by Dr. Blessing Anyatonwu
Diabetes is currently the third-leading cause of death among African-American women. It is also the leading cause of blindness, kidney failure and amputation. Diabetes is a preventable disease; exercise and diet have been shown to reverse diabetes.
Eating healthy and exercising regularly reduces and reverses your risk of diabetes and keep you from developing life threatening complications. The 2 most common excuses that I hear in my office include the following: eating healthy or buying healthy food is too expensive and there is no time for exercise.
What price do you place on your health? Quality of life is more important than quantity so it’s better to invest in your health now so that you can enjoy good health later.
Types of Diabetes
Type I Diabetes is usually referred to as insulin dependent or juvenile onset diabetes; it is thought to be an auto immune disease and affects children and young adults.
Insulin dependent diabetes is an autoimmune disease and is the result of the immune systems attack on the beta cells in the pancreas. When the beta cells of pancreas are destroyed they can no longer produce insulin.
Insulin is a hormone that is only produced by the beta cells and it moves the glucose out of the blood and into the cells where the body will use it for energy.
Type II Diabetes is referred to as non-insulin dependent or adult onset diabetes, which is misleading because children are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at an alarming rate. The inability of the body to respond to or use the insulin secreted is called insulin resistance and is due to the overworked beta cells. When the cells do not respond to insulin they can’t move the sugar from the blood into the cells.
Type II diabetes is preventable and can be reversed with long term lifestyle change. Regular exercise increases muscle mass and helps the muscle cells to get rid of stored sugar; this makes them more sensitive to sugar and allow them to take the glucose from the blood stream and pull in into the muscle cells where it will be used.
Eating a diet rich in vegetables, legumes and nuts will provide you with the fiber and micro minerals needed to help you naturally regulate your blood sugar levels. People who are diabetic or pre diabetic are usually deficient in vital nutrients like magnesium, potassium and chromium.
Nutrients for Diabetes
Chromium increases the action of insulin action and restores normal glucose function
Helps balance blood lipid levels
Found in whole grains, cereal, fruits and vegetables
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that works with chromium to help regulate blood sugar levels.
- Promotes heart health
- Boosts immunity
- Protects the cardiovascular system from free radical damage
- Can act as a natural cholesterol reducer
- Reduces CRP levels (strong marker for heart disease)
- Promotes would healing (problem in diabetics)
- Protects against cataracts
- Anti cancer
- bell peppers (red , yellow and orange), parsley, broccoli (steamed), cauliflower, turnip greens, carrots, romaine lettuce, kale, celery (raw)
- kiwifruit, papaya, oranges, tomatoes, grapefruit, blueberries, raspberries, pineapple watermelon
- Keeps and maintains pancreas health and functioning
- Deficiencies leads to blood sugar issues
- Muscle spasm (heart is a muscle)
- Muscle weakness, tremor, spasm
- Protects the brain
- Decreases blood pressure
- Sea weed
- Turnip greens
Dr.Blessing Anyatonwu is a health advocate, speaker and health care professional that believes that prevention is the best medicine. She is in private practice in Austin, Texas and provides nutritional counseling for clients that are tired of being told that drugs are the only answer to their health problems. She helps clients come up with an individualized plan for their health success.