Everyone with diabetes lacks self-made insulin; enzymes in the pancreas no longer produce the insulin the body needs to process sugars. Diabetic patients take their own insulin, once daily, to replace the insulin their body lacks. This does not free them from a strictly regulated, low-sugar diet, however. To maintain their health and longevity, diabetic patients must drastically reduce their sugar intake and—most importantly—keep their blood sugar at regular levels.
Many patients seek alternative methods to regulating blood sugar and keeping other bodily processes working smoothly, over medications. Different alternative remedies can keep sugar levels low and help promote optimal processing of other vital proteins, vitamins and nutrients. Read on to see nine top alternative methods to regulate blood sugar in patients with diabetes:
Patients with diabetes should prioritize antioxidant-rich foods. Specifically, they should seek the antioxidant called alpha-lipoic acid. Often, prolonged diabetes can damage, even kill nerve endings, killing skin tissue in worst-case scenarios. Alpha-lipoic acid can reduce or stop this nerve damage. Foods rich in this antioxidant are dark leafy greens, like spinach and broccoli, or starchy root vegetables like potatoes.
Fruits and vegetables rich in polyphenol, another antioxidant, can regulate blood sugar. Seek starchy fruits, vegetables, green tea and whole grains.
Some studies show that patients with low magnesium levels were more prone to developing diabetes. Magnesium already nourishes muscles and organs, including the pancreas—this could suggest a link between pancreatic health and the onset of diabetes. Eat foods high in magnesium, including whole, rich grains, almonds, walnuts, pecans, legumes, beans, and green leaf vegetables. Magnesium can help lower blood sugar and regulate blood pressure overall.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
These acids can stimulate the body to produce its own cholesterol and lower the sugar content in blood. Omega-3 fatty acids are a healthy replacement to trans fats and refined sugars and are necessary for a low-sugar diet in any individual. Foods with omega-3 fatty acids are oily fish, like tuna, mackerel and salmon, walnuts and other “oily” nuts, soy products, and some dairy products. When moderating a carefully balanced diet, make sure to take your daily-allotted requirement in omega-3s to promote blood health and sugar regularity.
Nopales are the flat paddle-leaves of prickly pear cactus and other cactus varieties. They contain a compound called nopal that has anecdotal medicinal effects, including regulating blood sugar levels and promoting heart health, which all increase the efficiency of insulin in the body. Nopales can be eaten raw and in raw dishes, or prepared like most green, starchy vegetables. They pack vitamins, nutrients and minerals that also aid in establishing a strict balanced diet for diabetes patients. Remember: regulating remedies are not diabetes cures, but they can help insulin do its job much better and without medicines or dietary supplements.
The plant called by its scientific name Gymnema sylvestre has the nickname “sugar destroyer” for its ability to more quickly burn the body’s sugars. Studies show that the plant, when ingested, can aid insulin in lowering overall blood sugar. Additionally, gymnema helps diabetes patients manage their weight, an important component in making sure the body can convert sugars into energy and burn sugars much more quickly. Remedies include chewing the leaf of the gymnema plant to absorb its nutrients.
People with diabetes also tend toward other vitamin and mineral deficiencies, including vitamin B-1, called thiamine. If kept low, lack of thiamine can reduce the impact of insulin and decrease overall heart health. Many thiamine sources have trouble permeating cells because they are only water-soluble, but thiamine ingested in fats or in specific increments may have more success.
Thiamine-rich foods include:
- Sunflower Seeds
- Oily fish
- Lean white meat
- Whole wheat (bread)
Try these and other vitamin B-rich foods to increase blood sugar regulation and help insulin work as well as possible.
Grapes, a common ingredient in red wine, lower blood sugar—according to some studies—with a chemical component called resveratrol. They help engage the body’s metabolism, burning fat and regulating blood sugar. Over time, resveratrol can eliminate high blood sugar indefinitely. Furthermore, the chemical found in grapes or red wine can reduce stress and stress stimuli provoked by diabetes.
Okra is a superfood that can bring down and regulate blood-glucose (or blood sugar) levels in those with trouble regulating their own levels. The okra is a starchy vegetable and is slow-burning; the complex sugars seem to be the cause of low blood sugar levels, as the body must work harder to obtain the sugars from the vegetable. The flesh, rind and seed of the okra can be cooked and consumed to absorb its best nutrients. Okra can also be extracted for its juices. Studies show that frequent okra consumption reduced blood sugar in a rapid amount of time. Okra also reduces cholesterol and helps regulate the digestive system.
Some studies purport that bitter melon, a fruit that grows in southeast Asia and parts of the southern hemisphere, contains some chemical compounds that lower blood sugar and help stimulate insulin use. These chemicals include vicine, charantin and polypeptide-p. Bitter melon can also regulate the appetite. It can be cooked like other gourd vegetables to tastes and comes with many essential nutrients and minerals.
In addition to insulin, many people with diabetes need additional help in maintaining even blood sugar levels—not too low and not too high—and making sure they do not face different vitamin, mineral or nutrient deficiencies. Unfortunately, those with diabetes run the risk of these deficiencies, which can further aggravate symptoms of diabetes. Incorporating these remedies into a diabetic diet can help insulin work its best and maintain the overall health of the body. The muscles, organs, and skin tissues must be kept strong and running smoothly, to process sugars and reduce the risk of spiking blood sugar. Diabetes may not have a cure, but that does not mean people with diabetes cannot live long, regular lives with attentive care. Which foods do you use to reduce your blood sugar?