By Vicky Thompson
Supplement Manager at Sunny Bridge Natural Foods
Millions of Americans suffer from Type 2 Diabetes each day. A diabetic's life can improve significantly with some simple changes to diet and the addition of the right supplements.
One of the best ways to regulate how quickly sugar is released into the bloodstream is eating less simple carbohydrates, like table sugar, milk, honey, and some fruits and vegetables. On the other hand, you should eat more complex carbohydrates such as whole grains and legumes. These complex carbohydrates break down in the bloodstream at a slower rate.
When the pancreas isn't making enough insulin, glucose cannot be metabolized properly, resulting in high amounts of glucose in the bloodstream. The body cannot burn the glucose fast enough and it is then stored as fat in the body.
When checking the glycemic value of foods (effect on the blood glucose level), take into consideration the caloric count, amount of fiber and fat content. All affect the digestion of carbohydrates. Protein takes longer to digest; therefore eating some protein at each meal, (the best source being legumes for the added fiber) will help you feel full longer.
Many diabetics have found supplements beneficial in controlling blood sugar levels. Some find the mineral chromium helpful because of its ability to regulate carbohydrate and fat metabolism. In addition, Vitamin C can help insulin penetrate cells.
Gymnema, available as a tablet, is a favorite herb of those suffering with diabetes. It assists the pancreas in producing insulin. Studies indicate gymnema lowers blood sugar. If you take insulin, have your doctor monitor your levels while taking this herb. You may need less.
Other foods valuable in controlling side effects of the disease are asparagus, parsley and watercress, which act as diuretics, are helpful with kidney health and are beneficial in the control of diabetes. Bilberry, a relative of the blueberry, may lower the risk of diabetic cataracts and retinopathy. Ginkgo is great for the early stages of neuropathy, as it increases circulation. Cinnamon can increase insulin efficacy.
There are many ways to control diabetes naturally and make your life better. As always, check with your doctor first!