5 Easy Ways to Control Blood Sugar at Home

Most people are not getting adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals in their diets nowadays. Many don't even meet the minimum RDA (Daily Allowance Required) set by government health organizations. Our body requires the vitamins and minerals to combat viruses, illnesses, bacteria and pathogens that surround us on a regular basis.

While there is plenty of food to go around, the quality is usually poor. It is important to eat fresh, preferably organic food. In many cases, diabetic complications are a direct result of the lack of nutrients we can find only in fresh produce.

Below you'll find some of the most beneficial nutrients for keeping blood sugar levels under control.

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Vitamin C


Vitamin C is a glucose-like molecule which requires insulin to get into the cells, just like glucose. Even if they take adequate amounts of the vitamin, diabetics still show a deficiency of vitamin C. Diabetics need to take much more of this vitamin than the average person. A lack of this vitamin leads to scurvy-like symptoms: Poor wound healing, less immunity to infections, excessive bleeding, elevations in cholesterol and a depressed immune system. Vitamin C is required for proper immune functioning and the manufacturing of collagen, the main protein substance of the body.
Taking Vitamin-C helps maintain the elasticity and function of the blood vessels and helps maintain proper blood pressure control. It has a mild effect on 

improving blood sugar control. Evidence shows there is a correlation between overweight people and the lack of Vitamin-C.


The lower the level of vitamin-C, the greater the chance of being overweight. Those who have adequate levels tend to burn off 30% more fat during exercise than someone with low levels of C.
Vitamin C is high in anti-oxidants that help against the rapid aging that occurs due to free radical damage in the body. While citrus fruits contain a good amount of vitamin-C, vegetables such as broccoli, bell peppers, potatoes and brussels sprouts are also excellent sources.


Apples are an excellent source of Vitamin-C, quercitin and pectin. One Finnish study showed that those who ate the most apples and other foods high in quercitin had a 20% less chance of dying from diabetes and heart disease. The old adage that“an apple a day keeps the doctor away”still holds true today.

Vitamin E


This important vitamin acts as an antioxidant to protect against the dangers of damage to cell membranes.

Nerve cells are most vulnerable, particularly the delicate nerves found in the eyes and feet. 

Vitamin E has also been shown to:

● prevent free radical damage from LDL (bad) cholesterol and the damage to vascular linings.
● Improve the function of blood vessels and the cell lining themselves
● Increase magnesium concentration within the cells
● Decreases levels of C-reactive proteins and other inflammatory compounds
● Increases levels of glutathione, important for the antioxidants within the cells
● Improve the rate of electrical impulses in the nervous system
● Improve blood flow to the eyes
● Improve kidney function and normalizes creatine clearance

Vitamin B3


Niacin helps in the burning of calories and, like chromium, is an essential component of GTF (glucose tolerance factor) that helps move glucose through the cell membrane. It has been shown to lower the need for insulin in type 1 diabetics, sometimes reversing the early onset of the disease. It
helps improve beta function in the pancreas and improves blood glucose regulation. The best form of niacin is inositol hexaniacinate which helps reduce fats in the blood and has been shown to reduce cholesterol levels by 18%, 

triglycerides by 26% and increase the good HDL cholesterol by 30%. However, if you suffer from gout, liver disease, peptic ulcers or hepatitis you should consult your doctor before increasing your Niacin intake.
Niacin's effect is enhanced with Vitamin-C.
Niacinamide is another B-3 vitamin and while niacin helps in lowering your cholesterol levels, niacinamide is used primarily to treat osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Vitamin B6


Known as pyridoxine it helps balance triglyceride levels and normalize cholesterol levels. B-6 plays a part in the chemical transmitters in the nervous system, red blood cells and prostaglandins. Most diabetics are deficient in B-6. It also is beneficial for gestational diabetes, brought on by pregnancy.

Vitamin B12 and Folic Acid



One of its uses is to reduce the pain of headaches, arthritis and the pain from dental surgery. Deficiency of this vitamin leads to the onset of neuropathy and increase serum levels of homocysteine.  Optimal levels of B-12 will reduce the chance of coronary heart disease. Studies have shown that folic 

acid along with B-6 and B-12 help to reduce homocysteine levels and clean out artery plaque. We can lower your homocysteine levels by eating less meat and other methionine-rich food.

Minerals

Minerals are an essential part of every diet. And the diabetic needs particular minerals if he is to avoid the complications that always arise as a result of the lack of nutrients. Without minerals, our bodies could not function as efficiently. Sadly, many of us are deficient in several minerals which makes diabetics vulnerable to blindness, fatigue, and poor circulation. The best cholesterol lowering minerals are chromium, calcium, magnesium, selenium and zinc.

Chromium



90% of Americans do not get 50mcg (micrograms) of chromium a day. The Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences considers 50 to 200 mcg to be necessary. Diabetics need at least 200 to 400 mcg a day. Chromium works with insulin in helping open the cell membranes to accept glucose. Without it, insulin's action is blocked. Its GTF (glucose tolerance factor)
is the crucial molecule that helps speed excess glucose into the cells. It not only improves insulin's action to get into the cells, but it has been shown to decrease fasting blood glucose levels, improve glucose tolerance and decrease  

cholesterol and triglyceride levels as well as the HDL, good cholesterol.

Cheese, legumes, beans, peas, whole grains and molasses are good sources of chromium. The best source is brewer's yeast. However the taste of brewer's yeast makes it hard to take, so sprinkling it with your breakfast cereal or mixed in orange juice is a better way to take it. 

Magnesium



Low intake of magnesium is a major risk factor that can lead to retinopathy and heart disease in diabetics. The RDA recommendation for healthy men is 350 mg per day and 300 mg for women. Between 300 to 600 mg ideal. Many people only get between 143 to266 mg far short of the RDA standard.

Highly refined diets lack magnesium. Magnesium, like chromium is involved in glucose metabolism. Supplementation has been shown to improve insulin response, glucose tolerance and improve the fluidity of red blood cell membranes in diabetic patients. Most magnesium comes from seeds, nuts

legumes, tofu and green leafy vegetables.
Without B-6, magnesium doesn't get into the cells and is otherwise useless.

Potassium


It's the major mineral inside of all cell membranes and its electrical charge generates what is called “membrane potential”. It's believed that the ratio of sodium (which exists on the outside of the cells) to potassium is off kilter and this is one of the reasons why insulin cannot open the cell doors to accept glucose.
High potassium diets have been shown to lower the risk of many degenerative diseases such as cancer and heart disease and help improve glucose tolerance. Plant foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains serve as

the best sources of potassium.
While a high intake of salt promotes high blood pressure, potassium counteracts this by helping
lower blood pressure. It you want to avoid salt, you can substitute with potassium as a safer
alternative. NuSalt or No-Salt both contain potassium chloride and make good salt substitutes.
Generally increasing our levels of potassium is safe unless we have kidney problems.

Methyl Sulfonyl Methane



After water and sodium, MSM is one of the significant components in the
body. It helps to control inflammation and muscle spasms, enhance blood flow and normalize the immune system. Its a crucial mineral for detoxification. Its an organically bound form of sulfur and found in small amounts in fresh plant food though it is lost in cooking, storage and processing.

Garlic, beans, eggs, cabbage, broccoli, and red peppers are good sources of MSM. Here are some of the advantages:

● Regular bowel movement
● Blood glucose regulation
● Immune regulation
● Membrane fluidity

Manganese



Manganese is a trace mineral, which your body needs in small amounts
Manganese appears to play a role in regulating blood sugar.
In some animal species, manganese deficiency can lead to glucose intolerance similar to diabetes. However, results from human studies are mixed.

Multiple studies have shown that people with diabetes have lower manganese blood levels

Whole grains, fruits and nuts grown in well fertilized soil are good sources of manganese. It functions in many enzyme systems including those involved in blood sugar control and thyroid hormone function. It functions in the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase (SOD). Diabetics usually have only half the required amount. A good daily dose of manganese for diabetics is 3 to 5 mg.

Zinc


This important mineral has a lot to do with various functions of the body from sexual development to immune functioning and maintenance of nerve tissue. Good sources of zinc are shellfish, organ meats, fish, pumpkin seeds, ginger root, nuts and seeds. Zinc deficiency leads to a loss of appetite. 

10 to 60 mg per day is considered a safe dose. Too much can lead to copper deficiency and depress HDL cholesterol. Zinc is a cofactor in more than 200 different enzymes.

Low zinc levels lead to infection, poor wound healing, a deficiency is taste and smell and skin disorders. It is involved with the secretion, synthesis and utilization of insulin and has anti-viral effects. It protects against the
destruction of beta cells that produce insulin in the pancreas. Diabetics should supplement with 30 mg of zinc per day. Zinc along with vitamin-C and B-6 helps to speed up healing after surgery.

Vanadium


It's missing in the average diet. In the form of vanadyl sulfate it helps to control
rises in blood sugar in diabetics. Before insulin was developed, vanadium was used primarily to treat diabetes. Good sources of vanadium are mushrooms, shellfish, dill, parsley and black pepper.

Herbs

Bitter Melon


As the name implies it's not something easy to take. It's a cucumber like plant that grows in Asia, South America and Africa. It's strength lies in its ability to lower blood sugar. Just 2 ounces of the juice was shown to improve glucose levels in 73% of type 2 diabetics.

Gymnema Sylvestre


It's a plant that grows in tropical regions of India and was often used to treat
both type 1 an 2 diabetics. In one study 400 mg of Gymnema extract was given to 22 type 2 diabetic patients along with their oral medications. All experienced improved blood glucose control and 5 of therm were able to discontinue their drug use. Applied to the tongue, it has helped people eat fewer calories at a meal. It also enhances the action of insulin.

Fenugreek


The seeds were used in folk medicine to treat diabetes. In order to lower blood sugar, about 15 to 50 grams twice daily is needed. Considering the bitterness, it is advised to use as a condiment or spice, like East Indians use. The active ingredient is the special soluble fiber of fenugreek along with the alkaloid trigonelline. It's helpful in both type 1 and type 2 diabetics.

Salt Bush


Native to the Middle East, 3 grams daily of salt bush provided improved blood sugar regulation in type 2 diabetes.

Bilberry


Known as European blueberry, this antioxidants rich fruit was used in France since 1945 to treat retinopathy. It is often promoted as a remedy for eye conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts, dry eyes, age-related macular degeneration, and retinitis pigmentosa. It protects the macula of the diabetic eye.

Although bilberry fruit is generally considered safe, allergic reactions can occur.

Bilberries naturally contain substances known as tannins (found in many foods such as coffee, tea, red wine, blueberries, cranberries, chocolate, and some nuts and beans).
Anyone having an allergy or sensitivity to foods containing tannin, should avoid bilberry.

Ginkgo Biloba


One of the oldest living trees that has survived over 200 million years is the ginkgo.
Very adaptable, one survived the nuclear blast in Hiroshima. Over a thousand scientific studies have been done over the last 40 years showing the value of ginkgo. The extract is widely prescribed in Europe today. It's an effective antioxidant. It improves the body's circulation and expands the small capillaries 

that nourish the extremities in the eyes, hands and feet. It inhibits the stickiness of cells, reduces inflammation and allergic responses.

Ginseng


One of the world's oldest herbs, it's considered an adaptogen that improves several body processes. Ginseng helps to lower blood pressure or raises it if it's too low. Just 3 grams before a meal can reduce after-meal blood sugar in type 2 diabetics. American ginseng helps by the stimulation of pancreas' beta cells that leads to greater insulin output. Native Americans often used it. A type of
Korean ginseng increases insulin sensitivity and helps lower blood sugar. One 

interesting side effect is improvement in sexual function.

Superfoods

While vegetables make up for essential eating, some foods come packed with a rich array of phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids and other nutrients that can help regulate blood sugar. They're called superfoods because they contain rich levels of helpful nutrients.

Fish and Flax Oil


Fish is one food that should be on everyone's plate at least once a week. It's rich in protein, B-6, B-12 and trace minerals and especially in omega-3 fatty acids, severely lacking in the average diet. In one particular study those who consumed less than 1 ounce of fish daily had a significant reduction of glucose intolerance. Cold water fish such as salmon, halibut, sole, cod, tuna, trout and sardines can protect against the complications diabetes presents. Because they consist of protein, eating fish helps you feel full longer and fights the urge to 

snack. Fish oil protects delicate cell membranes which can better take in insulin and allow glucose into the cells.
Cold water fish has more omega 3 fatty acids. It was a staple in the diet of our ancestors. Our ancestors relied on a diet of a ratio of 1 to 1 in omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids. Today, our ratio is unbalanced at 1 to 30 ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty oils with extremely high levels of trans (hydrogenated) and saturated fats. With the saturated fats from margarine and beef, cell membranes become more rigid and can't recognize insulin and open up to receive the excess glucose in the blood.
Unsaturated fats from fish and flax oil make those cell membranes more flexible. Flax oil contains alpha linolenic acid which is converted into fish oil in the body. Both flax seed and flax oil contain good amounts of omega-3

Garlic


Garlic, called the stinking rose is one of the miracles of nature. It has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties and healthful benefits. It belongs to the same family as leeks, onions, chives, scallions and shallots. Allicin is what gives garlic its distinctive odor. The oils enter the bloodstream and remain for several hours. Unfortunately, garlic breath is a nasty side effect, but chewing a sprig of parsley, or a coffee bean helps eliminate the odor after eating. The source of the
smell remains deep in the bloodstream where the garlic is producing its therapeutic effect and cannot be so easily be eliminated by using breath mints, toothpaste or mouthwash. Despite its odor, garlic should be on the plate of 

anyone who wants to stay healthy. It was eaten by the Israelite slaves who built the pyramids and garlic has been found in the tombs of Egyptian Pharaohs.
It's only in the past few decades that its healing qualities have been discovered. Whether aged, fresh, cooked or as a supplement it helps against liver damage, it modifies the extremes in blood sugar after a meal. You can also find odorless garlic powder at your health food store. Odorless garlic products contain alliin and other sulfur compounds and provide all of the benefits of fresh garlic if they are manufactured properly. Garlic has been shown to be an effective germ killer. It helps to preserve meat, keeping it fresh 2 to 4 times longer than meat that is not treated with garlic.

Vinegar


Real vinegar is raw and unpasteurized. It's rich in organic acids, friendly bacteria, pectin and acetic acid which helps to slow down the emptying of the stomach. This translates to less of a rise in glucose levels. It is rich in 22 of the essential minerals for human health and apple cider vinegar contains 19 of these minerals in the right amounts. Potassium is one of those essential minerals. Just 2 tablespoons of vinegar can slow the emptying rate of the stomach as much as 30% and drop the sugar spikes that occur after eating by about 30%. For good health, take 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar twice daily before a meal, every morning on wakening, or before going to bed. Mix vinegar in a glass of warm water and stir in some raw honey and a drop of lemon juice 

to make it more acceptable. It has been shown that those who took vinegar before a meal had a 25% reduction in blood sugar levels than those who took no vinegar before a meal. Those who took vinegar also experienced weight loss after just 4 weeks. On average they lost 2 pounds while a non-vinegar group lost nothing.
The store bought vinegar is often more acidic and you'll discover that the raw, unpasteurized version is more pleasant.

Onions


Closely related to garlic, onions, cooked or raw it helps to lower blood sugar through an active substance called allyl propyl disulfide which is also found in garlic. This substance helps to prevent the liver from deactivating insulin so it stays longer in the bloodstream where it can lower blood glucose.
The higher the dose, whether taken in a raw onion or powder form produces the greatest effect in blood sugar. Onions are effective both raw and boiled. Like garlic it helps to reduce cholesterol and blood pressure.

Colorful Vegetables


As we age free radicals (pro-oxidants) increase in the body stealing electrons
from the tissues of our heart, blood vessels, brain, cell membranes and our DNA. This process is particularly pronounced in diabetics and leads to premature aging. This process can be slowed down by consuming more foods high in antioxidants. Most antioxidants are found in colored vegetables and
fruits. The deeper the greens and reds, the better the anti-oxidant value. Plants have to stay in the sun all day and need some protection against free radical 

damage. Their protection lies in the form of their color. Bioflavonoids and carotenoids protect plants from free radical damage. There are over 20,000 bioflavonoids and over 800 different carotenoids. Deep green vegetables like spinach and collards provide more protection than does iceberg lettuce which is light in color. Berries, such as raspberries, red grapes, boysenberries, red peppers, carrots all contain a great deal of antioxidant value that can help with fight against free radical damage. The darker red the tomato is, the better it is for you.

Brewer's Yeast


Both glucose tolerance factor(GTF) and insulin are required to move excess glucose into the cells. GTF is often lacking in diabetics. Niacin and chromium are two important elements to help sensitize the cells, but both are missing in the diabetic diet. The richest source of GTF is found in brewer's yeast, the same stuff used to make beer. The taste is bitter and not very appealing, but it can be mixed with a blended shake of orange juice, powdered protein, flax oil and lecithin or sprinkled on breakfast cereal.

Cinnamon


Cinnamon, cloves, turmeric and bay leaves have a measurable impact on making insulin more effective. Cinnamon is clearly the best and also contains no calories. While the cinnamon in our spice cabinet helps a little, its effect quickly becomes inactive by the saliva in our mouth. The best way is to take the liquid form of cinnamon as found in local health food stores. Or get cinnamon sticks and boil one in the water you use to make your tea or coffee. ½ a teaspoon of cinnamon a day can make cells more sensitive to insulin. Research has shown 

that after 40 days of taking various amounts of cinnamon extract, diabetics experienced lower blood sugar spikes after eating and major improvements in heart health. Glucose, triglycerides and LDL cholesterol levels all decreased.

Grapefruit


The fiber in grapefruit helps against cholesterol build-up in the arteries. Grapefruit juice, on the other hand, lacks fiber. Take a real grapefruit, quarter it, peel, seed and eat. If you're looking for a sweetener, use raw honey or natural sweeteners such as stevia and xylitol. Red grapefruit is rich in carotenoids and bioflavonoids. The fruit helps against the sharp rise in blood sugar that often occurs after a meal.

Soluble Fiber Foods


Our ancestors consumed a diet of 50 to 100 grams of fiber every day of both
soluble and insoluble fiber. Our diet today consists of less than 20 grams, most of which is insoluble.
Soluble fiber is important in that it forms into a gelatinous mass in the intestines which slows down the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream and improves the course of type 2 diabetes. To get more soluble fiber, simply eat more 

vegetables such as okra, Brussels sprouts, peas, broccoli, carrots, oats, beans. Spinach, kale and collards are good sources of lutein, a carrotenoid found in large quantity in the lenses of the eyes. Consuming these foods can help against the onset of blindness.

Green Foods


Green foods refer to green tea, and products that contain dehydrated barley grass, wheat grass or algae sources such as chlorella and spirulina. You get the benefit by mixing with water or juice. They are packed with phytochemicals, especially carotenes and chlorophyll. While you can grow your own, it's easier just to get them at your health food store. It is recommended drinking one or two servings per day 20 minutes before or 2 hours after a meal.

Green tea, orange and cranberry juice contain flavonoids which help fight inflammation. Drinking more green tea than coffee is beneficial.

Dietary Fiber


Fiber supplements have been shown to enhance blood sugar control. The best fiber sources for reducing after meal blood sugar levels, lowering cholesterol and promoting weight loss are those that are rich in water soluble fiber, such as glucomannan, psyllium, guar gum, seaweed fibers and pectin that promote weight loss.
24 to 50 grams of fiber a day can help improve blood sugar levels. It has been 

shown that a high fiber diet is as effective as some diabetes medications.
Legumes such as chickpeas, cannellini beans, kidney beans and lentils are a great source of fiber. Low fat, low calorie and high proteins help to reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease.

Mulberry Extract


Highly regarded in Chinese and Japanese medicine it possesses significant
hypoglycemic effects in animal studies. It has been shown to reduce the amount of damage to cell membranes of red blood cells, a significant antioxidant effect, improve digestion, lower cholesterol, aid in weight loss, increase circulation, build bone tissues, and boost the immune system.

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