Why does eat­ing make me tired?

New Zealand’s favourite well­be­ing ex­pert, Dr Libby an­swers read­ers’ ques­tions about their health.

The Tribune (NZ) - - YOUR HEALTH - Dr Libby is a nu­tri­tional bio­chemist, best-selling au­thor and speaker and is mak­ing a speak­ing tour of New Zealand. The ad­vice con­tained in this col­umn is not in­tended to be a sub­sti­tute for di­rect, per­son­alised ad­vice from a health pro­fes­sional.

Ques­tion: I feel re­ally tired af­ter eat­ing, why is this? This seems to be the case no mat­ter what I eat. Thanks, Chris­tine.

Hi Chris­tine, what and how you eat are crit­i­cal to your abil­ity to ab­sorb nu­tri­ents and ob­tain energy from food.

Eat­ing a whole foods diet rich in veg­eta­bles, nuts, seeds, some fruit, pro­teins and good fats fu­els most peo­ple.

Food is de­signed to en­er­gise us and if what you have eaten has led you to feel like you want to go to sleep, then re­flect on what as­pect of that meal may have caused that (this typ­i­cally oc­curs with take­aways or highly pro­cessed, low nu­tri­ent op­tions).

How­ever, feel­ing tired al­most im­me­di­ately af­ter eat­ing or within the hour af­ter­wards is ac­tu­ally quite nor­mal. This typ­i­cally oc­curs be­cause of va­sodi­la­tion, or widen­ing of the blood ves­sels sup­ply­ing your in­testines – part of the nor­mal parasym­pa­thetic re­sponse, or ‘‘rest and di­gest’’ re­sponse, to food en­ter­ing your stom­ach. The body wants to max­imise nu­tri­ent ab­sorp­tion into the blood­stream as well as main­tain per­fu­sion to the churn­ing stom­ach etc.

This re­di­rect­ion of a por­tion of blood vol­ume to the ‘‘nonessen­tial’’ or­gans can make many peo­ple feel tired af­ter a big meal. Ques­tion: Do you have any spe­cific health or nutri­tion rec­om­men­da­tions for mid­dleaged women? I’mnot feel­ing as fit or as happy with my body as I once used to. Thanks, Robyn.

Hi Robyn, the three bio­chem­i­cal process through which we age are ox­i­da­tion, in­flam­ma­tion and gly­ca­tion, and great nutri­tion goes a long way to pro­vid­ing our bod­ies with the sub­stances it needs to en­sure these pro­cesses hap­pen slowly rather than rapidly.

Midlife can be an un­set­tling time, as our bod­ies may start to change or re­spond to what’s aris­ing dif­fer­ently to how they may have in the past.

I be­lieve the body has our best in­ter­ests at heart and of­fers us feed­back to eat, drink, move, think, breathe, be­lieve or per­ceive

in a new way, so we need to see changes as the gifts that they are, of­fer­ing us an op­por­tu­nity to learn and grow. It is a time when it re­mains as im­por­tant as ever to con­tinue to nour­ish your­self and look af­ter your health.

For the first time in a long time there may be more space to con­sider your own needs and it can pro­vide a won­der­ful op­por­tu­nity to bring fo­cus back to pri­ori­tis­ing your own health and well­ness.

Nu­tri­tional re­quire­ments change as we age and it’s im­por­tant to con­tinue to move and to do so in a way that sup­ports joint health and mo­bil­ity.

Feel­ing tired al­most im­me­di­ately af­ter eat­ing or within the hour af­ter­wards is quite nor­mal.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.