Healthy Valentines – Blood Sugar
Many people know how fat, cholesterol, and sodium affect heart health, but what about blood sugar? Research has shown that it too plays an important part in having a healthy heart. Having high blood sugar, or an elevated blood glucose level, is believed to interfere with the proper working of blood vessels and subsequently increase the risk of heart disease.
According to the National Institute of Health in the United States, diabetics are twice as likely to have heart attacks as non-diabetics. Elevated blood sugar levels, if not treated in a timely manner, can lead to long-term health complications, including organ damage. If you have been diagnosed with hyperglycemia (high blood sugar), meet with your physician to discuss natural and conventional treatment strategies and how both might help improve your condition.
People with type 2 diabetes should always talk with a healthcare professional first before taking a supplement or changing dietary habits in order to learn more about the risks and benefits. The best approach for people with type 2 diabetes is a healthy diet and regular exercise.
Low blood sugar, also called hypoglycemia, occurs when blood sugar, or glucose, levels fall below normal. This happens when the body uses sugar too quickly, when glucose is released into the bloodstream too slowly, or if too much insulin, the hormone that regulates glucose levels, is released into the bloodstream.
Many dietary supplements have historically been used to stabilize your blood sugar levels. In her book “Prescription for Nutritional Healing,” Phyllis A. Balch, a certified nutritional consultant, reports that alpha-lipoic acid, chromium picolinate, bitter melon, fenugreek, juniper, huckleberry, milk thistle, ginseng, bilberry, maitake extract and garlic may all help stabilize your blood sugar levels.
A plant chemical found in grapes and red wine known as resveratrol has become increasingly known for its heart health benefits. Now a new study in the British Journal of Nutrition suggests that resveratrol may also be good for blood sugar regulation. Glucose regulation was measured through lab tests and results showed that insulin resistance decreased in the resveratrol group, which means their glucose was better regulated. Research has also shown Cinnamon to be helpful for people with type 2 diabetes. Spirulina and Wheatgrass Powder may also help regulate blood sugar levels. Curcumin, a compound found in the spice Turmeric, may help regulate blood sugar and facilitate circulation.
The best Valentine’s Day gift you can give yourself and your loved ones is the gift of a healthy heart and healthy blood sugar levels.