Type 2 diabetes causes the insulin in a person’s pancreas to stop working properly, or causes the pancreas to struggle to make enough insulin, and in turn this causes blood sugar levels to rise too high. Insulin allows the glucose in blood to enter cells, fuelling the body. Type 2 diabetes may trigger symptoms such as frequent urination and increased thirst, but left untreated, serious complications such as heart disease, kidney disease, nerve damage and stroke may occur. So what can you to keep blood sugar levels in check?
A healthy diet is one one way to manage blood sugar levels.
Experts recommend as a general rule to eat a wide range of foods, including fruit, vegetables and some starchy foods like pasta, and to keep sugar, fat and salt to a minimum.
When it comes to the best drinks for blood sugar, certain drinks have proven better than others.
Water is considered the best drink for health because the body needs water to function properly.
Many people mistake the signs of thirst for hunger or sweet cravings, which can be bad for maintaining weight and controlling blood sugar levels.
If food or sweet cravings occur it’s best to drink a glass of water first to see how the body reacts.
Those who aren’t keen on water alone may want to consider the addition of aloe vera pulp.
One study suggested adding aloe vera pulp to water may benefit people with diabetes.
Herbal teas may offer another alternative to plain water, and boiling the leaves of certain plant can also offer additional health benefits.
Liquorice root, which is available as tea, has a subtle sweet flavour and has been found to reduce blood sugar levels.
An animal study published in 2007 found glucose levels fell in rats with diabetes after consuming liquorice extract.
This suggested liquorice may have the potential to help reduce blood sugar in people with diabetes.
Some researchers have suggested eating green leafy vegetables can help people with diabetes because of their high antioxidant content.
The juice of a particular green leafy vegetable has been shown in other studies to have a positive impact.
A small scale study showed kale juice may help regulate blood sugar levels, as well as improve blood pressure in people with subclinical hypertension.
As part of the study, people drank 300ml of kale juice per day for six weeks.
Other green leafy vegetables that could prove effective at lowering blood sugar include spinach, cabbage and bok choy.
When it comes to certain foods that have been found to lower blood sugar, studies have shown the popular Indian spice turmeric to have a positive impact on blood sugar levels.