Whether you have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, living a holistic lifestyle will help your body heal and provide you with the tools to live a more productive, happy and healthier life coping with your illness.
Here’s the reality in today’s medical world: Your general doctors may prescribe you the medication you need and provide the immediately important advice to keep you alive. However, when it comes to holistic living, there’s so much more to consider than just taking your medication on time and minding your diet. This doesn’t mean becoming immediately consumed with change, but rather adopting little habits here and there that eventually add up and make a huge difference.
The goal here is to help stabilise blood sugar levels as a constant, and give the body a healthy environment which will enable damaged organs to self-heal. There have been many diabetic and pre-diabetic patients who have sworn by certain lifestyles having cured them of the illness. To that I say, everybody is different and each journey is a unique one. I’m certain you can heal yourself of certain conditions such as diabetes, because when you give the body a fair chance, you’d be amazed at what it can do.
In this blog, we’ve snipped together some of the top foods and herbs to implement into your diet if you’re suffering with any form of diabetes. There are so many foods to explore which are rich in the right nutrients, and the variety of meal options is mind-blowing. You don’t have to be limited when you’re following a healthy diet. With enough research and dedication to transform a previously unhealthy lifestyle into a holistic one, you’ll find that diabetes isn’t the only bad thing that your body will be rid of.
Fast facts on diabetes
- Diabetes is a long-term condition that causes high blood sugar levels.
- Type 1 Diabetes – the body does not produce insulin. Approximately 10% of all diabetes cases are type 1. This type of diabetes is also referred to as insulin-dependent diabetes, juvenile diabetes, or early-onset diabetes.
- Type 2 Diabetes – the body does not produce enough insulin for proper function. Approximately 90% of all cases of diabetes worldwide are of this type.
- Gestational Diabetes – this type affects females during pregnancy.
- The most common diabetes symptoms include frequent urination, intense thirst and hunger, weight gain, unusual weight loss, fatigue, cuts and bruises that do not heal, male sexual dysfunction, numbness and tingling in hands and feet.
- Pre-diabetes is the precursor stage before diabetes mellitus in which not all of the symptoms required to diagnose diabetes are present, but blood sugar is abnormally high. This stage is often referred to as the “grey area.”
- A healthy person, and a diabetic person both need a stable blood sugar level. When levels get too high or drop too low, problems occur.
Superfoods for diabetics
An essential mineral which aids in the normal function of insulin.
It is estimated that 90% of Americans don’t get enough chromium in their diet, according to the University of Maryland Medical Centre. While many foods offer small amounts of chromium, a few healthy options offer considerable amounts to help you get the recommended 20 to 35 micrograms per day.
The human body requires small amounts of this mineral in order to maintain overall health, and it just so happens that the essentiality of chromium was discovered when people in hospitals were developing diabetes whilst living off IV fluids. Nowadays, this essential trace element is added to IV drips, and we should all be eating plenty of foods that contain it such as:
- Broccoli (11 micrograms in a 1/2-cup serving.)
- Shellfish (Mussels 110 micrograms per 3 ounce serving and Oysters 49 micrograms.)
- One small pear (40 micrograms)
- 6 Brazil Nuts (28 micrograms)
- One medium sized tomato (25 micrograms)
Adding foods rich in vitamin C, such as red peppers, dark berries, sweet potatoes and fresh orange juice, improves your body’s ability to absorb more chromium. It just so happens that broccoli is also high in vitamin C, making it the perfect go-to food. Basically, by consuming mainly wholesome plant-based foods, you’re going to get all the nutrients you need and reverse some of the damage caused by the wrong types of foods. This doesn’t mean you need to go all-in and become vegan, but efforts should be taken to significantly reduce dairy and meat intake, and more importantly, remove processed foods that contain sugar.
Herbs & spices
Last month here at The School of Natural Health Sciences, we published a blog on Kitchen herbs that heal.
and shortly following that, a Fresh basil recipes blog.
Having our very own Herbalism course, we are well-versed on the benefits of herbs and all their wonderful beauty, health and medicinal uses.
- Improves Insulin sensitivity
- Improves cholesterol
- Helps with weight loss
Drink 2 to 3 cups of ginger tea daily.
Also, include fresh or dry ginger in your cooking.
- Helps stabilise blood sugar levels
- Aids in weight-loss
Include raw or powdered turmeric in your cooking.
Take a supplement, but only after consulting a doctor.
- Contains minerals that help normalise glucose levels
- Positive influence on carbohydrate metabolism
- Reduces risk of oxidative stress
Chew a few tender curry leaves daily in the morning on an empty stomach.
You can also add curry leaf powder to your soups, salads and stews.
Bitter Melon (Karela)
- Contains active substance with anti-diabetic properties
- Reduces blood glucose concentrations
- Suppresses appetite (good for weight loss)
- Rich in vitamins and minerals that help combat the symptoms of diabetes
Buy bitter melon supplements, which are available in capsule form from Asian grocery stores, health food or natural food stores. Look for 500mg capsules, which should be taken twice a day with meals or as directed on the package. Consult with your doctor first.
Take our Diabetes Risk Awareness Course
This course will be of benefit to every Holistic Therapist. This is seen as an ‘additional course’ to all other therapy training and is provided to broaden the knowledge and increase awareness of this ailment for everyone. Get qualified and learn about the following – among many other things:
- Why Holistic Therapists should be knowledgeable about diabetes
- Long term complications from diabetes due to late diagnosis
- Duty of care that the therapist owes to the client
- The endocrine system and the pancreas
- Production of the hormones insulin and glucagons
- The regulation of blood sugar
- Hyperglycemia and Hypoglycemia
- The importance of Diet and Weight Control and,
- Levels of blood glucose