Between all the drugs and magic bullet solutions out there for fighting diabetes, it’s easy to overlook the basics. But the truth is there are some common nutrients which naturally help our bodies maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
These solutions aren’t rare herbs from some far away tropical forest or frozen mountaintop. But they can be every bit as effective at helping us manage diabetes symptoms as some of those other far-flung exotic solutions.
And in many cases, we simply aren’t getting enough of these everyday vitamin and mineral heroes.
Defeat diabetes using common nutrients
Following are three back to basics nutrients which could help you defeat diabetes.
It’s a vital trace mineral. Humans require it to stay healthy. Yet experts say 25 to 50 percent of us may not be getting enough of it. And if you’re one of them, you could be at risk for blood sugar issues, and even type-2 diabetes.
I’m talking about chromium, a key component of a compound called glucose tolerance factor or GTF.
GTF enhances the blood-lowering action of insulin. In other words, it helps the hormone do its job. And when you don’t get enough chromium in your diet, it can send your blood sugar levels climbing.
Experts say chromium can correct glucose intolerance and insulin resistance, either of which can lead to type-2 diabetes. And research has found that 150 to 250 micrograms of chromium a day can erase diabetes symptoms in some people.
Fight diabetes with chromium-rich foods
You’ll find chromium in many different foods from fruits to meats. But most only contain very small amounts of the mineral. That can make it challenging to get enough to have significant effects on your blood sugar.
But if you’re a shellfish fan, you’re in luck. Because it turns out shellfish is a great source of chromium. Mussels contain around 110 micrograms per three-ounce serving, for example. While oysters clock in at around 49 micrograms.
Other foods which are a decent source of chromium include…
- Brazil nuts
- black pepper
- brewer’s yeast
But if you have serious concerns about your blood sugar you might want to consider taking a supplement as well. Your body absorbs certain forms of chromium more easily. Look for chromium aspartate, chromium polynicotinate, or chromium picolinate.
Have a chat with your doctor about taking chromium to help you manage your blood sugar naturally.
Bumping up sagging biotin levels could help you control your blood sugar. Experts say when you’re deficient in this important B vitamin your pancreas can begin to slow down on insulin production. As a result, your blood sugar can skyrocket leading to diabetes.
Biotin reduces insulin resistance and improves glucose tolerance, according to animal studies. And research has revealed that biotin levels tend to be lower in folks with diabetes than the average Joe.
While taking biotin supplements alone doesn’t always consistently lower blood sugar levels, a number of well-controlled studies have found that when combined with chromium it can help bring blood sugar levels back in line.
Take, for example, the double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in The American Journal of the Medical Sciences. In it, a combo of chromium picolinate and biotin significantly improved cholesterol levels, and lowered blood glucose, in a group of folks with type-2 diabetes.
And in a placebo-controlled clinical trial, folks taking 600 micrograms of chromium picolinate and two milligrams of biotin for 90 days had their hemoglobin A1c (a measure of blood sugar levels over time) and blood glucose levels plummet. Researchers say this one-two punch may be particularly useful for folks who are really struggling to get their blood sugar under control.
Eat more biotin-rich foods
Earlier you learned about some foods that are rich in chromium. Good food sources of biotin include…
- organ meats
- sunflower seeds
Or you may want to consider a supplement instead. You’ll find biotin supplements online and in natural food stores.
We’re still learning about the role that magnesium plays in diabetes. But we already know that when insulin levels spike magnesium levels tend to drop. And that folks who eat more magnesium-rich foods have a much lower risk of developing diabetes.
In a huge study that included over 600,000 people, researchers found that the folks who had the most magnesium in their diets had a healthy 17 percent lower risk of developing type 2-diabetes than those who had the least magnesium.
And when they took a deeper dive into the data from the observational study, they found that for every 100 mcg increase in magnesium in the diet there was a corresponding 13 percent drop in diabetes risk.
Plus, in other studies, magnesium supplements lowered fasting blood sugars in volunteers who were at risk for diabetes, and HbA1c in people who already had it.
Bump up your magnesium with these delicious foods
Foods rich in magnesium include…
- dark leafy greens
- dark chocolate
Magnesium is also available as a supplement in natural food stores and online.
If you’re serious about controlling your blood sugar why not start with the basics first? These three nutrients could turn out to be just what the doctored ordered to defeat diabetes.