Being diagnosed with Type II Diabetes can be confusing and frightening. Sometimes manifesting because of genetics, sometimes because of a lifetime’s worth of choices, there is no denying that it is a game changer for anyone’s lifestyle. Causes aside, a diagnosis like this can often be a blessing in disguise- Finally knowing exactly why your body feels ‘off’.
Having a clear plan of how to remedy that as much as possible is also helpful. Adapting to new and healthier habits is not always easy, but the results are their own reward. Having more energy, achieving weight loss, and lowering your blood pressure contribute to the possibility of living a very vital and active life.
Just like learning to tie your shoes, there’s a learning curve involved here, so be patient. Diabetics can be extraordinarily healthy people with a little attention to detail and effort.
What’s To Eat?
Beyond regular doctor visits and medication, your own diet will probably be the most important aspect of achieving a healthy new life. It comes as a very pleasant surprise that there are many wonderful food options for Type II diabetics. Even better, it affords many people the opportunity to explore new food options they would not have discovered otherwise.
Diabetics can be extraordinarily healthy people- primarily because they work at mastering it like any discipline. And what a tasty discipline it can be!
Many commonly accepted foods can be problematic for a diabetic. Not only must sugar/carbohydrate levels be watched, other foods have to be avoided or consumed with extreme caution. Topping that list are fried foods and deli meats, which induce the production of inflammatory (and painful) processes in the body.
An optimal diet avoids this junk in favor of the kind of food that not only fuels vibrant energy but also soothes inflammation and assists with systemic health. With the mindset that this is a positive change, diabetic friendly foods are as abundant as they are tasty.
Good choices almost universally are rich sources of fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins. These three components work together in ways that are beneficial to everyone- but the results of eating such an enhanced diet are almost instantly apparent in people with diabetes.
Fiber-It Does A Body Good
Fiber helps with cleansing the body of toxins while allowing for slower digestion of food. The more slowly a food is digested, the longer a sense of satisfaction lingers- and the less likely that an abrupt spike in blood sugar levels will occur. In fact, people who eat high fiber diets are significantly less likely to have a stroke, and every 7g increase in fiber is associated with a 7% drop in risk of ever having one.
Manifesting in both soluble and insoluble forms, fiber helps lower blood pressure, regulate blood sugar levels, and improve overall cholesterol. Best of all, high fiber foods are yummy and versatile. Combining well with every meal, including more high fiber food options daily adds health and beautiful variety to any diet. Fiber-packed foods include, but not limited to:
Look how yummy fiber is! And how easy it is to add to any diet, too.
Antioxidants- Your Body’s Secret Weapon
We all hear about antioxidants, but who really knows what they are or what they do anyway? The answer is simple: chemistry. ‘Oxidization’ is the process we commonly known as ‘rusting’. This is true whether referring to an old nail or sliced apples. Contact with oxygen causes a chemical reaction that makes the nail or the apple brownish. The same process also happens to us on a cellular level, but in this case, it’s easier to refer to it as ‘ageing’.
As cells come into contact with free radicals, their structural integrity breaks down. This causes the cell to function less efficiently and eventually die off. This translates to a multitude of diseases and disorders, from cancer, heart disease, and Parkinson’s Disease to autoimmune disorders.
Antioxidants act like a shield to protect our body’s cells from this microscopic erosion, which makes it all the more vital that we stock up on the foods that carry them. Some wonderful antioxidant-laden foods:
-black and green teas (not bottled)
Take Your Vitamins…Naturally
Vitamins are the last component common to healthy diabetic diets. Vitamins of all sorts are required to allow for the basic functions of your body. From tissue growth to energy production, vitamins work their magic on the cellular level. By providing the body with the essential components of healing and maintenance, vitamins help everything just work better. Different vitamins assist with different functions in different parts of the body.
Vitamin A, for example, is famously known for its effects on eyesight but also plays vital roles in immunity and skin health. The B vitamins assist with the absorption of energy from food, and often play a part in overall mood perception.
Vitamin C assists with immune factors and with the growth of healthy tissue.
Vitamin D, most often produced in our skin from sun exposure, allows for the utilization of minerals like calcium, iron, and phosphate. These essential minerals all make up important components in producing bone, blood, and allowing for proper muscle function.
Vitamin E is particularly important for proper enzyme and nerve cell processes; it is also vital for healthy skin, hair, and nails.
Look for these foods, all loaded with multiple kinds of vitamins:
Eat Your Veggies!
Mom was right all those years ago- you really do have to eat your veggies to be strong. But you also get to drink your tea and eat your berries too, so it’s not such a bad thing. All these amazing foods aren’t just random items you eat; with a little care, every mouthful you take can potentially be an advantage to your overall health and wellbeing. Dig in, explore, and experiment. There are infinite foodie adventures awaiting…and a more healthful life ahead.