Tea, Tofu and Tomatoes Help Fight Diabetes

Foods that fight diabetes are abundant in nature. Alone, or working hand in hand, these foods pack nutrients that assist in regulating blood glucose levels. Other benefits from these nutrients include the regulation of cholesterol levels and blood pressure. They also protect against many forms of cancer. They help reduce inflammation, which is a major precursor to diabetes.

A Combination of Approaches is Key to Fighting Diabetes

A holistic approach is needed to combat diabetes. This includes an informed mindset, an optimistic attitude, regular exercise, sometimes with the aid of medications, and of course diet, as virtually everything we eat and drink end up in our blood stream.

Foods that Fight Diabetes: From Taro to Turmeric

The following is a list of foods that fight diabetes either on its own terms, or symbiotically with other foods:

Taro and yams are starchy foods have been providing nourishment and rich sources of energy for Pacific and Torres Strait Islanders, Maoris and Australian aborigines. Taros and yams are very low in calories. Yams are a good source of vitamin B6, which breaks down the amino acid homocysteine, which has been linked to atherosclerosis and heart disease. They are also rich in potassium, which regulates blood pressure.

One study in Japan involving more than 100,000 people discovered that those who eat more taro were less likely to develop kidney disease, a major diabetic complication.

Teas such as green, black and oolong tea have been found to enhance insulin activity. A study in Taiwan found that drinking a lot of oolong tea dropped the blood glucose by as much as 29% in people with type 2 diabetes. Some research suggests that tea speeds up the body’s metabolism, helps control appetite and assists in weight loss – all for the good of any anti-diabetic regimen. Tea also lowers insulin resistance.

A study in Japan involving 40,000 adults discovered that drinking five or more cups of tea a day significantly lowers the risk of heart disease, with women receiving the greatest benefits. Tea also reduces breast cancer risks by 22%.

Vegetarians eat a lot of tofu and tempeh, which accounts for a much reduced risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes among vegetarians. Tofu and tempeh are rich in proteins, B vitamins, potassium and zinc. They are low in calories and saturated fat. They are rich in isoflavones, which reduce the risk of osteoporosis, breast and prostate cancers. They also reduce menopausal symptoms, including mood swings and hot flashes.

Like most soy products, tofu and tempeh lower bad cholesterol and help in maintaining good cholesterol.

Tomatoes are very low in calories and carbohydrates. They are rich in vitamin C, the carotenoids lycopene and beta-carotene, and fibers. Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that, among 1665 study subjects, with or without diabetes, those with impaired glucose tolerance (pre-diabetic stage) have blood levels of lycopene that are 6% lower. Those with newly diagnosed diabetes have lycopene levels that are 17% lower.

A Harvard study discovered that men who ate tomatoes, or tomato products like tomato paste or sauce, at least twice a week have a 24 - 36% lower risk of developing prostate cancer. In another study, patients who have polyps are found to have 35% less lycopene in their blood.

Turmeric is the spice that gives mustard its bright yellow color, and curry dishes their warm glow. Turmeric may help regulate blood glucose, because turmeric root is one of the most concentrated sources of curcumin, an antioxidant compound found to prevent blood glucose surges in diabetic animals. Curcumin also has antioxidant effects that protect against heart disease, kidney disease, nerve damage and retinopathy – which are all major diabetic complications.

The combination of the right nutrients work wonders for diets to compliment exercise and medications. With the knowledge that determines choice, diabetics can develop dietary approaches that still make dining an enjoyable experience, now with more health benefits than if it is experienced through ignorance. Whatever the case, moderation is always important.

Post a Comment