There are over 43 different hormones in the body, all working in perfect harmony to signal thousands of functions in your body at any given moment. Functions such as growth, waking, sleeping, blood sugar control, energy, libido, reproduction, digestion, brain function, and immunity are just a few. When you support the endocrine system, you are actually supporting every organ system in your body.
Diabetes: A Preventable Epidemic
In all BUT low income countries, Diabetes Type 2 is in the top 10 causes of death. Known as a disease of excess, diabetes is unheard of in countries where processed foods are not staple. Excess sugar, refined carbohydrates, alcohol, and a sedentary lifestyle can stress the pancreas causing over secretion of insulin, with an eventual decrease of insulin once the system gets worn out. Insulin is vital for pulling glucose (sugar) into the cells, and with the help of exercise decreases blood levels of glucose. If this excess sugar is not burned off, the pancreas gets "tired" decreasing insulin production while the bodies cells become insulin resistant and the glucose just floats around in the blood depositing itself in small blood vessels of the eyes, kidneys, and feet. It makes for a slow deadly recipe.
Diabetes Type 2 (not Type 1) is completely preventable and I believe reversible. The first choice is to eat a low carbohydrate diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and healthy fat. Exercise is key and should be a daily activity. Low duration, high intensity such as sprinting, plyometrics, or circuit training decreases fat while building muscle. Sleep is essential for proper blood sugar control, and its well known that tired people crave carbohydrates, eat more, and consume excess caffeine. Caffeine intake alters blood sugar by inhibiting the action of insulin. Also, I know from my clinical experience that blood sugars can be higher when allergens are being consumed. Example: If you are Celiac or Gluten intolerant, gluten can actually alter the way you metabolize sugars, so all food allergens should be sought out and avoided.
Sweet Potato Smoothie
Today I decided to start with Diabetes because it affects SO many people, and with millions walking around with undiagnosed Diabetes Type 2, I figured I do my part to share some Insulin Balancing Drinks. And besides, I had half a sweet potato left from dinner last night, so this was a perfect way to use it up!
2 cups SuperGreens
1/2 large sweet potato
3 tbsps shredded coconut
2 tbsps raw pumpkin seeds
1 tsp cinnamon
Almond milk- unsweetened to top off.
Makes 2-3 servings.
Options: Add protein powder and drink after a workout. A great source of carbohydrate to pull protein into the muscles after a workout to aid in recovery!!
Blend all together until smooth. May need to add more water or milk. This is very tasty, mildly sweet, and very filling!
Sweet potato: Many people think this is like a white potato, but its a great low glycemic complex carbohydrate with a little sweetness and high in chromium. Chromium is a mineral needed for proper blood sugar control.
Pumpkin seeds: High in magnesium. Magnesium is essential for blood sugar metabolism, and most diabetics (and others) today are deficient.
Greens: I like any of the Organic Mixes: Supergreens, Kale, Powergreens, Spinach
High in Vit C, Vit K, magnesium, potassium, and fiber greens just go good in everything. Greens of all kinds should be a staple part of the diet of diabetics!
Coconut: A super food with Medium Chain Triglycerides which helps insulin function and gives it a nice taste with the sweet potato.
Cinnamon: A super herb, cinnamon is great for blood sugar control by helping the body produce insulin.
I like the Nutribullet: (thats because I don't have a Vitamix, which I just haven't splurged on) It blends it all together into a smoothie like consistency. You'll notice in some recipes I like to juice parts and then blend, its really all a personal preference!
Nutribullet: Natural Healing Foods Book