What is diabetes? Diabetes is a metabolic disorder in which blood glucose levels deviate from normal levels. There are two types of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2. This type of diabetes depends on one important hormone i.e. Insulin, which is responsible for glucose metabolism. Type 1 diabetics are insulin dependent and type 2 diabetics are insulin independent. There’s another form of diabetes that afflicts pregnant women called gestational diabetes. Many factors affect diabetes, such as: Age, Heredity (family history), Alcohol abuse, Drug abuse, Diet and lifestyle habits.
In diabetes, the body is unable to absorb glucose, leading to blood sugar deviations. Here are some of the symptoms that could indicate diabetes: • Increase in appetite • Frequent urination • Feeling too thirsty • Loss of weight • Feeling fatigued all day long • Frequent infections • Poor wound healing • High irritability/Depression • Blurred vision
Prevent diabetes by eating chocolate
Chocolate and berries could be the new weapons in the battle against diabetes. The findings reveal that snacking regularly on the equivalent of one medium sized bar a day protects against a condition called insulin resistance. Insulin is produced by the pancreas and has the job of helping the body's cells absorb glucose from the blood.
But chocolate works only if you eat plain, dark chocolate. Chocolate is said to reduce the risk of damaging changes in the body that can lead to diabetes because it contains disease fighting chemicals called Flavanoids. Flavonoids are the compounds in plants that give berries and flowers their vibrant colors, and also protect the plants against microbial invaders. These are antioxidants that are also found in fruits, tea and wine, and are thought to protect against damage to cells in the body.
The cocoa plant, from which chocolate is made, is another rich source of flavanoids. But the amount of flavanoids present in chocolate depends on the manufacturing process.
Why only dark chocolate is effective?
Experts believe adding milk and sugar to chocolate cancels out many of the health benefits derived from flavanoids. Researchers at the University of L'Aquila in Italy decided to measure the effects of dark chocolate against white chocolate. And found that insulin resistance was significantly lower and there was better blood glucose regulation, when the volunteers ate dark chocolate rather than white chocolate. Plain varieties have been found to raise antioxidant levels in the blood by up to 20 per cent. The results were published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Prevent diabetes by eating berries
The best flavanoids of all are anthocyanins that give fruit like berries and grapes and vegetables like aubergines their distinctive red or dark blue colouring. Flavonoids also boost health in part by combating oxidation, a process in which cell-damaging substances called free radicals accumulate. Oxidative damage can be caused by several factors. This can lead to diabetes, heart disease, stroke and several other diseases. High flavanoid compounds had improved levels of a protein which helps regulate a number of metabolic processes including glucose levels. A study found that blueberries increase sensitivity to insulin, and may reduce the risk of developing diabetes.
Some other rich sources of flavanoids are: • Parsley • Black tea • Citrus • Wine