I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes 10 years ago right after a back operation. I learned that a propensity for diabetes can be triggered by an assault to the body, like an operation with anesthesia. Fortunately, I have been able to manage diabetes with regular exercise and a better diet.
My diet was always pretty good, with mostly vegetables and grains. But I often binged on too much food at one sitting. Plus, I loved overindulging with carbohydrates, especially from processed foods (cookies and candy, breads and snack foods (Smart Food is almost a vegetable!), pasta and breakfast cereals). Carbohydrates are important for your body as your digestive system converts them into glucose (blood sugar). Your body uses this sugar for energy for your cells, muscles, and organs. But diabetes reduces the ability of the body to manage this conversion, dumping excess glucose that can’t be processed into your blood rather managing the glucose to power your body.
Now, I eat much less processed foods and more whole and unrefined foods, especially vegetables, nuts, beans, certain grains (quinoa) and tubers (sunchokes), and unrefined fruit. In fact, my vegetable and nut consumption has probably tripled. We buy the nuts in bulk, but we still grow most of our vegetables in our garden or get them from a CSA I helped to start 25 years ago.
There are two plants I count on from my garden that are easy to grow and that I have found to be especially beneficial in managing my blood sugar: kale and sunchokes. Read the rest of this entry »