A quick guide to everything you need to know about Diabetes, its types, fruits and vegetables to consume and exercises to lead a healthy lifestyle! W
A quick guide to everything you need to know about Diabetes, its types, fruits and vegetables to consume and exercises to lead a healthy lifestyle!
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic disease that is caused by insufficient insulin in the body. Sounds complicated, isn’t it? To make it simple, let’s break it down for you.
Now most of the food you consume is broken down into sugar (scientifically known as glucose) and is then released in your bloodstream by various functions your body performs. When this sugar content gets high, our pancreas starts to release insulin, thereby moving the blood sugar into your body’s cells to be stored or used as energy.
When your body doesn’t make enough insulin or doesn’t effectively use the insulin, excess blood sugar remains in the bloodstream. Thus, leading to Diabetes. The underlying cause of Diabetes varies by type. Chronic Diabetes conditions include: Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes, while Gestational Diabetes doesn’t occur very often.
Causes of Diabetes
Each type of Diabetes is triggered by different causes; however, the common and primary cause remains the same regardless of the type, i.e., having excess glucose in your bloodstream.
Type 1 Diabetes
- Your immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. And without insulin pushing the glucose into your cells, excess sugar is collected in your bloodstream, making you a Type 1 Diabetic.
- It is also observed that a virus may trigger the immune system attack.
- Type 1 Diabetes may also be caused due to various genetic conditions.
Type 2 Diabetes
- Cells in your body become resistant to the action of insulin, thereby making your pancreas unable to produce enough insulin.
- It is also believed that genetics and environmental factors play a role in the development of Type 2 Diabetes, wherein slight lifestyle changes can prevent or delay this disease.
- This type is caused in pregnant women due to hormonal changes. The woman’s placenta produces hormones that makes her cells less sensitive to the effectiveness of insulin, thus resulting in high blood sugar during pregnancy.
- Women who are overweight when they get pregnant or gain too much weight during their pregnancy are more likely to develop gestational diabetes.
Is Diabetes Reversible?
According to science and leading doctors, there is no cure for diabetes per se, but there are good chances of reversing diabetes and returning your blood sugar levels back to the normal reading. This process or condition is called remission which can be achieved with regular exercise, weight loss, and medication. These help lower hemoglobin A1C and potentially put type 2 diabetes in remission.
If the remission is possible, it depends greatly on the type of Diabetes you’ve been diagnosed with and how far has the diabetes progressed. Now, Prediabetes and Gestational Diabetes are potentially reversible conditions while the chronic Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes require a strict diet, regular exercise, and getting Diabetes self-management education and support.
What to include in your Diet?
It’s so easy to fall in the dilemma of choosing what you eat if you are a food lover, when you are Diabetic. We’ve demystified it for you!
Including a good number of vegetables and whole fruits is always a good idea to go about for managing any form of disease. In case of Diabetes, follow the simple rule of selecting fruits with low to medium Glycemic Index (GI) and vegetables that are low on carbohydrates and rich in fiber. It is also important to keep a check on your portion size as maintaining your weight should be on top of your mind when battling Diabetes.
These fruits top our charts in a healthy diet plan for all you Diabetics out there. Be sure to add them to your meal!
|Apple, Avocado, Apricot, Banana, Berries, Cherries, Kiwi, Oranges, Pear, Peach
|Banana, Dried Dates, Grapes, Mango, Papaya, Watermelon
|Green Leafy Vegetables like Spinach, Kale, Cabbage, Broccoli, Carrots, Tomato, Cucumber, Green Beans and Mushrooms
|Potatoes, Corn, Peas, Butternut Squash, Canned Vegetables, Pickles and Sauerkraut
How do Reishi Mushrooms help in Diabetes?
According to the practices of Eastern Medicine, it is believed that Reishi mushrooms have been beneficial for centuries altogether. Reishi Mushrooms promote overall health and longevity while detoxifying the body. They can be used in forms of nutritional powder, as dietary supplements and in tea.
Reishi Mushroom tea is known for its innumerable benefits, wherein one of them is its ability to lower blood sugar levels. Studies have shown that the effect of certain compounds present in Reishi mushrooms protect your body from cell damage which is a result of its high antioxidant activity. It supports your immune system function, thereby reduces the risk of developing Type 1 Diabetes.
Although there has not been enough scientific research to support these practices on humans, we strongly advise you to consult with your doctor and/or nutritionist before including Reishi Mushrooms in your medication/diet to fight against Diabetes.
Exercises to Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle while Battling Diabetes
“Exercise just makes you feel better. So, however you want to do it—taking regular walks around the block, going for a run, or signing up for a marathon—getting started is the most important part.”
– The American Diabetes Association (ADA)
Despite having to face the mental and physical problems of Diabetes, we recommend you to make a head start to some form of exercise to lead a healthy lifestyle. Consider yoga for Diabetes, as it can especially calm your mind, which in turn lowers your blood pressure and maintains your blood sugar levels.
Regular practice of pranayama (breathing techniques), and yogasanas like seated forward bend, legs-up-the-wall pose, upward-facing dog and supine spinal twist have a positive improvement on blood sugar levels, lipid levels, and body composition.
Yoga and other forms of exercise not only help you maintain your weight, but also transform your mindset to lead a positive and happy life.
- Diabetes is caused due to excess blood sugar in the bloodstream.
- There are 3 types of Diabetes: Type 1, Type 2 and Gestational Diabetes.
- Primary causes are different for each type of Diabetes and vary from person to person.
- If you lead a healthy lifestyle with your diet in place and exercise regularly, some types of Diabetes can be reversed.
- Fruits with Low to Medium GI; and Vegetables low in carbohydrates and high in fiber content are suitable for people battling Diabetes.
- Reishi Mushrooms when consumed under strict supervision may have beneficial results for controlling Diabetes.
- Yogasanas and Pranayama along with exercises of your choice promote overall well-being and help you in this battle to fight against Diabetes.
- Consult your Physician or Nutritionist before making any changes to your diet plan and exercise routine.