Tips to Fight Fatigue

By Heide Kennedy, Arizona Farm Bureau Communications Intern

Do you ever feel just downright wiped out? Often times when I feel that way my first move is to reach for a cup of coffee or an energy drink, which sometimes doesn’t help and leads to another crash later in the day. These feelings of fatigue can be caused by many different things, and there are also multiple things that you can do to help combat it.

According to the Mayo Clinic, fatigue is most often caused by one or more lifestyle factors. These can include but are not limited to poor diet, medication side effects, lack of sleep, and too little or too much physical activity. Additionally, fatigue can also be caused by a wide variety of different health issues as well.

Thankfully, there are many ways to help fight that fatigue. Psychology Today suggests these tips for getting rid of fatigue. Things such as increasing physical activity, paying attention to diet, reducing caffeine intake, staying hydrated, sleeping well, and managing stress are all crucial when it comes to controlling fatigue.

It is never fun to always be feeling wiped out and exhausted. Take a moment to evaluate your lifestyle and see if you can identify one or more things that might be causing your fatigue and take the necessary steps to help stop it.

For more articles about health, check out the Fill Your Plate blog!



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Reduce Hypertension Through Diet

By Heide Kennedy, Arizona Farm Bureau Communications Intern

Did you know that almost half of Americans have hypertension? If left unmanaged, hypertension or high blood pressure can lead to worse health conditions later down the road, including heart issues, mental health issues, and diabetes. While medication is a method for controlling hypertension, your diet can also help as well.

According to registered dietician Kristin Kirkpatrick, there are actually foods to include in your diet that naturally help to lower blood pressure due to their nutrient content. Some of these foods include:

  • Avocados
  • Beets
  • Lemons
  • Dark chocolate
  • Coffee
  • Almonds
  • Celery
  • Spinach
  • Apples
  • Salmon
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Yogurt
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Cinnamon
  • Oregano
  • Garlic
  • Blueberries

Additionally, Kirkpatrick notes that it is best to avoid foods that are high in sodium, high in fat, and high in added sugars. Lifestyle factors such as reduced stress, adequate sleep, and regular exercise are also great ways to help address hypertension.

For more health-related articles, check out the Fill Your Plate blog!

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Decaf Coffee Versus Regular – Is One Healthier?

By Heide Kennedy, Arizona Farm Bureau Communications Intern

If you ask me, there is nothing like a good, strong cup of coffee. It tastes great, perks you right up, and is definitely a mood booster. Most people drink coffee for its caffeine content, but in some instances, you might not want all that caffeine. That’s where decaf coffee comes in. You still get to enjoy the taste and smell of coffee but without the effects of the caffeine.

According to registered dietician Christa Brown, decaf coffee is made by removing the caffeine from the beans with either a solvent, water, or carbon dioxide-based method, and then the beans are roasted at the appropriate temperature to evaporate the liquid used.

Regardless of whether you choose regular or decaf coffee, both are chock full of antioxidants which help to reduce the risk of developing cancer or other diseases by reducing inflammation in the body. In addition to antioxidants, coffee is also a great source of potassium, magnesium, and niacin.

Besides the fact that decaf coffee is at least 97% free of caffeine, there really is no difference between decaf coffee and regular coffee. Nutritionally, they both offer the same kinds and amounts of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. The choice is ultimately up to you and your caffeine content preferences!

Want to read more about coffee? Check out this collection of coffee articles from Fill Your Plate!

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Foods That Promote Low Blood Pressure

By Heide Kennedy, Arizona Farm Bureau Communications Intern

Did you know that about 50% of all American adults have high blood pressure? Most don’t do anything about it, which can lead to a heightened risk of heart attacks or strokes in the future. Luckily, however, your diet plays a big role in your blood pressure, so there are certain foods that you can eat to help either lower it or prevent it from getting high in the first place.

According to registered dietician Kate Patton, our bodies need certain minerals called electrolytes to regulate blood pressure, among other functions. Sodium and potassium are two of the most important electrolytes to have for healthy blood pressure. She notes that the typical American diet is already high in sodium, but it is low in potassium, an imbalance that causes high blood pressure over time. So, to combat this, she suggests eating a diet that is low in sodium and high in foods that are rich in potassium and magnesium.

With that being said, there are some foods that she suggests as being great for blood pressure regulation due to their mineral and electrolyte content. These include:

  • Seeds
  • Nuts
  • Fermented foods
  • Yogurt
  • Dairy products
  • Beans and lentils
  • Spices
  • Green tea
  • Salmon
  • Mackerel
  • Amaranth
  • Tomatoes
  • Berries
  • Beets
  • Spinach
  • Bananas
  • Kiwis
  • Pomegranates
  • Garlic
  • Artichokes
  • Lean meats
  • Whole grains
  • Oats and barley
  • Dark chocolate


Many of these blood pressure-friendly foods are ones that we produce right here in Arizona, such as meats, dairy products, beans, grains, fruits, and vegetables. So, consider picking some up at your local farmers market or grocery store. Not only will you be supporting Arizona farmers and ranchers, but you’ll also be taking steps toward promoting healthy blood pressure levels!

For more articles like this, check out the Fill Your Plate blog!

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Get Your Protein at Breakfast

By Heide Kennedy, Arizona Farm Bureau Communications Intern

We’ve all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. After all, it is the meal that breaks the fast we’d been holding all night while we slept. Since this is the first meal your body eats after that fast, you must get enough protein in this meal to give you a boost of energy that will last you.


Find out why breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. (photo credit:

So, why is protein so important? Protein is a macronutrient that is essential for cell maintenance, cell repair, and preserved muscle mass. It is also where we get the 9 essential amino acids that our bodies can’t make on their own. When we consume it along with high-fiber carbohydrates and healthy fats, it provides us with sustained energy and stable blood sugar levels, helping us to feel fuller for longer periods.

According to the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines, about 10-30% of our daily calorie intake should be comprised of protein. Breakfast is a great place to get a lot of that protein, as many breakfast foods such as eggs, bacon, sausage, yogurt, milk, and cheese are all very protein-rich!

Arizona agriculture produces each one of those high-protein breakfast foods mentioned above. So, when you’re out shopping at your local farmers market or grocery store, look for meats, eggs, and dairy products that are produced locally!

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