Each November communities worldwide observe National Diabetes Month to bring attention to diabetes and inform the public about this insidious disease, which causes the death of at least 3,000,000 people a year.

But, what is diabetes? What causes diabetes? Diabetes is a condition in which the body does not produce or misuse insulin. Insulin is a hormone needed to transform sugar, starch and other foods into energy that is essential to our everyday life. The reasons that cause diabetes continue to remain unknown for scientists, although genetic and environmental reasons such as obesity and lack of exercise seem to play an important role.

It is estimated that currently 6.3% of the world’s population suffers from diabetes. About 13 million people have been diagnosed with diabetes and about 5.2 million are at high risk of getting diabetes.

Fortunately, there are significant ways to prevent or control diabetes. The most important thing for overall health and to control diabetes is nutrition. People specifically suffering with diabetes have to maintain their diet in an effort to regulate their blood sugar levels. Foods with low glycemic index and high nutritional value are ideal for diabetics.

Here is a list of foods diabetics should add to their daily diet:

1. Beans

All types of beans enhance your body with the necessary fiber. They are also a good source of magnesium and potassium! Half a cup of beans a day gives your body the protein it would have with a serving of meat.

2. Sweet Potatoes

Rich in Vitamin A and fiber can replace the regular potatoes for a lower glycemic index.

3. Citrus Fruits

Grapefruits, oranges, lemons or limes? Choose the one that suits you the best and incorporate it into your daily diet for essential vitamin C and fiber.

4. Spinach and Cabbage

Rich in carbs and low in calories, these vegetables are ideal for your diet without worrying about the amount you eat!

5. Tomatoes

Tomatoes contain vitamin C, vitamin E and iron. Due to their low carbohydrate content, they can play a big role in controlling blood sugar levels.

6. Fish

Salmon and sardines contain omega-3 fatty acids, which cut down on cardiovascular problems that can accompany diabetes.

7. Whole grains

They provide all the necessary ingredients you will not find in wheat products such as bread. Barley and oats are also good sources of potassium and fiber which can help slow the absorption of glucose into your blood.

Here is a list of Vicky’s favorite whole grains:

• farro
• buckwheat
• quinoa
• millet
• amaranth

8. Nuts

Rich in magnesium and fiber, a small handful of nuts gives good fat to your body, making you feel full at the same time!

Don’t forget to exercise! Exercise is a great addition to your life, it will without a doubt help prevent or control diabetes as it improves your body’s use of insulin. Exercise on a daily basis also increases the “good” HDL cholesterol and decreases the “bad” LDL cholesterol.

Let’s watch our diet, let’s get moving and say no to diabetes!

What’s New with Vicky

This week Vicky had a fantastic dinner at a vegan restaurant that is actually fabulous for people with diabetes. We wanted to share it with you because it’s so tasty and yet so unbelievably easy to make. Below you will see a picture, but the dinner was simple. Multicolor quinoa with roasted pumpkin, roasted Brussels sprouts and roasted bok choy. A tiny bit of extra virgin olive oil and lemon was drizzled over the top.

Here is Vicky’s tip of the week:

Roast tons of vegetables, keep them in the fridge and you’ll have an easy meal in no time.

 

Weekly Read

Here is a quick little read about diabetes, actually if you don’t have diabetes you should still read it! Click to read…

Weekly Recipe

Cilantro, lemon and garlic is a great combination to flavor your chicken dish! Plus, this healthy and easy dinner meal will be ready in 30 minutes!

Cilantro Lemon Roasted Chicken

Ingredients

• 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
• 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro [ chopped ]
• 2 cloves garlic [ grated ]
• 1 tablespoon raw organic honey
• 1 lemon [ juiced and zest ]
• freshly ground black pepper [ to taste ]
• Himalayan sea salt [ to taste ]

Steps

1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
2. In a small bowl whisk all the ingredients, except the chicken, to combine.
3. Add chicken breasts in a glass baking dish and pour marinade over them.
4. Bake for 20-30 minutes.
5. Serve and enjoy!

Health & Beauty Tips of the Week

If you have diabetes, you’re more likely to have dry skin too. Diabetes can affect many parts of your body, including your skin and your nails. So, what can you do to take care of the dry parts of your skin?

1. Coconut Oil for Body and Nails
You can apply coconut oil daily onto your hair and keep them hydrated. You can also massage your skin using coconut oil as a body lotion. Use coconut oil to moisturize your nails too! The nutrients in this oil will help strengthen the nail beds.

2. Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Fresh Lemon Juice for Nails
Mix 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice with 1 tsp warm extra virgin olive oil in a small bowl. Apply this on your nails, massage and leave it overnight.

3. Avocado Face Mask
Combine 1/2 a ripe avocado with 1 tablespoon raw organic honey in a bowl. Apply evenly over your face and leave the face mask for 15-20 minutes. Rinse off with lukewarm water after 15-20 minutes.

Ask Vicky

Q: Is it true that exercise can help people with diabetes?

A: It’s absolutely true! Regular physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight and improve your overall health too! Physical activity uses energy and thus reduces blood glucose levels. Try to exercise 5 times a week for at least 30 minutes.

Q: What kind of carbohydrates should I eat now that I’m diagnosed with diabetes?

A: It is critical to make food choices that are low in sugar and to consume an abundance of protein and vegetables. When we eat carbohydrates it is important that they are complex carbohydrates like sweet potatoes, legumes and whole grains and avoid simple carbohydrates like syrup and candies.

Weekly Inspiration

“Diabetes is like a roller coaster. It has its ups and downs, but it’s your choice to scream or enjoy the ride!” – Unknown