By Katrina Turrill
TYPE 2 diabetes is a common condition which can lead to a number of serious health problems if left untreated. Avoiding certain foods and eating more of others can help lower your blood sugar levels – one food recommended by experts you eat is garlic.
Type 2 diabetes causes a person’s blood sugar (glucose) levels to become too high. If the condition is left untreated or uncontrolled it can lead to complications such as eye problems, kidney problems, heart attack and stroke. There are a number of risk factors associated with type 2 diabetes, including lack of exercise, smoking and a poor diet, high in fat and sugar. A healthy diet is one way you can help manage your blood sugar levels, and certain foods in particular, like garlic, have been proven to have blood sugar-lowering properties.
Several studies have demonstrated how garlic can reduce inflammation, blood sugar and LDL cholesterol in people with type 2 diabetes
Garlic is a popular herb used in dishes all over the world and has been linked to a number of impressive health benefits.
‘Effects of garlic on dyslipidemia in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus’ is just one study that demonstrates this.
High blood pressure often occurs with type 2 diabetes, and garlic as also proven effective at reducing blood pressure.
In one study, participants with uncontrolled high blood pressure who ate garlic for 12 weeks averaged a 10-point decrease in blood pressure.
For diabetes, greater health benefits are gained from doing a combination of aerobic or high intensity interval training (HIIT) and resistance exercise, according to Diabetes UK.
Aerobic exercise includes activities such as walking, cycling, jogging and swimming performed at a steady intensity.
With HIIT training, low-to-moderate intensity intervals are alternated with high-intensity intervals and can be applied to various types of aerobic exercises such as running or cycling.
Resistance exercise consists of lifting free weights, using weight machines, performing exercises using resistance bands and the body’s own weight.
The diabetes research charity explains: “Daily exercise, or ensuring that two days do not elapse between exercise sessions, ensures that you remain insulin sensitive.
“The insulin sensitivity benefits of exercise wear off after about 24 hours (this is based on a person with type 2 diabetes engaging in low-intensity exercise for approximately an hour per day).
“Exercise which improves muscle mass – such as resistance exercise – is important for maintaining or building muscle as it helps the body to be more insulin sensitive.
“And, as we lose muscle mass as we age, incorporating some form of resistance exercise at least twice per week on non-consecutive days becomes extremely important.”
Symptoms of type 2 diabetes to watch out for, according to the NHS, are:
Peeing more than usual, particularly at night
Feeling thirsty all the time
Feeling very tired
Losing weight without trying to
Itching around your penis or vagina, or repeatedly getting thrush
Cuts or wounds taking longer to heal