Diabetes isn’t the end of the road. You can still enjoy food. However, it is important to broaden your diet. You need to stress the fruit and vegetables, and these need to be integrated in a far larger proportion of your diet than meat and simple proteins from refined sources, better known as snack foods. Yes, there are simple carbohydrates in fruits and some vegetables, but these foods are also high sources of fiber. Fiber helps your body control blood sugar levels. So you get a little sweet with a whole lot of good-for-you fiber. Besides, fiber helps you feel full. Feeling full longer helps to manage your cravings. However, before making any major change to your diet, it is best to consult your doctor.
Increase Fiber Intake
To maximize the fiber and nutrients you are getting from your fruit and vegetables, try raw food recipes. This doesn’t limit you to eating fruit and veggies plain. You can try lettuce wraps and even smoothies. Toss your fresh fruit, chopped in tiny bits, into a high performance blender with some yogurt, and voila you have a treat! You can search for “raw smoothies” on Google or peruse this site for more recipes that will help you increase fiber, satisfy that sweet craving, fill you up in the morning, lose weight and even fight diabetes.
The Raw Fruit Advantage
Drinks that are 100% juice help, too. You can buy them, sometimes for a bit more than you may like to dish out, or make them at home. Raw fruit blended to a pulp can be a good basis for a smoothie. Or you could use a blender to make a whole range of fruit-based sauces and dressing. Frozen fruits can be okay. Sometimes, if you stumble upon a sale (especially with berries) it can be hard to pass up buying a lot of fruit all at once. If you wash and freeze them, you can use them for a wide range of dishes at a later date. If you are trying to lose weight, this can be especially helpful.
Tiny berries are fine to freeze as they are. Strawberries, though, should be cut up first. It is especially helpful to use zip lock bags and measure out 8 oz of strawberries into each bag. Then you have a full cup of berries all ready for munching or cooking or baking. If you’ve got frozen berries stored in your freezer and you want to make a smoothie the next day, just transfer your baggie to the fridge. The ice should be mostly gone, and some soggy slices should be left. Add a banana, fresh blueberries, and yogurt into your blender and switch it on. Then you’re good to go. Trying to avoid dairy? Opt for almond milk and ice. If you choose this method, be cautious because the soggy slices of strawberry have a fair amount of water in them, so you don’t need as much added liquid as you might with fresh-out-of-the basket strawberries.
Raw Veggies and Smoothies
Raw veggies can be added to smoothies too! There is far more you can do with raw vegetables than merely dip in ranch dressing as a snack. Carrot-Orange juice is a delicious drink you can make at home. Use a juicer to turn one whole carrot into juice. Use a citrus juicer on one orange. To make into a smoothie, add a ripe banana, ice, your two homemade juices, and mix in your high performance blender.
Another excellent raw vegetable recipe is the raw lettuce wrap. In this dish, you combine veggies to make a salsa-like filling and wrap the mixture in fresh lettuce leaves. You can combine different ingredients for different tastes. Wraps are a good alternative if you’re looking at that salad and groaning. It’s okay, there are more ways to eat the same foods, and versatility in your cuisine will help you maintain an enjoyment of the foods that you are eating. Diversity in dishes is key to making certain that you maintain healthy eating patterns.
So if you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, don’t see it as a prison. Look at your daily food choices, and find ways to experiment. Healthy eating is not limited eating, it is merely informed eating. Your options are still numerous, but you now are encouraged to play with your choices and find or rediscover things you have forgotten or did not even know were delicious. Remember to discuss proposed changes to your diet with your doctor first.
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Brightly colored fruits and vegetables make delicious smoothies and also contribute to healthy eyes. Vitamins in these raw foods can protect against such conditions as night blindness, eye infections, and degenerative eye diseases. Although supplements are plentiful and widely marketed, health professionals stress the importance of a good diet. Making raw smoothies with your high performance blender is one way to give your diet a boost while taking care of your vision.
Seeing Better with Vitamin A
Children and pregnant and lactating women who have a vitamin A deficiency are at a risk for blindness. In fact, night blindness is the first symptom of an eye disease that may be linked to insufficient vitamin A in the diet. This vitamin nourishes cells in the retina that are responsible for creating nerve impulses triggered by light. Vitamin A also helps to relieve dry eyes and can guard against glaucoma. Look for yellow, orange, red and green vegetables and fruits for good sources of vitamin A. Examples include: spinach, pumpkin, kale, collard greens, cantaloupe, and apricot. Vitamin A is a fat-soluble nutrient and will build up in the body. It is important to get enough, but not to get too much of this vitamin. The recommended daily intake for girls who are more than 10 years of age and women is 800 mcg; boys older than 10 and men should take 1,000 mcg a day.
Vitamin D Lowers Risks
Vitamin D in sufficient amounts lowers the risk of eye infections as well as protecting overall immunity and helping you maintain good vision. Most recently, studies published in leading ophthalmology journals show a link between vitamin D deficiency and an increased risk of macular degeneration, a progressive disease resulting in blindness. Fortified juices, daily milk and almond milk are good sources of vitamin D and can easily be used in your smoothies and sauces. Daily requirements of this fat-soluble vitamin vary by age. Those below age 50 should consume 200 IU, men and women between 51 and 70 need 400 IU, and those older than 70 require 600 IU.
Vitamin E and Your Immunity
Vitamin E is an antioxidant and can be found in sweet potatoes and nuts, as well as vitamin-fortified cereals and peanut butter. It helps the immune system and plays a role in reducing the risk of blindness in later years. Foods that are good sources of vitamin E include kiwi, avocado, peach, pumpkin, and papaya. All can be used found in soup, smoothie or sauce recipes. Vitamin E, which is also a fat-soluble vitamin, must come from either supplements or diet because the body cannot manufacture it through any biological function. The recommended daily requirement for vitamin E is 22 IU for men and women. Women who are lactating need 28.5 IU every day, and children between the ages of 4 and 8 require 10.5 IU.
Vitamin C: The Other Antioxidant
Many nutritionists and medical professionals consider this vitamin a good source for making overall immunity stronger. It is also thought to improve eye health because it can protect against eye infections. Other advantages are said to include antioxidant and anticarcinogenic properties. Among the raw fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C are peas, strawberries, oranges, kale, broccoli, carrot, apricot, papaya and collard green. The recommended daily dosage of this water-soluble vitamin is 75 mg for women and 65 mg for men
Eye Support with Lutein and Zeaxanthin
Colorful vegetables contain these two important substances, which are referred to as xanthophylls. Both lutein and zeaxanthin are present at high levels in the human eye. Specifically, these compounds are found in the macula and provide an antioxidant benefits that keep the cells in the eyes healthy. Zeaxanthin can protect the photoreceptors in the eye as well as the retina and macula. Some studies *** indicate that these two substances play a larger role in reducing the incidence of macular degeneration than vitamins E or C. Studies suggest *** that adults should eat foods that contain 6 mg of lutein and zeaxanthin a day. If you are in the habit of making raw smoothies with richly colored fruits and vegetables, the changes are good that you are giving your body the right amount of vitamins and other nutrients for optimal eye health. Rather than seeking out supplements and researching to find credible manufacturers, it is far easier to make smoothies using some of the colorful fruits, vegetables along with fortified milk or juices.
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