Did you know that there are several ways you can treat the symptoms of type 2 diabetes right in your home?
It may be hard to believe, but in recent years, researchers have found that several common food items can help moderate some of the symptoms or prevent some of the complications of diabetes.
Diabetes Treatment can be Sweet
Most people associate diabetes with overindulging, especially on sweet and sugary foods. While it is true that people with diabetes should make smart food choices and maintain a healthy weight, studies show that small amounts of one sweet favorite could actually benefit diabetes treatment.
Research done in Britain shows that eating the equivalent of one medium-sized dark chocolate bar daily could help protect against insulin resistance, which leads to type 2 diabetes. The downside is that the manufacturing process to create milk chocolate and candy bars greatly reduces the amount of disease-fighting chemicals that chocolate contains. Only plain dark chocolate contains the high amounts of these beneficial chemicals, called flavanols, that aid in diabetes treatment.
Flavanols are antioxidants — powerful substances that are also found in fruits, tea and wine, and that have been proven in numerous studies to protect against damage to cells in the body. The cocoa plant, from which chocolate is made, is another rich source of flavanols.
Possible Prevention with Cinnamon
Another tasty ingredient that may help prevent diabetes is cinnamon. Several different studies have shown that cinnamon has properties that help normalize glucose, fat and cholesterol levels and could even delay the onset of type 2 diabetes in people at risk.
Researchers say the best way for a diabetic patient to ingest the spice is to buy cinnamon sticks and grind them fresh if possible, then add the ground spice to recipes or tea. Scientists recommend patients take in about one-half to one full teaspoon of ground cinnamon per day.
Sipping Your Way to Better Health
You can sprinkle your cinnamon in a soothing cup of green or black tea to further improve your diabetes symptoms, studies show. The results of studies with mice suggest that both green tea and black tea may be simple but effective treatments for people with diabetes.
Black tea is more commonly known in the United States, but green tea has gained popularity in recent years for a number of health benefits, including reduction of LDL or “bad” cholesterol, cancer prevention, and enhancement of weight loss. Green tea is packed with polyphenols — antioxidant compounds that counteract the damaging effects of free radicals on the body.
Both types of tea are widely available, and the finding that both could be beneficial to diabetes treatment suggests the drinks are simple and inexpensive ways for humans to fight the disease. Both types of tea come in a dizzying variety of flavors, meaning there’s probably a tea to appeal to almost anyone’s taste buds.
green and black tea come in traditional tea bags or in loose leaf form and can be brewed and drunk either hot or cold. In addition, supplement capsules containing green and/or black tea are available in many health food stores and on the internet. Some include other beneficial ingredients like cinnamon. Individuals who are interested in trying herbal remedies for their diabetes should ask their doctors before taking these supplements.
Effective Diabetes Treatment Means Making Smart Choices
It is important to note that drinking a few cups of tea or snacking on a dark chocolate bar won’t automatically bring your diabetes under control. Tea, cinnamon, or any other supplement should be used as part of an overall diabetes treatment program you develop along with your healthcare provider.
The American Diabetes Association sells several cookbooks of healthy recipes for people with diabetes. Visit the Association’s website for more information. With a little imagination, you can spice up your diet and possibly enjoy better health, too.