DIABETES – MAINTAINING YOUR HEALTH

If you’ve already been diagnosed with Type II diabetes you can still have a healthy and vital life. There are many alternative therapies that have been shown to be of great benefit. There are also simple changes you can make to your lifestyle which can greatly enhance your well-being. These can be grouped into three categories:

LIFESTYLE
Beginning a regular exercise routine is one of the most important steps you can take. Physical activity improves the body’s response to insulin. It will also help you to lose weight, which is vital to controlling or eliminating diabetes. Take a moment to stop and think about your current level of activity. Are you moving your body each day?

Your options are limitless. Try doing a variety of activities so that you keep your interest. Add in the use of a Chi Machine. Not only does using one of these units act as a form of passive aerobic exercise, but it will help your metabolism.

I do want to say, that for some people, exercising is just too much work. Their bodies have reached a stage where there just isn’t enough juice to get the motor running. I will talk more about this in the future.

For those of you who can relate, you need to prime the pump. That means taking some cutting edge supplements and reversing the downward spiral of fatigue and illness into an upward spiral of a healthy, happy, long life.

DIET
By being selective about which foods you put into your body, you can make great strides in your health. A diet emphasizing fresh vegetables, legumes and whole grains has been shown to influence the release of glucose into the bloodstream.

Fiber is particularly important. Research has shown that a high fiber diet lowers the body’s need for insulin. It also helps cells to release their energy more slowly so that you don’t experience dramatic highs and lows.

The other thing that can help is to eat small amounts of protein throughout the day. This will help to keep your blood sugar levels even through the day. Nuts are especially good for this. Almonds and walnuts contain high levels of zinc – a major nutrient for the production of insulin.

During the next week try keeping a food diary. Note how each food makes you feel. Use what you learn from this experience to guide you in making healthy diet choices.

My good friend Steve Cherniske used to go around the country teaching nutrition to nurses. The first thing he would do in the course is ask them to write down their 5 most favorite foods. Go ahead and do that now.

What he then told them was that more than likely, they were allergic to those 5 foods. Meaning, the body develops a resistance to something that it sees day after day, so vary the foods you eat.

SUPPLEMENTS
A great deal of research has been done on the effects of herbs and supplements in diabetes. Several have been found to have a profound effect on insulin production and utilization. It is also important to optimize digestion so that your body absorbs the nutrients from your food.

Chromium is an important trace mineral that plays a major role in sugar metabolism. Research has shown that this mineral potentiates insulin, assisting it to deliver glucose to the cells. The suggested dose is 200-400 mcg of chromium picolinate per day.

Gymnema is an Ayurvedic herb which has shown great promise in the treatment of type II diabetes by helping your body to absorb insulin. It also has the interesting ability to decrease your taste buds perception of sweet tastes. This can be of great benefit if you have an insatiable sweet tooth. The typical dosage is 400-600mg of the herb per day.

Fenugreek has been used for centuries in the Middle East as a cooking spice. Studies are now showing that this herb can lower blood sugar and cholesterol in people with diabetes. You can either add the seeds to your recipes or, if you don’t like the flavor, take the herb in capsule form. A dose of 5-30 g is recommended.

Taking a good enzyme supplement can also be of great benefit. If your diet has been less than optimal, chances are you may not be absorbing many of the nutrients from your foods. Enzymes help your body to break down and utilize the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients in your diet. I’m particularly fond of Digesticol, a great enzyme supplement that also contains flavonoids, antioxidants and herbs.

Remember, you have the power to make healthy choices. I’m here to support you in that decision and to provide you with the information and tools that you need.

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