If you are fighting this debilitating condition, or know someone who is, you probably have a lot of questions. In my experience diet plays a huge role in treating diabetes.
I have seen time and time again how switching to a whole foods diet that is mostly raw vegetables, seeds, and nuts can help diabetics manage their insulin levels and live healthier, happier lives.
What is Type 1 Diabetes?
Type 1 diabetes is a disorder where the immune system destroys the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. Insulin is the hormone that controls the distribution and absorption of sugar (the basic food of all cells).
Without insulin, the body’s cells cannot absorb the sugar, so it just keeps circulating in the blood.
This blood sugar saturation causes all kinds of imbalances throughout the whole body. If not treated, diabetes can be fatal, but there are both medical and dietary ways to treat it.
How Can Eating Raw Foods Fight Type 1 Diabetes?
Maintaining moderate blood sugar levels is crucial for someone working with diabetes. Managing the timing and types of nutrients you eat will keep you safe, and avoid the dangerous reactions caused by blood sugar levels that are too high or too low.
The key is to eat small meals throughout the day that are low-glycemic. This means that they do not contain simple sugars like white flour, cane sugar, white rice, and other simple carbs. Most processed foods are made of simple carbs and will spike blood sugar levels.
Highly salty foods are also to be avoided.
Your meals should contain a good balance of complex, vegetable-based carbs, healthy fats, and protein.
The best foods for diabetics to eat (or anyone, for that matter) are dark green leafy veggies such as kale, spinach, Swiss chard, arugula, and dandelion greens.
The greens can be massaged with fresh lemon juice and olive oil and served as a salad, or blended with avocado, cumin, lemon juice, and a dash of apple cider vinegar for a delicious green soup.
Other raw vegetables, such as broccoli, celery, cucumber, zucchini, carrot, tomato, are all healthful staples. Citrus fruit is especially helpful, as are berries.
Include healthy fats with each meal, such as avocado, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, flax oil, or evening primrose oil. Especially seek out foods rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids such as chia seeds.
Omega-3s help reduce blood fat (triglyceride) levels, and can help prevent the heart diseases that are a side effect of diabetes.
Fiber is very important. It moderates blood sugar levels, improves digestion and nutrient absorption, and makes you feel full for longer after your meal. Ground flax seed meal is an excellent source of fiber, as are most vegetables and not-too-sweet fruit.
And enjoy protein in the form of nuts, especially almonds and walnuts, seeds, and sprouted beans and lentils. Be sure to soak and rinse all raw nuts and seeds before eating them.
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Is All Raw Food Good for Fighting Type 1 Diabetes?
There are some raw foods that diabetics should avoid. Super sweet fruit, like bananas and dates, can spike blood sugar levels for some people. Dried fruit is also an unwise choice, as the sugar is highly concentrated.
It is important to maintain a healthy omega-6 (inflammatory) to omega-3 (anti-inflammatory) ratio. If there are too many omega-6s in the body, the omega-3s will not be absorbed. For that reason, go easy on the pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, and other high omega-6 foods.
Eating a raw foods diet is a powerful way to manage diabetes. Maintaining healthy blood sugar levels is a lot easier if you stick to eating raw veggies, fruit, nuts, seeds, sprouted legumes, and healthy fats. You can enjoy a vibrant life with the help of our living foods friends.