Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in our country, and it may feel like a death sentence for some who are diagnosed with the disease. But some patients with prediabetes or Type II diabetes are able to reverse insulin resistance and live healthier lives. Pharmacists are in the unique position where they can help the doctor/patient team by offering support for a healthier diet. Here are some foods that are helpful in battling insulin resistance.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil – EVOO has been a popular staple in the Mediterranean diet, a diet that doesn’t result in a lot of insulin resistance. This is because EVOO contains hydroxytyrosol and is high in antioxidants. It creates an amazing protective effect in the liver area. Many doctors now instruct diabetics to adopt the Mediterranean diet because of its positive effect on the disease.
Leafy Greens – Leafy greens are packed with vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals that we all need. Magnesium is especially high in leafy greens, and it’s believed that a deficiency in magnesium results in a reduced level of insulin production which can result in resistance. Leafy greens also rank low on the glycemic index, which results in more stabilized blood sugar levels.
Cinnamon – Cinnamon aids in reducing blood sugar levels, and it also aids in cardiovascular effects. Many diabetics suffer from heart disease, and anything that can assist the heart is a good addition to the diet. Additionally, cinnamon can lower LDL cholesterol and raise HDL cholesterol.
Turmeric – Turmeric is a well-known anti-inflammatory spice that can also assist in protecting the liver. Liver disease is often a result of insulin resistance, and turmeric can help turn that around.
Blueberries – Blueberries contain anthocyanins which stimulate the release of a hormone called adiponectin. This hormone helps regulate blood sugar levels and increase insulin sensitivity. Additionally, blueberries are a high-fiber food that can help people lose weight and reverse diabetes naturally.
Walnuts – Walnuts are antioxidant, antiviral, anti-high cholesterol, and anti-cancer, which can result in a reverse of diabetic progression. A study in 2013 suggests that women should consume plenty of walnuts in their diet to lower their risk of Type II diabetes.
Cannellini Beans – Cannellini beans are an excellent legume option that won’t raise blood sugar levels. They are packed with soluble fiber and protein that will help you avoid the high-fat meats many people love. Overall, legumes are considered a low glycemic index food that can reverse diabetes naturally. In some studies, a daily consumption of legumes reduced blood sugar levels twice as much as whole grains.
Diabetes and insulin resistance do not have to mean doom and gloom. When physicians and pharmacists suggest changes to their patients’ diet, it can help their patients live a healthier life!