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Low Energy in Seniors: Diet for Low Energy and Fatigue

While it might seem like being tired is synonymous with being older, it is not something you or your elderly loved ones need to just accept. There are many different causes of low energy in the elderly, and once you determine the cause, you can work on finding a solution.

What Causes Low Energy in Seniors?



Low energy in seniors can be caused by a few different illnesses or conditions, including:

  • Sleep Disorders

  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

  • Heart Disease

  • Arthritis

  • Anemia

  • Kidney Disorders

  • Depression

Some medications, especially antidepressants and the antihistamines you may take for allergies, can also cause fatigue.

One of the easiest ways to fight fatigue is by changing your diet. Using food to help with low energy is a great solution that is relatively easy and helps you avoid adding another prescription to your life.

Best Foods for Low Energy

When people think of energy-boosting food, they generally think of coffee, soda, or energy drinks. While the debate over whether or not caffeine is good for you rages on (remember the debates about eggs? It’s like that), there are better ways to get caffeine than drinking soda or energy drinks, which have tons of bad stuff in them.

The best drink for energy is green tea, specifically matcha if you want to be really fancy. A cup of green tea has about the same amount of caffeine as a third of a cup of coffee - but it has many other benefits coffee doesn’t have. It is packed with antioxidants, it’s good for digestive health, and amino acids that are good for focus.

Other foods you should add to your diet for low energy and fatigue include:

  • Fish - Fish is a lean protein and a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids help prevent heart attacks, relieve joint pain, and prevent cognitive decline.

  • Whole grains - Whole grains maintain their nutrient content, unlike white and wheat flour products. Whole grains contain complex carbohydrates, which you need for overall health, and have a lower impact on your blood sugar, so your energy levels stay stable rather than going up and down.

  • Fruits and Vegetables - this isn’t very specific, but it is a good reminder to make sure you have lots of color in your diet. Fruits and vegetables contain plenty of nutrients without too many calories. They also contain fiber for your digestive health.

  • Low-fat dairy products - Dairy products contain the calcium and vitamin D your body needs to absorb the calcium. They also contain the carbohydrates you need for energy. Look for low-fat options to help with your weight control while also gaining energy.

  • Foods high in iron - Anemia, or low iron levels, can cause fatigue in older adults. Foods right in iron include eggs, spinach, and red meat.

The most important food to avoid when struggling with low energy is refined carbs. Refined carbs have too much sugar, which can cause your blood sugar to spike and then crash, leading to fatigue. When avoiding refined carbs, you want to avoid white: white bread, white rice, crackers, pasta made with white or wheat flour, and sugary snacks.

As always, if you are struggling with a lot of fatigue and eating a well-balanced diet isn’t helping, check in with your doctor. Your fatigue could be caused by an underlying condition that they can treat.

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