Diabetes: the 6 best foods to combat fatigue when you suffer from this disease


It’s no secret to say that Type 2 diabetes can affect the energy levels of those who have it. The truth is that fatigue as such is a common symptom of diabetes, there are many reasons why diabetes can cause it, among which are: changes in blood sugar levels, other symptoms of diabetes, complications of diabetes, mental and emotional problems, sleep disorders and being overweight.

It should be mentioned that fatigue and tiredness are not the same. When a person is tired, they usually feel better after resting. For its part, fatigue that tends to become chronic occurs when rest does not alleviate the feeling of exhaustion and lethargy. According to the Diabetes Society of America (ADA), a study showed that 61% of people with type 2 diabetes (recently diagnosed), reported fatigue as a symptom. In fact the same study determined that fatigue is the second most common symptom in this group.

Diabetes affects the way the body regulates and uses blood sugar. When a person eats, the body breaks down food into simple sugars or glucose. In people with diabetes, the pancreas does not make enough insulin or the body does not use insulin efficiently. Cells need to absorb glucose from the blood. If cells don’t take in enough glucose, it can build up in the blood.

It is well known that the cells of the human body need glucose to provide energy, therefore fatigue and weakness could appear when the cells do not get enough glucose. Fortunately, through changes in lifestyle and especially in diet, it is possible to reduce fatigue and through correct food choices including fueling up and losing weight. Here are some infallible recommendations.

1. Unprocessed food

One of the main causes of diabetes is a high consumption of processed foods and fast foods. These are foods that can be comforting and highly accessible, however they are characterized by their high caloric intake and low nutritional value. They are also usually very rich in added sugars, refined flours, sodium, saturated and trans fats. This category includes most packaged or canned foods, precooked meals, pastries, desserts, sweets and ice cream. It is very important to base the diet on natural foods rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber, of course fruits and vegetables are the essential base.

Vegetable Salad
Salad. / Photo: Pexels

2. Fresh fruits and vegetables in season

It is simpler than you think: the fresher the food, the more nutrients it contains. Fresh foods are the basis of any healthy and balanced diet, not only do they add versatility to the diet, their immense range of colors reflects their density in multiple nutrients. Bet on choosing seasonal variants, they are not only more accessible in price, they will always be fresher and their nutritional value will be enhanced. Create fun and exotic combinations, and do not forget to save the shell in those that are viable.

Fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables. / Photo: Pixabay

3. Caffeine-free drinks

Keep a adequate hydration It is too important a measure when you have diabetes, it guarantees the proper functioning of organs and systems. It also benefits blood glucose control and protects kidney health. It is important to make smart choices when it comes to your everyday beverages and to be careful with your caffeine intake. Although it is advisable to drink it in moderation and has been linked to some health benefits, these types of drinks are usually provide a short-term boost and they don’t actually provide quality energy to the body. Sure, the first few sips can take effect quickly, however without providing the body with good nutrition and balanced meals and snacks, fatigue will eventually set in. The consumption of herbal and spice infusions, natural water, green smoothies and certain types of teas is recommended.

ginger tea
Ginger infusion. / Photo: Shutterstok

4. Lean proteins

Proteins are simply essential for the proper functioning of the body, they are related to important tasks. It is important to choose protein sources of high biological value that do not add saturated fat to the diet, which is why leaner meats such as chicken, turkey, and certain types of fish provide quality protein without harmful fats. Also, going for variants of fatty fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon and tuna, can add beneficial and heart-healthy fats. Adequate protein consumption is also very important for benefit weight loss.

Fish steak
Fish. / Photo: Pexels

5. Whole grains and complex carbohydrates

Everything has been said around the consumption of carbohydrates in the diabetic diet, however it is important to know that the biggest problem is related to processed foods that are rich in refined carbohydrates such as sugars and white flour. They provide calories and very little nutrition. On the contrary, the choice of whole foods and complex carbohydrates ensures that the body gets all the benefits of the grain husk that is essential for add fiber to the diet. Fiber improves digestive and intestinal function and benefits weight loss. Bet on the consumption of foods such as oats, brown rice, quinoa and sweet potatoes.

Quinoa salad
Quinoa. / Photo: Pixabay

6. Nuts and seeds

Nuts and seeds are some of the best foods to fight fatigue and fight hunger. They are packed with nutrients, they are incredibly satisfying and they are the clear representation of healthy energy. Bet on integrating into the daily diet the consumption of almonds, various nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, pine nuts, pistachios, sunflower seeds, chia and pumpkin. It is important to choose the raw and unsalted versions, in fact they are the perfect snack and go wonderfully with many dishes. Add a handful to yogurt, smoothies and salads.

Nuts and seeds. / Photo: Shutterstock

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