(NaturalHealth365) Blood sugar imbalances lead to a plethora of health issues like chronic fatigue, a lack of concentration and excess body weight. Diabetics, in particular, understand the importance of maintaining a stable blood sugar. Have you ever considered eating legumes to reduce your risk of diabetes plus many other chronic diseases?
Obviously, by maintaining stable blood sugar levels, you can avoid unwanted sugar cravings and metabolic disorders. Among the suggested list of foods, legumes form a predominant part of the recommendation by the European, Canadian and American Diabetes Associations – as a means of avoiding sugar spikes and the need for toxic medications.
Science reveals how to control blood sugar – naturally
Legumes, or beans, such as chickpeas and lentils are among the lowest glycemic index (GI) foods and have been recommended in national diabetes mellitus (DM) guidelines for years. There has been a lot of research about how eating beans help promote healthy blood sugar levels.
A 2012 study investigated the effect of legume consumption as part of type-2 diabetic diet. The participants of the study were randomly assigned to take at least a cup of legumes per day. The other group was encouraged to consume insoluble fibers from whole wheat foods for a period of 3 months.
At the end of study period, it was observed that the group that consumed a cup of legumes per day showed a significantly stable blood sugar levels and lower risk score for heart disease compared to the wheat group. Researchers concluded that adding legumes including beans, chickpeas, and lentils not only stabilized blood sugar but also decrease the risk of heart disease among type-2 diabetics.
A 2008 population-based Chinese study showed that populations that consumed high amounts of legumes in their diet showed an inverse relationship to the risk of type-2 diabetes. Another prospective study that observed nearly 10,000 diabetics, for a period of nine years, found that legume intake decreased the death rate from heart disease as well – indicating that legumes play a significant role in diabetic care and cardiovascular health.
What is the best way to prepare beans?
Legumes are seed pods that split into two halves, the edible seeds are part of traditional cooking in many cultures. They are an inexpensive, excellent source of fiber, rich in proteins and nutrient-dense. For vegetarians, beans are a low-fat, high protein substitute for meat.
Boost up your next salad by adding some organic chickpeas or kidney beans. These highly-nutritious tasty beans go well with summer salads or as a hearty ingredient for chili recipes.
In most cases, be sure to pre-soak beans to lower the cooking time and improving digestibility. Remember to discard the soaking water and use fresh water for cooking. If you experience too much intestinal gas, from eating beans, be sure to soak your beans for 8 – 10 hours and always chew your food thoroughly before you shallow.
Always add a pinch of sea salt – at the end of cooking time – to prevent the bean skins from getting tough. Keep in mind, dry legumes store well for up to a year and sometimes even more than a year if stored away from sunlight. Naturally, always look for organic beans – whenever possible – it’s worth the investment.
Good news for diabetics and heart patients
You can completely reverse disease with diet and lifestyle changes – in spite of what pharmaceutical advertising would have you believe. The 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans has recommended 3 cups (6 servings) of legumes weekly – on a 2,000 calorie diet. A serving of legumes is equal to ½ cup of cooked beans, peas, or lentils.
Keep in mind, to stabilize blood sugar, eating healthy is just one part of the equation. If you suffer from any disease – make the effort to incorporate deep breathing and moderate exercise into your daily routine. The rewards are remarkable.
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1. Jenkins DJ et.al; Effect of legumes as part of a low glycemic index diet on glycemic control and cardiovascular risk factors in type 2 diabetes mellitus: a randomized controlled trial. Arch Intern Med. 2012 Nov 26;172(21):1653-60.
2. Villegas R, Gao YT, Yang G, et al. Legume and soy food intake and the incidence of type 2 diabetes in the Shanghai Women’s Health Study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008;87(1):162-167.
3. Nothlings U, Schulze MB, Weikert C, et al. Intake of vegetables, legumes, and fruit, and risk for all-cause, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality in a European diabetic population. J Nutr. 2008;138(4):775-781.
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