Summer is upon us which means long days in the sun, swimming and outdoor fun! Make sure your health is top priority if you want to feel your best this summer.
I believe are the 3 biggest health issues in America today are blood sugar, gut health and inflammation. This month I want to focus on blood sugar. The majority of people with diabetes and pre-diabetes don't even know they have it. Blood sugar imbalances can cause depression, anxiety, infertility and even stroke. One in two Americans suffers from "diabesity," a disease that ranges from mild blood sugar imbalance to full blown diabetes.
It's important to understand how the foods that we eat affect our blood sugar. After you eat a meal, the sugars in each of the foods you eat raises the level of sugar in your blood. The body responds by secreting insulin - a hormone produced by the pancreas. Insulin lowers blood sugar levels by increasing the rate at which glucose is taken up by cells throughout the body.
If you go too long without eating, or eat the wrong foods, or if your hormones are out of balance, your blood sugar will fall too low. When this happens, your adrenal glands will release adrenalin and cortisol in order to remedy the situation. At this point, you should eat food that will slowly and gradually raise your blood sugar levels again.
Most of the time, eating three square meals a day keeps your blood sugar in balance. But when this process gets out of whack, you can find yourself on the blood sugar roller coaster!
If you often feel fatigued, shaky, "hangry," get headaches, nervous and sweaty or dizzy, then your blood sugars may be out of whack.
Healthy eating habits and certain supplements can help with preventing diabetes, unwanted weight gain, and other blood sugar-related conditions. Focus on eating lean organic protein, healthy fats and plenty of fiber. Start each day with breakfast! Skipping breakfast tells your body to go into starvation mode, increasing fat stores and the likelihood of sugar cravings later in the day. Reduce your intake of sugar, processed foods and refined carbohydrates which cause your blood sugar levels to rise.
When your blood sugar is stable, your energy will increase, your hormones will stabilize, your mood will improve and your sleep will become restful. Cheers to feeling awesome!
Recipe of the Month
Watermelon Salad with Tomatoes, Goat Cheese and Basil
· 2 cups watermelon in bite-sized chunks, seeds removed
· 2 small ripe tomatoes, quartered
· 2 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled
· 2 tablespoons prepared balsamic vinaigrette dressing
· 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
On a large platter or individual plates, arrange watermelon, tomatoes and goat cheese. Drizzle with vinaigrette and top with basil.
Source: Adapted from Whole Foods Market's Recipe Index
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5 Foods to Balanced Blood Sugar:
1. Greens: such as kale, chard, spinach and broccoli are loaded with fiber and calcium.
2. Protein: lean organic meats,wild caught fish, organic eggs are great sources of blood stabilizing protein.
3. Whole grains: protein-rich whole grains like quinoa and millet, help sustain energy without spiking or crashing blood sugar.
4. Nuts: a great source of fiber, healthy fat, and protein.
5. Beans: lentils, garbanzo beans, and hummus are high in fiber, low in fat, and a good source of protein which keeps blood sugar steady.