Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Saying no to a hefty serving of your favorite dessert may sometimes prove difficult.
There's nothing wrong with treating yourself to a cup of vanilla ice cream or a slice of your favorite chocolate cake, but you may think twice if you factor in health issues.
Medical experts have searched for ways to effectively manage diabetes cases, which are rising at a rapid pace worldwide.
A 2008 study pointed out a spike in diabetes cases, or the lifelong condition of elevated blood sugar levels, particularly in developing countries. Diabetes remains a major public health concern in the Philippines, with complications leading to renal disease, blindness, and lower leg amputations, among others.
While it remains incurable, individuals can avail of medication that can help them manage the illness better.
But what if medication goes beyond the budget?
Natural ways to prevent diabetes
Dietary habits and a sedentary lifestyle are major factors for the rapidly rising incidence of diabetes among developing countries. Along with other benefits, following a healthy meal plan and being active can help you keep your blood sugar within your target range.
To manage your blood sugar level, you need to balance what you eat and drink with physical activity and diabetes medicine, if you take any. The key is to eat a variety of healthy foods from all food groups (vegetables, fruits, grains, protein and dairy) in the right proportion. Also, eat foods with heart-healthy fats like salmon, olive oil, nuts and seeds.
Drink water instead of sweetened beverages. Lastly, limit intake of food such as those high in salt and trans-fat.
Another way to prevent diabetes is through exercise. Exercise has so many benefits, but the most critical one is that it makes it easier for you to control your blood sugar level. Those with type 2 diabetes have too much glucose in their blood, either because their body doesn’t produce enough insulin to process it, or because their body doesn’t use insulin properly (insulin resistant). In either case, exercise can reduce the sugar in your blood.
If you stay fit and active, you’ll be able to keep your blood glucose level in the correct range and prevent diabetes from happening.
However, make sure to allow yourself some time to build up to a steady, challenging exercise routine. It’s okay to start slow — it’s more beneficial for your body in the long run.
While lifestyle change can be an effective aid to prevent diabetes, another natural method may help keep the disease at bay.
Sinta (Andrographis paniculata), a plant native to Southeast Asia, has been used as a traditional treatment for a number of infections and diseases including hypertension, common cold, and flu.
The plant, which has its leaves and roots used for medicinal purposes, is also known to lower blood sugar levels.
Sneak in a quick stroll to the park or some yoga practice, keep a balanced diet, and add Sinta food supplements to your daily routine, to keep the diabetes scare away for the long run.