Woman's World

Watching TV lowers diabetes risk!

- —Brenda Kearns

Great news: You can minimize your chances of ever developing Type 2 diabetes—even if you have several risk factors, such as a family history or a sedentary lifestyle— by making some simple tweaks each day! The keys:

Cutting your risk 33% ✓

with a sleep mask!

Wearing a sleep mask so that street lights and sunrises don’t disrupt your slumber (without your even knowing it) could cut your risk of Type 2 diabetes 33%, report researcher­s in the journal Diabetes Care. When you’re well-rested, you produce far less cortisol, a stress hormone that hinders your body’s ability to use the blood- sugarregul­ating hormone insulin properly, explains study author Norito Kawakami, M.D. ■ Already have diabetes? Those extra Zzzs could improve your blood-sugar control as much as 45%, Cornell University research shows.

Boosting insulin ✓ sensitivit­y with bitter melon caplets!

Bitter melon has long been a popular Ayurvedic remedy for high blood sugar—and now Western medical research suggests that it really works! How? The same way exercise does, by helping your muscles burn blood sugar for fuel instead of storing it as fat. One option: Himalaya’s Bitter Melon ($13 for 60 caplets, Amazon.com). Concentrat­ions vary, so read the label for dosage. Important: Always check with your doctor before taking any supplement for the first time.

Healing your ✓ pancreas with more “me” time!

A review of 160 studies suggests sneaking timeouts into each day— say, by reading, watching a favorite TV show or soaking in a warm bath—sends your Type 2 diabetes risk plunging 26%! According to Harvard pros, feeling relaxed and upbeat reins in your brain’s production of interleuki­n- 6, a protein that weakens your sugar- controllin­g pancreas. It’s so effective, this one step can make your pancreas function as if it’s nine years younger!

Slowing carb ✓

absorption with wine!

Enjoying a glass of wine or beer daily with your biggest meal lowers your risk of blood-sugar woes 37%! Australian scientists explain that alcohol slows your absorption of carbs, which, in turn, prevents damaging sugar spikes. It also helps your liver soak up and burn excess blood sugar for fuel. Teetotaler? Sipping a mug of rose hip tea with your meal also blocks carb absorption, say Swedish researcher­s.

Switching off trouble ✓

with sweet potatoes!

Have a family history of diabetes? Eat sweet potatoes! Beta-carotene, which gives them their orange hue, also shuts off genes that cause bloodsugar woes, say Stanford experts. Eating two cups of the spuds weekly could cut your Type 2 diabetes risk 42%! Carrots and kale are also top sources of beta-carotene.

Easing inflammati­on ✓

with broccoli!

Eating three weekly cups of broccoli or other cruciferou­s vegetables (bok choy, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflowe­r and turnips) could cut your risk of Type 2 diabetes 20%, reports the journal Primary Care Diabetes. Cruciferou­s veggies are rich in sulfur compounds that reduce inflammati­on in the pancreas, keeping its production of sugarcontr­olling insulin steady, says study coauthor Lina Zhong, PH.D.

Revving sugar control ✓

with trail mix!

Snacking on a few ounces of nuts and dried fruit daily decreases your risk of blood- sugar problems as much as 31%. Yale University researcher­s explain that the healthy plant fats in nuts, and the boron in dried fruit, combine to make it easier for your brain and muscle cells to use blood sugar for fuel!

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