November is National Diabetes Awareness Month. What better time than right before the holidays to start taking your health more seriously. Diabetes seems to be very prevalent among the black community. Sometimes even with multiple generations all in one family having it. However, just because your father, mother, aunt, grandparents have the disease does not mean you will get it as well. There are many ways to prevent diabetes and it all starts with how you take care of your body from the inside out. Here are 5 ways to prevent diabetes.
1. Breakfast every morning
It all starts with breakfast. Consuming breakfast within a few hours of waking up can greatly reduce the risk of getting diabetes. Make sure you and your family have a hearty and healthy meal each morning to not only fuel your bodies for the day but also to help prevent your body from becoming susceptible to diabetes. It’s ok if every now and then you have last nights leftovers or even starchy pancakes, waffles, bagels etc. The important thing is that you are eating. Of course this type of diet is not recommended for everyday. You want to try to include fresh fruits, protein and plenty of water, into your breakfast as often as possible.
2. Avoid drinking Sugar
Many people consume excessive sugar daily without even realizing it, all from what they are drinking. You may be eating a primarily healthy diet but if you are drinking pop, sugar juices, or tea and coffee filled with sugar you are doing more harm than good. Sugary drinks can cause chronic inflammation as well as excessive weight gain which leads to diabetes. Instead of drinking sugar filled drinks opt for more water, and tea with little to no sugar added. Give your children water or use a juicer to make them real fruit juice from fresh fruits and vegetables. This will not only help you lose excess weight, but also aid in preventing diabetes.
3. Get some Rest
Lack of sleep can cause an excessive rise in blood sugar levels which in turn can cause diabetes. Adults should be receiving at least 6 hours of sleep every night but 8 hours is even more ideal for optimal health. Often times when people are feeling sleepy and unable to get to sleep they tend to eat junk food which also can cause diabetes when eaten in excess. Taking warm baths, reading, and doing a relaxing activity before bed helps the body to wind and makes falling asleep much easier. A few drops of lavender oil on the pillow or in the bath also works extremely well at relaxing the body and allowing peaceful, uninterrupted sleep.
4. Move those buns
Exercising is never a bad idea. Exercising helps to reduce insulin levels as well as prevents obesity. Exercising also helps to lower the risk of multitudes of diseases including cancer. In addition to that exercising actually helps to add energy. If you are feeling low on energy mid-day, instead of eating an unhealthy snack, or drinking an energy drink, instead grab a bottle of water and work out. If you work during the day you can do little things to exercise at work. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Walk around the parking lot on lunch. Do light work outs at your desk!. If you are at home, do sit-ups while watching t.v, squats while house cleaning. Not only workout yourself but get your family involved. Instill good exercising practices into your children early so they know they importance of taking care of their bodies early on. Go on family bike rides, or indoor rock climbing. There are so many ways you can exercise there is really no excuse for not getting it done. Your body will thank you in the long run.
5. Switch up your diet
Red meat has been linked to diabetes, as well as salty and sugary foods. If you can, eliminate red meat completely from your diet, and try to alleviate excess sugar, salt, and processed foods as much as possible. It’s easy to add excessive seasoning when cooking and not even realize the damage these tiny seasonings are causing to you and your family. Try to cook with more natural ingredients (onions, pepper, and garlic) instead of using the store bought seasonings. In addition to that add more fresh fruits, and vegetables to your diet. For dessert instead of having cake or ice-cream have fresh fruit. For dinner try incorporating less meat or no meat at all. Instead, add more vegetables. You will feel much more healthy, and light, you will lose pounds as well as inches and most importantly prevent diabetes and other harmful diseases.
How will you be incorporating these diabetes preventing steps to your lifestyle?
Ashley Renee is a licensed esthetician,makeup artist, natural hair enthusiast, writer and poet from Chicago, residing in Los Angeles! Follow her on instagram @ashleyreneepoet and check out her website