The ideal dish against chronic fatigue

Good to know

  • The concept of the optimal dish is perfectly compatible with a vegetarian diet, since cereals and legumes (lentils, chickpeas, white beans, etc.) are rich in proteins.
  • There is no need to stick to a fixed number of meals per day. People who have little appetite can very well divide them into four, five or six snacks. However, snacking is somewhat discouraged.

What are we talking about

Fatigue can be nervous, physical and / or intellectual in origin and usually disappears with rest. But when we lack recovery time, particularly due to our lifestyle, fatigue is likely to build up dangerously.

Some websites claim that there are “anti-fatigue foods” or even “anti-fatigue super foods”. Among the examples cited: citrus fruits, oily fish, green leafy vegetables, but also more anecdotally goji berries, spirulina or ginseng, in particular. The problem? To function optimally, our body above all needs a varied diet. Dietitians use the phrase “optimal dish”.


Optimal dish is a term that refers to a balanced meal, served in quantities appropriate to the person’s needs. These are approximate proportions, but they provide a good indication for a “standard” adult, whose energy requirement is estimated between 1800 and 2500 kcal per day. The composition of the optimal dish is based on the food pyramid, a diagram used by dieticians around the world.

A complete meal includes a drink, preferably water, with at least one type of vegetable or fruit, a starchy food (e.g. potatoes) and a portion of protein (meat, cheese, fish, etc.). Although the vegetable is generally presented as an accompaniment, it should be used in abundance.

What to do

How to compose an optimal dish? Here are some great rules.

  • The drink: still or sparkling water, herbal teas or tea, preferably without sugar.
  • Vegetables: one or more varieties of cooked or raw vegetables, as a side dish or main course. It is advisable to consume 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day, more precisely 3 vegetables and 2 fruits, a portion corresponding to a weight of 120 to 180 grams.
  • Starchy (or floury): potatoes, whole grains, legumes or related foods (e.g. quinoa, buckwheat or amaranth). The optimal dish is a portion, which is equivalent to 75-125 g of bread or 180-300 g of potatoes, or 45-75 g of rice, pasta, polenta or cereal flakes (dry weight), or even 60-100 g of legumes (also dry).
  • Protein: The ideal daily ration of meat, poultry or fish is 100-120g, which is not much compared to what many people are used to. To complete your protein intake, you can consume dairy products in the other meals of the day: either 150-200 g of fresh cheese, or 60 g of soft cheese, or 30 g of hard or semi-hard cheese, or another 2 dl of milk.
  • Fats: for cooking, use mostly cold-pressed oils (rapeseed or olive oil), a little less often butter.
  • Nuts and oil seeds – they complement meals perfectly and are interesting snacks, as they contain valuable nutrients. It is recommended to consume a small handful (20-30 g) every day.

Some suggestions

What about one-of-a-kind dishes, such as pizza, paella or lasagna? These are complete meals, as they include flour (pasta or rice), vegetables (at least one tomato coulis for pizza) and proteins (mozzarella, meat or seafood). However, it is advisable to accompany them with a good salad or possibly a vegetable soup as an appetizer.

Mixed salads are also complete dishes if enriched with a protein food (eggs, shrimp, tuna, ham, tofu, cheese) and served with bread, preferably wholemeal.