Food as medicine (4) — managing blood sugar levels

High Blood Sugar is one of the most common health menaces today. Here are some natural ways to keep it in balance, and prevent and manage diabetes. Eating the right foods can certainly go a long way to stabilize blood sugar levels, protect our heart, and even save our vision from the harmful effects of diabetes.

The following nine foods can be very effective in helping us balance our blood sugar levels, and avoiding, or managing, diabetes:

1. Apples

At a long-term research in Finland, researchers found that men who ate the
largest amount of apples had 20% less diabetes or heart associated death.
Their research indicated that the active ingredient responsible for this was
quercetin. If you can’t find apples or don’t like them, other lesser but still good sources of quercetin are onions, tomatos, green vegtables and forest berries.

2. Cinnamon

A research at the Human Nutrition Institute, Maryland, found that if you add just half a teaspoon of cinnamon a day to your diet, your cells will gradually become more sensitive to insulin, metabolizing sugar into energy more efficiently, and controlling blood sugar levels better.

Diabetes patients who received an extract of cinnamon every day for forty days
straight, experienced a noticeable reduction of blood sugar levels after a meal, as well as marked improvement in their cardiovascular health.

Cinnamon can be added to almost anything, so keep it handy and add just a bit every day to cooked or uncooked food — it may prolong your life!

3. Citrus Fruits

People suffering from diabetes often have a shortage of vitamin C in their bodies. Citrus fruits are chock full of vitamin C and antioxidants — making them a wonderful addition to your daily diet!

4. Cold Water Fish

Diabetics in general have a higher incidence of heart disease — as such, a diet rich in  Omega-3 amino acids, also known as ‘the good fat’ and found in cold water fish, can reduce the levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol while raising the levels of ‘good’ cholesterol.

5. Fiber rich foods

Not only does it help reduce those frequent trips to the bathroom, but research at the university of Texas found that people who raised their daily fiber intake from 24 grams to 50, experienced dramatic improvements in their blood sugar levels. In fact, the fiber rich diet is considered no less effective than certain diabetes medicines.

6. Legumes

Legumes are a great addition to soups, salads and a variety of other foods. This low fat, low calorie ingredient is also rich in fiber and proteins, helping to reduce the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Fibers slow the release of glucose in the blood, which prevents the rise in blood sugar levels.

8. Dark Chocolate

Researchers at Tufts university found that dark chocolate contains antioxidants that can improve a cell’s sensitivity to insulin (much like cinnamon does) and may reduce the risk of diabetes.

7. Green Tea

Research shows that chronic inflammation caused by fat-rich foods, little to no exercise and a diet lacking in proper amounts of fruits, vegetables, and ‘good fats’
can increase your chances of getting hit with cardiovascular disease and sabotage the body’s attempts to absorb the sugar in your blood.

A simple solution to this problem is to drink green tea and orange juice. They are replete with substances that prevent and fight inflammation. Green tea is also a wonderful source of antioxidants.

9. Apple-cider vinegar

Two spoons of apple-cider vinegar taken before a meal can help reduce blood sugar levels, according to a research done at university of Arizona. The study tested three groups of people: healthy,  those showing early diabetes, and full on diabetes.

The results: An hour after taking the apple-cider vinegar, the patients with diabetes had a 25% reduction in their blood sugar levels; the healthy and those with early signs of diabetes showed a 50% reduction in their blood sugar levels.

Make a list of these nine foods and add them to your grocery shopping regularly, whether or not you have the blood sugar problem. They are also preventives!

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