Balance your blood sugar to Boost your health!
Maximizing your ability to use sugar-controlling insulin slows aging of your body cells—cutting your Type 2 diabetes risk 67%, and your risk of cancer, heart disease and even dementia as much as 33%! The keys:
✓ Strengthening your pancreas with legumes
If your pancreas often releases more insulin than you actually need, your cells will start ignoring it— and that’s when insulin resistance flares up. To prevent the problem, aim to eat 1/2 cup of legumes, such as peas, chickpeas, black beans or lentils, every day. Legumes pack lots of copper, manganese and other minerals that help your pancreas tightly control its insulin output, lowering your risk of insulin resistance (and Type 2 diabetes) as much as 38%, research shows.
✓ Fueling your muscles with ALA
Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) is a fatty acid that works with insulin to shuttle blood sugar into any of your cells that need it. And according to German research, taking just 100 mg. of ALA daily could help your muscles burn 27% more blood sugar after meals. Already been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes? Taking 300 mg. to 600 mg. of ALA daily will heighten your blood-sugar control, too. One option: Twinlab Alpha Lipoic Acid ($18 for 60 capsules; Vitaminshoppe. com). (Check with your M. D. before starting any new supplement.)
✓ Revving insulin sensitivity with spices
Seasoning your food with 1/2 tsp. of ground cumin or 1 tsp. of fenugreek seeds daily could boost your insulin sensitivity—steadying your blood sugar and easing cravings, brain fog and fatigue— within three weeks, the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology reports. These nutrient-rich spices help cells quickly respond to insulin and use glucose for fuel, putting the kibosh on damaging blood-sugar surges, explains study coauthor Aarti Jagtap, PH.D. Cumin has a spicy kick that works well as a pepper substitute— and lightly toasted fenugreek seeds add a subtle caramelized flavor to meat, poultry and fish dishes.
✓ Enhancing your fitness with a broom
Staying fit cuts your risk of insulin resistance 58%! Why? The more active you are, the faster your muscle and brain cells burn blood sugar for fuel. Yet an Indiana University study suggests the fittest women aren’t the ones who hit the gym; they’re the ones with the cleanest houses! A wellkept home requires a lot of puttering around, which is often easier to fit into a busy schedule than daily walks, say researchers.
✓ Controlling carbs with vinaigrette
Adding 1 Tbs. each of olive oil and vinegar to a meal lowers blood sugar 23% for three hours— and doing this once a day cuts the risk of insulin resistance and prediabetes as much as 25% in two weeks, say Arizona State researchers. Olive oil and vinegar— the basic ingredients of salad dressings— slow carb absorption in the digestive tract, preventing blood-sugar surges.
✓ Nourishing your liver with mushrooms
Eating four cups of mushrooms weekly can lower your insulin level 29% in four weeks, say Georgetown University experts. Thanks goes to beta-glucans, mushroom compounds that help your liver monitor blood sugar— and move excess glucose into storage before it can sabotage insulin control.