has even more potassium than a banana or a glass of orange juice (remember to always juice your own oranges, don’t buy the chemical filled commercial junk).

Utilizing these powerful healing feeds in your diet can not only boost your overall health and mental clarity, but it can help defend against potentially life-threatening diseases. Remember to always purchase 100% high quality organic whenever possible, and avoid toxic additives like high-fructose corn syrup.

About the author:

Anthony Gucciardi is an accomplished investigative journalist with a passion for natural health. Anthony’s articles have been featured on top alternative news websites such as Infowars, NaturalNews, Rense, and many others. Anthony is the co-founder of NaturalSociety, a website dedicated to sharing life-saving natural health techniques. Stay in touch with Natural Society via the following sites Facebook – Twitter – Web

source: wakeup-world.com


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Wheat

A couple of weeks ago, I was tested for allergies. Other than a mild reaction to wheat, I was not allergic to anything else. The allergist told me that my slight wheat allergy was really nothing to worry about and that I could continue eating anything and everything.


OK … but, this started me thinking … “What is in my diet that has wheat?”

It turns out – quite a bit. From the cereal at breakfast, to the sandwich at lunch, to the pasta at dinner time, to my favourite healthy muffins … wheat is pretty much all over the place

For a long time now, I had tried to ensure I stick to whole grains and whole wheat products (bread, crackers, pasta) as much as possible instead of regular white bread or regular pasta. However, after this visit to the doctor’s, I became a little more aware of wheat in my diet.

Then I came across this article, that spoke of how, over the years, even the seeds used in the production of our wheat had been genetically modified. The article also spoke about how today’s wheat products will often make us fatter.

ACK! While I heard of genetically modified foods becoming more of a problem in our diets recently, this article really struck a chord with me. When I look at all the foods in our diets that contain wheat … well, it is everywhere.

Then I asked myself … “Would it be possible to live without wheat?”

The answer is of course yes … if I really had to. Currently, wheat is a major source of calories in my life, but over time, I certainly could shift towards a wheat – free diet.

In the short term, I hope to MINIMIZE my consumption of wheat products. I will gradually replace foods, one by one, with what I hope to be healthy substitutes. I know there will be times (especially in the first while) where I will likely compromise … but in the bigger picture, I hope to reduce my overall wheat consumption substantially.

This recent goal has also pushed me to examine how balanced my meals are. Am I eating enough protein with most meals? Are there too many carbohydrates in my diet? Am I getting my share of fruits and vegetables? I hope to research this soon, and share what I learn with you.

My journey toward a healthier lifestyle continues …
thanks for coming along for the ride!
: )

Pete Szekely


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Protect Yourself from Alzheimer’s Disease

Worried about Alzheimer’s disease? Here, four simple steps that can stave off dementia and keep your memory strong.

from Reader’s Digest December 2011 / January 2012


If everyone in North America added just one healthy habit, it might prevent or delay a million cases of Alzheimer’s disease that would otherwise be expected to occur over five years, says psychiatrist Gary Small, MD, director of the UCLA Longevity Center. Research hasn’t yet proved that lifestyle changes can ward off the disease, he says in his new book, The Alzheimer’s Prevention Program (Workman, $24.95) — “but if you read the small print, the evidence is compelling.” With the oldest baby boomers reaching their mid-60s, when Alzheimer’s risk starts to climb, we asked him what changes matter most.

Get some exercise. Sure, that’s always the Answer to Everything, but studies have shown that when couch potatoes start a fitness program, it’s not just arm and leg muscles that bulk up; key portions of the brain do too. “You can build brain muscle,” Dr. Small says. “You don’t have to become a triathlete — park your car a bit of a distance from your destination. Take one flight of stairs. Start slowly and build up.”

Stretch your mind. Crossword puzzles get all the attention, but mental challenges of every sort appear to help ward off Alzheimer’s, Dr. Small says. Take a class, or talk politics with a friend. As long as you avoid alienating each other, you’ll reap double benefits, since studies suggest that having a network of friends can lower the risk of dementia by as much as 60 percent.

Feed your brain. Want to keep all your marbles? Eat well, just not too much: “If you’re overweight at midlife, it doubles your risk for dementia,” Dr. Small says. “If you’re obese, it quadruples it.” A Mediterranean-style diet (heavy on produce, whole grains, and fish) is good because it lowers the risk of diabetes — and diabetes is a major risk factor for Alzheimer’s.

Manage your stress. One study found that people who were easily stressed were twice as likely as calmer sorts to develop Alzheimer’s over about a five-year period. Meditation can help; studies show it can actually increase the size of parts of your brain that control memory. But so can tai chi, getting a massage, and taking an after-dinner walk with a friend. Whatever you do, don’t stress about your Alzheimer’s prevention plan, Dr. Small says. Little steps will take you a long way.

Some supplements may help ward off Alzheimer’s disease. What the doctor recommends:

Definitely take: A MULTIVITAMIN “As we get older, we don’t always absorb all the nutrients we need,” Dr. Small says. “I see it as insurance.”

Worth considering: FISH OIL People who get lots of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids have a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease. The supplement is safe (if you don’t take megadoses) and relatively inexpensive.

Looks exciting: CURCUMIN More research is needed, but this compound, found in turmeric, appears to lower levels of inflammation throughout the body — and, like fish oil, may prevent brain changes linked to Alzheimer’s.

source: RD.com


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Fatigue

By Mayo Clinic staff

Definition

Nearly everyone struggles with being overtired or overworked from time to time. Such instances of temporary fatigue usually have an identifiable cause and a likely remedy.

Chronic fatigue, on the other hand, lasts longer and is more profound. It’s a nearly constant state of weariness that develops over time and diminishes your energy and mental capacity. Fatigue at this level impacts your emotional and psychological well-being, too.

Fatigue isn’t the same thing as sleepiness, although it’s often accompanied by a desire to sleep — and a lack of motivation to do anything else.

In some cases, fatigue is a symptom of an underlying medical problem that requires medical treatment. Most of the time, however, fatigue can be traced to one or more of your habits or routines. Chances are you know what’s causing your fatigue. And with a few simple lifestyle changes, it’s likely that you have the power to put the vitality back in your life.

Causes

Taking a quick inventory of the things that might be responsible for your fatigue is the first step toward relief. In general, most cases of fatigue may be attributed to three areas: lifestyle factors, psychological problems or medical conditions.

Lifestyle factors

Feelings of fatigue often have an obvious cause, such as:
· Alcohol use or abuse
· Caffeine use
· Excessive physical activity
· Inactivity
· Lack of sleep
· Medications, such as antihistamines, cough and cold remedies, prescription pain medications, heart medications, blood pressure medications, and some antidepressants
· Unhealthy eating habits

Psychological problems

Fatigue is a common symptom of mental health problems, such as:
· Anxiety
· Depression (major depression)
· Grief
· Stress

Medical conditions

Unrelenting exhaustion may be a sign of a medical condition or underlying illness, such as:
· Acute liver failure
· Anemia
· Cancer
· Chronic fatigue syndrome
· Chronic kidney failure
· COPD
· Emphysema
· Heart disease
· Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid)
· Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid)
· Medications, such as prescription pain medications, heart medications, blood pressure medications and some antidepressants
· Obesity
· Pregnancy
· Recovery from major surgery
· Restless legs syndrome
· Sleep apnea
· Type 1 diabetes
· Type 2 diabetes

Causes shown here are commonly associated with this symptom. Work with your doctor or other health care professional for an accurate diagnosis.

source: MayoClinic.com