Type II diabetes is a growing problem in the US. More than 34 million Americans have been diagnosed with diabetes, which equates to almost 11% of the US population. Every year, 1.5 million additional Americans are diagnosed with this disease. While these numbers may seem alarming, there is hope. In addition to living a healthy lifestyle that includes daily movement and proper nutrition, there are also herbal remedies that may help to prevent diabetes and support balanced blood sugar levels. When clients come to me with blood sugar concerns, there are various foods and supplements that I recommend to them. Let’s explore some of these options and how they can help if you have been diagnosed with diabetes or prediabetes.
- Cinnamon - Several controlled studies have demonstrated that cinnamon is excellent at reducing fasting blood sugar, and that it can fight diabetes by imitating the effects of insulin and increasing glucose transport into cells. Cinnamon has been shown to decrease post meal blood sugar levels by as much as 15 percent. Cinnamon can easily be sprinkled on many foods or is available in a capsule form.
- American ginseng - American ginseng grows wild in the southern parts of the United States. A powerful adaptogenic herb, it supports proper hormone balance, especially in stressful situations and balances blood sugar by as much as 20 percent. Aside from its adaptogenic and blood sugar balancing effects, it has also been shown to increase energy-- giving you that little boost you sometimes need to get your daily movement in! American ginseng is most commonly ingested in a capsule form or made into a tea.
- Berberine - Berberine is a chemical found in several plants, such as goldenseal, Oregon grape and barbaric root. It has demonstrated to be a very effective way to balance blood sugar levels. Some studies have even shown it to treat type II diabetes as effectively as some prescription medications. It regulates blood sugar by making the insulin hormone more effective, helping the body to break down sugars inside the cells, decreasing sugar production in the liver, and increasing the number of beneficial bacteria in the gut.
- Magnesium - Low levels of magnesium are more common among people with diabetes. Studies have shown that about 48% of people with type 2 diabetes have low levels of magnesium in their blood. Magnesium has been shown to help regulate blood sugar and help with insulin resistance. You can take a magnesium supplement or add magnesium to your diet through pumpkin seeds, spinach, swiss chard, dark chocolate, black beans, quinoa, halibut, almonds, cashews, mackerel, avocado, and salmon.
Unfortunately, most people will deal with diabetes in one way or another at some point in their lifetime. Many of us have a loved one or acquaintance who suffers from this disease and sadly, some of us may be diagnosed with it ourselves. Knowledge is powerful and my greatest desire is for this information to go to good use and assist those who have this disease to live the healthiest life possible.
If you or someone you know is experiencing blood sugar problems, please call my office to schedule an appointment for an individualized wellness plan.