One of the most pressing health concerns of the modern age, type 2 diabetes is wreaking havoc on many people’s lives.
Despite improvements in medical science and the knowledge and technology that goes with it, many people are still battling with this metabolic disease, making them vulnerable to a litany of health risks
Diabetes is the result of poor regulation of blood glucose levels. In the case of type 2 diabetes, this typically happens due to poor diet or physical activity.
A sedentary lifestyle coupled with a diet high in refined carbs and trans fats quickly destabilize the system that controls how glucose is managed in the body.
This system is an insulin response. Insulin is the hormone that triggers the storage of sugar into glycogen.
When blood glucose levels are chronically high, this places an undue strain on the insulin response system and eventually desensitizes your cell’s insulin receptors. This is known as insulin resistance and means sugar enters your blood and stays there, resulting in type 2 diabetes.
Once in this state, the body develops a metabolic syndrome, a class of diseases characterized by reduced healthy metabolic function.
Obesity, heart disease, and neurological diseases soon result if the situation is not managed. The consequences can be lethal as reports suggest. Type 2 diabetes is considered one of the leading causes of death in modern society.
So how do you treat it?
Well, if identified by a qualified health practitioner, diabetes can be successfully managed towards an improved quality of life.
The first thing that needs to happen is to address the lifestyle habits and environments that have lead to or exacerbate the onset of type 2 diabetes.
Getting active is one area of concern. It is important to note that once in a diabetic state, exercise should be approached with a bit more mindfulness and caution.
Monitoring glucose levels, heart rate and blood pressure are now essential prerequisites for any diabetic fitness program.
The other significant factor is diet. One needs to fix their dietary habits and rethink their attitude towards food. This may be the most challenging, yet most essential part of the process.
Eliminating refined carbs and trans fats is one step. The next step is to include foods that optimize health from a diabetic perspective.
Low GI foods and foods rich in essential nutrients and antioxidants are your go-to choice.
This article is going to peel back on some of these foods, focusing specifically on vegetables, although there are many categories of food you can include in your diabetic menu.
Broccoli is a wonderful vegetable, although your younger self might beg to differ.
This cruciferous vegetable is a staple food as far as conventional veggies are concerned. Because of this, its profound health benefits are often overlooked and under-analyzed.
Broccoli is simply just considered “healthy”, but why it’s healthy is what we’re here for.
Broccoli contains a chemical compound called sulforaphane, which evidence suggests has a great effect on lowering blood glucose levels.
Asparagus does more than just make your pee smell funny. This vegetable has been shown to help treat diabetes in a very useful way.
Asparagus is so useful in type 2 treatment that its extract is the key active ingredient in a revolutionary diabetes drug called glibenclamide.
Glibenclamide stimulates the pancreas cells, known as beta-cells into producing more insulin.
Asparagus and its antihyperglycemic effects (elevated blood glucose) are even safe for pregnant women with diabetes or pre-diabetes.
Another Cruciferous vegetable on the list, kale has a great value when treating type 2 diabetes.
Kale for one is packed with many nutrients and antioxidants, key in the treatment of diabetes or pre-diabetes.
The leafy vegetable also comes packed with dietary fiber. This is important because fiber helps regulate the uptake of glucose from the gut into the bloodstream.
Regulating blood glucose levels is the first line of treatment and kale’s fiber content has you covered.
This non-starchy vegetable is right off the bat, a great choice for any diabetic diet.
The low GI profile of bell peppers and other such vegetables is great for preventing the addition of unwanted blood sugars.
Bell peppers are also high in fiber content and just like kale and most other veggies, will help reduce the rapid uptake of glucose from your food to your blood.
Another key aspect is the rich nutrient profile that allows bell peppers to serve as a full spectrum glucose regulator
With such a profound nutrient profile, there were little chance artichokes would not be included on this list.
Treating everything from hangovers to high blood pressure, the amazing artichoke has a horse in the anti-diabetes race.
Artichoke extract, a concentration of the key nutrients and phytochemicals in the plant, is a popular health supplement.
Artichokes have been shown to slow down the activity of an enzyme that converts starch to glucose, thus reducing the risk of insulin resistance.
Veggies are good for you, we all know that, but at some point, it is important and valuable to know the ways vegetables can support your health and which vegetables support it in which ways.
In the case of type 2 diabetes, where the diet is of urgent significance, having these 5 on your side definitely helps.