What is diabetes?
Diabetes mellitus is a group of metabolic diseases which is characterized by high blood sugar (glucose) levels. High blood sugar levels result from insufficient insulin secretion, or its action, or both. Normally, blood glucose levels are tightly controlled by insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas.
Insulin lowers the blood glucose level. When the blood glucose elevates (for example, after eating food), insulin is released from the pancreas to normalize the glucose level. In patients with diabetes, the absence or insufficient production of insulin causes hyperglycemia.
Prevalence of Diabetes
According to the American Diabetes Association, there are 18.8 million people who diagnosed with diabetes, 7.0 million undiagnosed, and 79 million who are prediabetic (ADA). In most cases, diabetes Type II can be preventable with a healthy eating and exercise.
Eating the right foods is vital and important in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, especially in preventing or controlling diabetes.
Here are five foods that are diabetes friendly.
Asparagus is a non-starchy vegetable that contains only 5 grams of carbs per serving and 2 grams of the required dietary fiber. Asparagus is packed with folate, vitamin C, and antioxidant glutathione. Glutathione can help super charge your immune system and help against viruses.
Craving sugar? Eat a handful of berries such as blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries are packed with vitamin C, flavonoids which boost your immune system while fighting inflammation. Flavonoids also help lower cholesterol levels. Berries are great in smoothies as well.
3. Chia seeds
I love chia seeds. Chia seeds are high in fiber, calcium, and Omega 3 which can lower your triglycerides and raise your good HDL cholesterol level (goals of many people with diabetes). Check out this video I did on chia seeds.
Here is a healthy dessert chia seed dessert.
4. Bitter Melon
Bitter melon is a type of fruit that can be primarily found in Asian markets. Studies suggest that bitter melon may play a role in controlling the production of insulin by the body and thus controlling blood sugar levels. Consult with your doctor if you are on medication for diabetes before trying bitter melon since it may interfere with diabetes medications. You can either juice bitter melon or eat it raw.
Avocados are high in monosaturated fats and low in carbs which may improve insulin sensitivity. Monounsaturated fats also improve heart health — an especially important benefit for diabetics, who are at an increased risk for heart disease and stroke. Add a few slices of avocado to your meals.
For more recipes check out our Juicing Vegetables and Saturday Strategy community!