Juicing for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

According to research conducted by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), between 1 and 4 million Americans suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Many are seriously impaired, and at least a quarter are unemployed or on disability because of CFS. Yet only about half have consulted a physician for their illness.

According to the CDC, the earlier a person with CFS receives medical treatment, the greater the likelihood that the illness will resolve. About 40 percent of people in the general population who report symptoms of CFS have a serious, treatable, and previously unrecognized medical or psychiatric condition, such as diabetes, thyroid disease, or substance abuse.

CFS symptoms might last for months or even years, and they may come and go sporadically. Unfortunately, many family doctors are not familiar with CFS. The best place to get an accurate diagnosis is with a rheumatologist. There is no one test for CFS. Instead, your specialist will first rule out other possible causes of symptoms, including systemic lupus and influenza, before arriving at a diagnosis of CFS.

Research shows that CFS is caused by an energy crisis in your body. Studies show that more than 90 percent of people can improve symptoms or even recover from CFS by consuming lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, getting adequate sleep and exercise, avoiding dehydrating substances such as caffeine and alcohol, and consuming more water.

The Role of Vitamin D

Recent studies at the University of Wisconsin and at the State University of New York at Buffalo have linked low levels of vitamin D to a host of chronic conditions, including CFS. Researchers agree that the present recommended daily requirement of vitamin D is much lower than the amount needed to fight disease and ensure optimum health. People with CFS need to take a vitamin D supplement every day.

Nutrients that Help Fight CFS

Some people with CFS have benefited from taking supplements of magnesium, a mineral that is involved in the cells' energy production. One British study found that people with CFS had below-normal blood levels of magnesium. After receiving injections of magnesium, 80 percent reported improvement in their symptoms.

In addition, B-complex vitamins help support the adrenal glands, which are among the major organs in the body connected with stress. B vitamins also support the nervous system and promote energy, which is essential for those with CFS.

Juicing for CFS

Juicing lets you combine mega-doses of essential nutrients into one delicious glass of juice, so mix and match the following vitamins and minerals into juice that help fight CFS and recharge your energy, concentration, and stamina.

  • Magnesium: Celery, cauliflower, spinach, beets and beet greens, dandelion greens, garlic, romaine lettuce, parsley, and carrots are rich sources of this mineral.

  • Vitamin D: Found mostly in cold water fish, you can add a little vitamin D to your juice via sunflower seeds and sprouts and mushrooms.

  • B vitamins: Good sources include leafy greens, nuts, beans, asparagus, kale, broccoli, cabbage, and spinach.

  • Vitamin A and beta-carotene: Find these nutrients in carrots, kale, parsley, chard, beet greens, watercress, broccoli, and romaine lettuce.

  • Carnitine: Many people with CFS have low levels of this amino acid. The best sources of carnitine are avocado, fish, red meat, tempeh, and wheat. Carnitine is not found in abundance in most other fruits and vegetables.

  • Vitamin C: This antioxidant helps fight free radicals and boosts immunity. Produce that contains abundant amounts of vitamin C include citrus fruit, kale, parsley, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, watercress, cauliflower, cabbage, spinach, turnips, and asparagus.

  • Zinc: This mineral boosts the immune system and helps fight infections. Find it in ginger root, turnips, carrots, cabbage, lettuce, cucumbers, and garlic.

  • Coenzyme Q10: This little-known nutrient is similar to that of vitamins E and K and can be found in soybeans, vegetable oils, and many meats. Like vitamins C and E and beta-carotene, coenzyme Q10 is also a member of the antioxidant family, a group of nutrients that protect your body's tissues from everyday wear and tear by disarming destructive free radicals. Coenzyme Q10 also promotes energy by helping cells convert protein, fat, and carbohydrates into energy. Coenzyme Q10 is not found in fruits and vegetables.

If you have CFS, be sure to get enough sun. Studies show that short periods of sun exposure help regulate circadian rhythms, the body's internal “clock” that tells you when to be awake and when to be active. Because sleep problems are a major concern for CFS sufferers, mild sun exposure may promote healthy sleep patterns.

Other Dietary Interventions

When it comes to battling chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), medical experts agree that the overall quality of your diet makes a big difference in how you feel. Here are a few other dietary changes that might prove helpful.

  • Go easy on the sugar. Eating too much refined sugar weakens the immune system and may inhibit the ability of white blood cells to stay active. Fruit is high in sugar, so limit fruit juice consumption if you have CFS and stick to homemade vegetable juices.

  • Cut the fat. Fatty foods are difficult to digest and can cause a general sluggish feeling, which can aggravate the fatigue associated with CFS needs. Limit your consumption of veggies that are high in fat, including avocados, nuts, and seeds.

  • Avoid processed foods, which are often full of additives, preservatives and artificial colorings and flavorings. Fortunately, homemade juice contains no preservatives, and is an excellent source of nutrients for those with CFS.

  1. Home
  2. Juicing
  3. Juicing for Energy and Stamina
  4. Juicing for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Visit other About.com sites: