Tags: 8 foods | fight | diabetes | increase in diabetes | epidemic

8 Foods That Fight Diabetes

Wednesday, 02 Jun 2010 08:05 AM

The Centers for Disease Control has declared the sharp increase in the number of people with diabetes as an epidemic. An estimated 23.6 million people have diabetes and 90 percent are Type 2 diabetics. Type 2 diabetes affects the way your body uses its main source of energy — sugar. Either the body doesn't produce enough insulin to use the glucose or it ignores the insulin.

Diet is key to preventing or managing diabetes: Some foods have powerful effects on blood sugar. They include:

Green tea. Green tea helps regulate blood sugar, the function impaired by diabetes. “Tea may be a simple, inexpensive means of preventing or retarding human diabetes,” write the authors of an animal study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Garlic. Used as a traditional treatment in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, garlic has been shown in animal studies — as well as in some limited human studies — to have the ability to lower blood sugar. According to the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture's Human Nutrition Center in Beltsville, Md., garlic can increase the level of insulin in the blood.

Chocolate. Dark chocolate improves insulin sensitivity, according to Tufts researchers. The cocoa powder is rich in flavonoids which help counteract insulin resistance, the condition that prevents your body from using insulin effectively.

Vinegar. A study at Arizona State University East found that taking two tablespoons of vinegar before meals lowered sugar levels in diabetics by 25 percent. In prediabetics, blood sugar levels were cut in half. Italian researchers discovered that apple cider vinegar with meals slashed blood sugar levels by 30 percent.

Oranges. Diabetics have been shown to have low levels of vitamin C, so citrus fruits, which are loaded with vitamin C and antioxidants, are good choices as snacks. In addition, A Canadian study showed that citrus peel extract reduces insulin resistance in animals.

Cinnamon. Research has shown cinnamon reduces inflammation and may help treat Type 2 diabetes by lowering sugar levels. Also, a study presented at a meeting of the Association for Chemoreception found that simply smelling cinnamon boosted several areas in the brain involved in everything from memory to attention and focus. As little as a quarter teaspoon a day can improve insulin resistance.

Apples. A Finnish study found that men who ate the most foods high in quercetin, such as apples, had 20 percent less diabetes. Other sources of quercetin include onions, tomatoes, berries, and leafy green vegetables.

Agave. Experiments suggest that a diet high in fructans found in agave, the key ingredient in tequila, stimulates the production of a hormone which triggers the release of insulin. Drinking tequila would not give the same health benefits, however, since fructans lose their effect during the fermentation process.

© HealthDay

   
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The Centers for Disease Control has declared the sharp increase in the number of people with diabetes as an epidemic. An estimated 23.6 million people have diabetes
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2010-05-02
Wednesday, 02 Jun 2010 08:05 AM
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