Friday, April 10, 2015

Diabetic Complications

There are several long-term microvascular and macrovascular complications that develop if your diabetes is not managed properly and your blood glucose is not maintained within the normal range. 

Although these complications develop gradually, they can eventually be disabling or even life-threatening. Some of these complications include the following:

Eye damage (retinopathy). Diabetes can damage the blood vessels of the retina (diabetic retinopathy), potentially leading to blindness. Diabetes also increases the risk of other serious vision conditions, such as cataracts and glaucoma.
Kidney damage (nephropathy). The kidneys contain millions of tiny blood vessel clusters that filter waste from your blood. Diabetes can damage this delicate filtering system (leading to proteinuria). Severe damage can lead to kidney failure or irreversible end-stage kidney disease, which often eventually requires dialysis or a kidney transplant.
Nerve damage (neuropathy). Excess sugar can injure the walls of the tiny blood vessels (capillaries) that nourish your nerves, especially in the legs. This can cause tingling, numbness, burning or pain that usually begins at the tips of the toes or fingers and gradually spreads upward. Poorly controlled blood sugar can eventually cause you to lose all sense of feeling in the affected limbs. Further nerve damage in the feet or poor blood flow to the feet increases the risk of various foot complications. Left untreated, cuts and blisters can become serious infections, which may heal poorly. Severe damage might require toe, foot or leg amputation.

Cardiovascular disease. Diabetes dramatically increases the risk of various cardiovascular problems, including coronary artery disease (with/without angina), congestive heart failure, heart attack, stroke, narrowing of arteries (atherosclerosis) and high blood pressure.

Skin conditions. Diabetes may leave you more susceptible to skin problems, including bacterial and fungal infections.

Alzheimer's disease. Type 2 diabetes may increase the risk of Alzheimer's disease. The poorer your blood sugar control, the greater the risk appears to be.
Other problems. Damage to the nerves that control digestion can cause problems with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or constipation. For men, erectile dysfunction may be an issue.

The following flowchart depicts how these complications develop in a diabetic's body.

The following diagram depicts how these complications develop in a diabetic's body at the cellular level.

Other Diabetic Health Complications
In addition to the aforementioned diabetic complications and health problems, there are other health complications that can occur before or after you become diabetic including the following: high blood pressure; high inflammation (high homocysteine, C-reactive protein, cholesterol, fibrinogen); fatigue; sexual dysfunction; and, frequent infections (especially gum disease).

Note: For more details about diabetes and its complications (and how to treat them naturally without drugs), refer to Chapters 3 and 15 of the Death to Diabetes book or Chapters 2-6 of the DTD Science of Diabetes ebook.

Diabetes Is More Than a Blood Sugar Disease

Type 2 diabetes is more than a “blood sugar” disease! It is a combination of insulin resistance and inflammation that affects the muscle cells, liver cells and fat cells. 

Insulin resistance and inflammation prevent these cells from effectively using the insulin produced by the pancreas. That is, the insulin receptors on the surface of each cell are damaged (inflamed), ignoring the presence of insulin in your blood and refusing to allow glucose from your blood to enter your cells. 

In addition to the muscle, liver and fat cells, diabetes affects many other cells in the body. As a result, diabetes affects almost every major part of the human body, which can lead to problems with the eyes, kidneys, feet, heart, brain and other organs. 

Some of those cells that are affected by diabetes include the following:

Blood vessel cells: of the circulatory system's arteries and veins begin to degenerate and weaken, causing leakages and sometimes clotting; and, reduces the amount of oxygen getting to all parts of the body. 

Leakages in the small blood vessels that feed the eyes, kidneys, feet, etc. along with thickening of capillary walls can lead to diseases associated with those parts of the body.

And, the damage to the large blood vessels causes hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), which can lead to a heart attack, stroke or poor circulation in the feet.

In addition, these effects reduce blood circulation to the skin, arms, legs, and feet; and, also, change the circulation to the eyes and kidneys. Reduced capillary blood flow may cause some brown patches on the legs. 

Brain cells (Neurons): causes synaptic degeneration (synapses are the structures at the end of each neuron used to communicate between neurons); also, affects the hippocampus portion of the brain causing a reduction in neurocognitive speed, learning and mental functioning and focusing, leading to a slowdown in memory processing, brain fog, memory loss, a lack of concentration; and, depression. Also, the formation of amyloid plaques between nerve cells (neurons) in the brain can lead to Alzheimer's Disease (AD).

Glucose triggers the brain to release natural chemicals called opioids, which give the body a feeling of intense pleasure. The brain then recognizes this feeling and begins to crave more of it. Similar to a cocaine addiction, when you crave glucose, it activates certain areas in the brain, specifically, the hippocampus, the insula and the caudate) that are activated.

Endothelial cells: in the lining of all blood vessels and the inner walls of the heart chamber; can lead to high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, etc.

Eye cells: Because of damage to the small blood vessels that nourish tissue and nerve cells in the retina, blood clots and scar tissue can form in front of the retina, preventing light from hitting the retina, resulting in blindness.

Fat cells: become insulin-resistant, along with muscle and liver cells, can cause obesity.

Heart (muscle/chamber) cells: can lead to heart disease, heart attacks.

Kidney cells (incl. Nephrons (Glomerular cells, Renal corpuscle (parietal cells, podocytes and mesangial cells) and the various tubules (columnar and cuboidal epithelial cells): lose the ability to filter the blood as the blood vessels in the nephrons become more porous. Over time amino acids and proteins escape into the urine through these pores, which is an indication of kidney dysfunction eventually leading to kidney failure and dialysis.

Liver cells: can lead to a increased toxins, increased cholesterol, fatty liver, many health issues.

Nerve cells: damage to the blood vessels in the legs and damage to the myelin sheath of nerve cells in the legs leads to numbness, pain, and eventually amputation.

Pancreatic beta cells: may wear out and lose their ability to produce insulin.

Red blood cells: become hardened and stickier, making the blood thicker and slow-moving; and more prone to clotting. Can lead to high blood pressure, eye disease, kidney disease, heart disease, amputation, inflammation, infection; and many other health problems/diseases, because the circulatory system touches every major system in the body.

Skin cells: (or epithelial cells) can cause dry skin, slow-healing bruises and infections, damaged skin due to glycated collagen.

White blood cells: can weaken the immune system, leading to infections, slow-healing wounds and other diseases.

Please Note: This is, by no means, a complete list of every cell and organ in the human body. But, this list should help you to better understand how diabetes can affect so many parts of the body.

Type 2 Diabetes at the Cell Level

Note: The circulatory system and the nervous system go to every major part of the human body. And, since diabetes affects these two systems, then, you can see why diabetes affects every major part of the human body. 

Note: For more details about diabetes and its complications (and how to treat them naturally without drugs), refer to Chapters 3 and 15 of the Death to Diabetes book or Chapters 2-6 of the DTD Science of Diabetes ebook.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Top 10 Foods to Fight Stress

It is a known fact that (unmanaged) stress can cause your blood glucose to rise, which, over time, can gradually destroy your body and your health.

The good news is that you can control your blood glucose and limit the damage to your body caused by living a stressful life.

How? By simply embracing a superior nutritional program such as the Death to Diabetes Nutritional Program.

Although this program was designed to address your diabetes, it also reduces the impact of stress on your body and your overall health.

Some "anti-stress" foods that you can add to your daily diet to combat stress and relieve the effects of stress on your health include: almonds, asparagus, avocado, bison, blueberries, cantaloupe, cottage cheese, oranges, wild salmon, spinach, sunflower seeds, sushi and walnuts.

Almonds.  Thanks to being high vitamin E, vitamin B2 and magnesium, almonds can help bolster your immune system when you're stressed, reported Women's Health. Just a quarter cup of almonds each day does the trick.

A report published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that adults who incorporated nuts into their diets helped them with their stress. A review of 31 studies about eating nuts found that people who added nuts to their diets and who replaced other foods with nuts lost more weight (an average 1.4 pounds more) and reduced their waist sizes by more than half an inch.

The nutrients in several types of nuts can help protect your body against the damaging physical effects of being stressed out. So, have a little snack and eat a handful of almonds instead of eating a granola bar.

Tip 1: For variety, spread some almond butter on fruit slices or whole grain crackers.

Tip 2: Avoid roasted or salted almonds -- instead eat raw, organic almonds.

Asparagus. This amazing green vegetable is an excellent anti stress food, a natural source of folic acid, which is an important chemical that helps to balance your mood and block the hormones produced when we are stressed out.

Tip: Sauté some asparagus tips for a tasty omelet. Go with steamed or grilled spears as a side vegetable for meat, fish or poultry. Snack on some steamed spears by dipping in some dressing.

Avocado. We need B vitamins for healthy nerves and brain cells, and feelings of anxiety may be rooted in a B vitamin deficiency. Avocados are rich in stress-relieving B vitamins. Bonus: They're also high in monounsaturated fat and potassium, which help lower blood pressure.

Tip: Next time stress has you reaching for a pint of full-fat ice cream, opt for a non-dairy DIY version made with avocado blended with a ripe banana, vanilla extract, nut milk, and stevia. Freeze, then chill-out.

Bananas. This fruit is rich in vitamin B, an important nutrient to keep stress hormones and blood pressure levels under control even in the most stressful situations.

Tip: Don't eat the banana by itself. Instead, eat the banana with a handful of nuts to offset the potential blood sugar spike caused by the banana.

Bison. Rich in iron, vitamin B, selenium, niacin, and zinc, bison (and free-range beef) can be part of an excellent meal after a stressful day. Bison is loaded with Vitamin B12, a co-factor of energy production).

Note: The healthy gut bacteria in your body does not manufacture enough Vitamin B12 to meet your overall needs, but Vitamin B12 is abundant in bison meat.

Blueberries. This great low calorie product is rich in antioxidants, fiber and vitamin C, all of which effectively help us fight against stresses. When we’re stressed, our bodies need vitamin C and antioxidants to help repair and protect cells.

James Joseph, PhD, lead scientist in the Laboratory of Neuroscience at the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University calls blueberries the "brain berry". Dr. Joseph’s claim was made with the publication of his landmark blueberry research.

This has since been bolstered by animal studies demonstrating that daily consumption of modest amounts of blueberries dramatically slows impairments in memory and motor coordination that normally accompany aging.

Moreover, a wealth of exciting new research clearly establishes that in addition to promoting brain health, this long-prized native North American fruit—whether consumed fresh, frozen, canned, or as an extract—may help with reducing the negative effects of stress on our health along with a range of other diverse health benefits.

Tip: Blueberries may seem small, but just a handful pack a powerful punch of antioxidants and vitamin C, making them mighty stress-busters. While blueberries are tasty all by themselves, freeze them for a cold berry snack, or add them to a serving of yogurt or high-fiber cereal.

Cantaloupe is an excellent source of vitamin C, which is crucial in combating stress. In fact, prolonged periods of stress deplete levels of vitamin C in the adrenal glands, so it's important to consume foods that contain high levels of it.

Cottage cheese. This type of cheese is very rich in proteins, calcium, as well as vitamins B2 and B12, which assist in banishing such symptoms of stresses as anxiety and restlessness. Since cottage cheese is a good source of vitamins B2 and B12, mixing it with cantaloupe for breakfast or a midday snack will help you banish your feelings of anxiety.

Dark chocolate. It is known as one of the best anti-stress foods which is packed with flavonoids with amazing relaxing properties. Phenethylamine is another very important natural substance which can be found in dark chocolate. This chemical enhances our mood and makes us feel relaxed too. In addition to this, studies have shown that regular consumption of dark chocolate in small doses is linked to lower levels of cortisol, known also as the stress hormone.

High in flavonoids, which are lauded for their relaxing properties (lemon balm and chamomile tea are other excellent sources), dark chocolate also contains phenethylamine, a chemical that enhances your mood. The darker the chocolate, the more healthful substances you’re being paid in your diet, so look for bars that are at least 70 percent cacao.

Researchers found that eating the equivalent of one mean-sized dark chocolate candy bar (1.4 ounces) each day for two weeks reduced levels of the stress hormone cortisol as well as the “fight-or-flight” hormones known as catecholamines in highly stressed people.

Oranges. Oranges have high vitamin-C content. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that fights the free radicals that get unhindered when you’re stressed. It also lessens symptoms and shortens the duration of colds, which may be brought on by stress. Other excellent sources of Vitamin C include kiwi fruit and strawberries.

Tip: For a quick burst of vitamin C, simply eat a whole orange. But, avoid bottled orange juice.

Salmon. This is one of the best natural sources of Omega 3 fatty acids are reported to be an excellent food to slow down production of hormones adrenaline and cortisol, associated with increased levels  of stresses. Also, good amounts of Omega 3 acids in our body can help boost serotonin levels making us feel more happy and content.

Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids-overflowing in fish like wild salmon-can help back stress symptoms by boosting serotonin levels, and that an omega-3-rich diet can also help suppress the production of the anxiety hormones cortisol and adrenaline.

Tip: Avoid farmed salmon -- instead eat wild salmon.

Spinach. Leafy greens may not be your idea of comfort food, but spinach can have a comforting effect. Spinach is packed with magnesium, the mineral that helps regulate cortisol levels and promote feelings of well-being.

Tip: Add some spinach in your morning eggs (or smoothie), swap for lettuce in your sandwich, have a salad, steam it as a side dish,or drop a handful of leaves into your soup.

Sunflower Seeds: A excellent fund of folate, which helps your body produce a pleasure-inducing brain chemical called dopamine. Low levels of zinc are common among those suffering from stress. It is elemental for boosting the immunelogic and fighting infections.

Sushi. Aside from the benefits of fish described on the first page, the seaweed in maki (rolls) also has anxiety-fighting properties. It is packed with stress-relieving magnesium, as well as pantothenic acid and vitamin B2 (riboflavin).

Pantothenic acid is crucial, as it contributes to the health of the adrenal glands, which play a vital role in stress management. In times of stress, a deficiency in pantothenic acid can lead to feelings of anxiety and increased vulnerability to infection, illness and chronic fatigue.

Walnuts: They’ve been shown to help lower blood pressure, which is critical for those whose hearts are by now working overtime thanks to high adrenaline levels. In fact, research so strongly backs their health repayment that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration goes so far as to recommend 1-1/2 oz per day (Eat raw, organic walnuts, 1/4 cup daily).

A recent study looked at nuts rich in alpha-linolenic acid, like walnuts, and found that they had a heart-protective benefit during times of acute stress -- which are known to cause cardiovascular strain.

Breakfast. Almost every other person has a practice of regularly skipping breakfast. Why do we do this? Sometimes we sleep too long and have no time for breakfast before leaving the house. Some people believe that skipping breakfast can help in weight loss, but this idea is absolutely incorrect. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and skipping breakfast does not lead to anything positive.

Skipping breakfast or eating a poor breakfast leads to substantially heightened stress levels and given the role of stress in the deterioration of problem solving and concentration, eating a healthy breakfast has profound implications for everyone, adults and children alike.

So, if you're going to eat breakfast, then, eat a properly-balanced meal (such as the Death to Diabetes Super Breakfast protocol) in order to reap the benefits of breakfast and ensure optimum health.

Moreover, according to famous British expert nutritionists Professor Tanya Byron and Amanda Ursell, who recently published their Kingsmill Breakfast Report, eating a healthy breakfast can help us to reduce negative effects of our daily stresses.

Other Anti-stress Foods. Other foods that help to fight stress include: avocados, chamomile tea, oysters, Swiss chard, turkey.

Note: For more details about how to manage stress, read Chapter 13 of the Death to Diabetes book or read the How to Reduce Stress ebook

Top 10 Foods to Fight Stress

Friday, February 27, 2015

How to Manage Stress

Stressed ManWhether you admit it or not, stress is a part of everyday life. 

Whether you are at school, at the office, or just about anywhere, you are forced to deal with people and the environment. 

Hence, the types of stress is closely associated with its cause. 

And because your physical body is closely connected to your emotional and mental state, you will notice some connection to their effects when you begin to experience stress. 

This is also the reason why it is important to combat the cause of stress since it affects several vital aspects of your body in order to function.

The Top 2 Problems That Cause Stress
Although there are hundreds of problems that cause stress, two of the top problems that cause stress in our lives are:
1. Health problems
2. Financial problems

And, given that most people will experience health and financial problems at some point in our lives, it is not realistic to think that you can avoid stress completely.

Instead it is better to look at strategies that can help you deal with health and financial problems and, as a result, reduce the stress in your life.

Stress Due To Health Problems: There is nothing more stressful than fighting a disease like diabetes, heart disease, cancer, etc. To deal with this kind of stress, you need to make sure that you eat healthy, exercise daily and that you get enough rest and sleep. It also helps if you have a support system, i.e. family members, a friend, clergy, health coach, doctor, etc.

Concerning health problems, you should educate yourself about healthy foods and how to eat balanced meals (i.e. DTD super meals). These types of meals will provide your body and its cells with the proper nutrients to prevent and fight most diseases -- so that you can prevent stress from causing damage to your body.

Note: During the past several years, more and more people have learned how to use the Internet and its platforms (i.e. Google, YouTube) to educate themselves about proper nutrition and how to eat healthier to fight diseases such as Type 2 diabetes.

Stress Due To Financial Problems: Not having enough money to pay the bills or being unemployed is very stressful, especially given the recent problems with the economy and the "real" unemployment rate. It is important that we look for alternative ways to increase the income for our family.

Concerning financial problems, you should educate yourself about financial  budgeting, savings, investments, 401Ks, IRAs, the stock market, economics and small business/marketing; and, how to start your own home business without requiring any major capital. By finding alternative ways to increase your family income, you can prevent the stress from not having enough money to live and handle the expenses for unforeseen events, i.e. flooded basement, hospital stay, car problems, loss of job, etc.

Note: During the past several years, more and more people have learned that the same Internet that helped them learn how to eat better and fight disease can be used to help them improve their financial situation and live a higher quality of life. Examples include: selling health products, providing advice to help people (i.e. health coaching), writing and selling your own book; fixing cars; cleaning houses (i.e. maid service); repairing houses, etc.

Unfortunately, most people don't start their own business for 4 major reasons: (1) they don't have the time or money; (2) they don't know how or lack the interest; (3) they tried in the past and failed; and (4) they don't need the extra money.

But, with the advancements of technology in today's information age, that is all changing now -- lack of time, money, interest, etc. should no longer be barriers to your financial success. (This will be discussed in more detail in a future post).

In the meantime, here are some ideas to help you deal with stress in your life:
-- Help a friend
Go for a walk with a friend to relieve your stress-- Go for a ride
-- Visit the mall
-- Eat a healthy breakfast
-- Tour a museum
-- Take a walk in nature
-- Write in your journal
-- Talk with a close friend
-- Take a bubble bath
-- Get a massage
-- Read a good book
-- Go to the movies

-- Laugh!
-- Volunteer
-- Start your own home business*
*Note: For more information about how to start your own home business, refer to a future post or refer to the DTD website at:

Types and Causes of Stress 
Here are some of the most common sources of stress that must be dealt with on an everyday basis.

Internal Stress: There are times when you constantly worry about certain events without having enough control to determine its outcome. Internal stress is also one of those kinds of stress that needs to be addressed quickly. Most of the source of stress is rooted in the person’s mind, which makes it difficult to manage and would entail more work to get rid of. Oftentimes, people suffering from internal stress subconsciously puts themselves in stressful situations or feel stressed out about things that aren’t stressful to begin with.

Survival Stress: This type of stress deals with the danger, mostly physical, that an individual is subjected to. It can be prompted by an attack made by either human or animal that could potentially hurt you in the process. Therefore, your body releases this burst of energy that you need to utilize to respond quickly about the situation at hand whether to confront it or escape from it.

Environmental Stress: This type of stress is your body’s way of responding to changes or activities in your environment that could produce stress, such as extreme levels of noise or pressure from work. As compared to the other types of stress already mentioned above, this one is a lot easier to deal with. The best way to get started combating this stress type is to determine the source. Once you have identified the source of environmental stress, find a way to avoid them.

Stress Due To Work and Fatigue: Another common type of stress and probably the most prevalent. This one though does not happen in an instant, but rather builds up over time. When you are spending too much time working or forced to deal with excessive amount of work, then it can take its toll on your body. To deal with work stress, you need to make sure you have enough rest and relaxation in between so your body can recover from the tremendous amount of work. There are relaxation methods that you can apply in order to find relief from stress.

Tips for How to Manage Stress in Your Life
Stress Management: Learn to Control What You Can
It’s not realistic to think you can avoid stress completely. There are some things over which you don’t have complete control: roofs occasionally leak, jobs can be a hassle, relationships can end and investments sometimes go down in value.

Worrying about things you have no or limited control over is not your best strategy for your overall health or for managing your diabetes. Instead, focus on managing your response to these kinds of events. You have the ability to control your attitude, help calm your bodily reactions to stress and make sound choices. The goal is to mobilize the available resources to help you cope with stress in a healthy manner.

In addition, ensure that you eat balanced meals such as the DTD super meals. These types of meals will provide your body and its cells with the proper nutrients so that you can handle stress and prevent stress from causing damage to your body. 

Manage What You Can Control
The all-important first step is to distinguish between those parts of your stress that you have some measure of control over and those you don’t. You want to focus your energy on the areas over which you have some control.

For example, you cannot change the fact that your boss is a dimwit but you can choose how you respond to him. Spend your limited time and energy on trying to make the situation better instead of being anxious about the current state.

Examine Your Coping Style
Why does one person faced with diabetes rise to the challenge while another person struggles with continual feelings of failure? It often has a lot to do with coping style. Many people have what’s called “learned helplessness.” They respond to adversity in a passive manner believing that fate will inevitably have its way. 

But this coping style usually fails to see the many choices that are actually available. If you are prone to learned helplessness, start asking yourself what choices you have that could change your situation? Write them down. Be proactive. Diabetes doesn’t have to control your life.

Choose to Enrich Your Life
In our fast-paced society, many people never give themselves a chance to fully recharge their physical, mental and emotional reserves. As a result, our minds and bodies stay tightly wound and increasingly stressed with each passing day. 

Instead of trying to distract yourself from these stressors by plopping in front of the television or going out to eat, do something that you find truly enriching, i.e. help a friend, visit the mall, write in your journal, read a good book, become a community volunteer, etc.

Use Exercise Techniques to Manage Your Stress
Regular practice of the following exercise disciplines will immediately help you reduce your stress level, and, over time, bring your glucose levels down as well:
Diaphragmatic breathing. In a sitting or lying position, breathe in through your nose, pulling the air deeply into your lungs until you feel your lower abdomen begin to extend. Take in as much air as you can. Hold it for a count of five and then slowly exhale through your mouth. Do this several times.

Progressive relaxation. In a lying position, tense one muscle group (calves, for example) for a slow count of 10 while keeping the rest of your body relaxed. Stop tensing that muscle and relax for a few seconds. Then move to the next muscle group (thighs) and repeat. Progressively work your way through the entire body. This exercise is great to help bleed out the tension in muscles before sleeping.

Exercise. Find an aerobic activity (running, walking, swimming, cycling, water exercise, Tai chi, dancing, etc.) that you enjoy and participate in it regularly. Exercise is one of the best ways to release tension and keep your blood sugar in check. 

Food for Thought: There is a fine line between denial and faith: Denial is believing you can’t win the battle against the disease because of all the facts. Faith is believing that you can win the battle despite all of the facts.

How to Manage Stress

Monday, February 09, 2015

Top 10 Foods for the Kidneys

A healthy kidney is as important as a healthy heart. Kidneys filter out the waste and extra water, and remove harmful toxins from the body in the form of urine.


In addition, kidneys help maintain a balance of electrolytes and other fluids in your body.

Kidney problems can cause difficulty urinating, puffiness around the eyes, and swollen feet and hands. A person who has kidney problems is also at higher risk of developing heart disease.

According to the National Kidney Foundation, more than 26 million adults in America suffer from some kind of kidney disease.

If you're concerned about the health of your own kidneys, these 10+ super foods for kidney health should be on your grocery-shopping list.

Ask a renal dietitian for help including them in your kidney-friendly meal plan if you have chronic kidney disease. When buying fruits and vegetables, get the freshest ones you can find and be sure to include a variety, since some are rich in one nutrient and others are rich in another. If you can only find fruits that are not at their peak, the flavor may be lessened, but you'll still get good nutritional value from them for your kidney health.

Eating the right foods help organs, including your kidneys, function properly. Certain superfoods rich in antioxidants like flavonoids, lycopene, beta-carotene and vitamin C promote kidney health.

Super Foods for Your Kidneys
If you are on dialysis or have chronic kidney disease (CKD), you'll be glad to know that there are lots of super foods, containing antioxidants and other health-supporting properties, included in the kidney diet. People with kidney disease experience more inflammation and have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease than those without kidney problems. 
If you have kidney disease, it's important that you consult a renal dietitian and follow a kidney diet. Including super foods in your kidney diet eating plan can help you increase your intake of nutrients and antioxidants.

Here is a list of the top 15 kidney-friendly super foods. These foods are good for everyone, not just people with kidney disease, so by using them in your family's meals, you'll be helping your loved ones enjoy good health too. 

Red bell peppers
Red bell peppers
Red bell peppers are a good choice for those concerned about kidney health, because they're low in potassium. In addition, they add color and taste to any dish, while packing a generous portion of vitamins A, C, B6, folic acid and fiber. They also contain the antioxidant lycopene, which protects against certain types of cancer. 

If you're following the kidney diet, it's easy to add red bell peppers to your food plan. Mix them into tuna or chicken salad or eat raw with dip. Roasted, they're great for topping sandwiches or green salads. Chop them up for use in egg dishes, such as omelets or scrambled eggs, add them to kabobs for grilling or stuff them with a ground beef or turkey mixture for a tasty baked entrée.

Crunchy cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable filled with phytochemicals, chemical compounds found in certain fruits and vegetables. Phytochemicals work to break apart free radicals. Many phytochemicals are believed to combat cancer and support cardiovascular health.  

Inexpensive cabbage is a great addition to your eating plan, because it's also high in vitamins K and C, high in fiber and a good source of vitamin B6 and folic acid, yet it's low in potassium, so it's especially kidney-friendly. 
If you're following the dialysis diet, add cabbage by turning it into coleslaw or use as a topping for fish tacos. Cabbage can be boiled, steamed or microwaved and then enjoyed with a touch of butter or cream cheese and a sprinkling of pepper or caraway seeds. Other nutritious meal options include cabbage rolls and stuffed cabbage.

Another kidney-friendly super food is cauliflower. This cruciferous vegetable brings lots of vitamin C to your plate, along with folate and fiber. In addition it contains compounds that help your liver neutralize toxic substances. 

Cauliflower can be eaten raw with dip or in salads. Steamed or boiled, it can be seasoned and turned into a great side dish. You can even mash cauliflower as a dialysis-friendly replacement for mashed potatoes.

Garlic is good for reducing inflammation and lowering cholesterol. It also has antioxidant and anti-clotting properties. (Cooking garlic will not affect its antioxidant properties, but it will reduce its anti-clotting and anti-inflammatory effects.) 

If you're following the dialysis diet, use garlic powder instead of garlic salt to add extra flavor to your meals without adding extra sodium. Garlic can be used in cooking many dishes: meat, vegetables or tomato sauce, for instance. Once you start cooking with garlic, you'll wonder how you ever got along without it.

Another popular food used for seasoning is the onion. Onion is full of flavonoids, particularly quercetin. Flavonoids are natural chemicals that prevent the deposit of fatty material in blood vessels and add pigmentation (color) to plants. 
Quercetin is a powerful antioxidant that is believed to help reduce heart disease and protect against many forms of cancer. It also has anti-inflammatory properties.

Low in potassium, onions are not only kidney-friendly; they also contain chromium, a mineral that assists your body with the metabolism of fats, proteins and carbohydrates.  
Onions can be enjoyed raw or cooked in a variety dishes.

An apple a day really does help keep the doctor away! High in fiber and anti-inflammatory properties, apples help reduce cholesterol, prevent constipation, protect against heart disease and decrease your risk of cancer.  
Renal-friendly apples can be eaten raw or cooked. Or get their health benefits by drinking apple juice or cider.

These tasty berries get their blue color from antioxidant compounds called anthocyanidins. 
Blueberries get high marks for nutrition, thanks to natural compounds that reduce inflammation and lots of vitamin C and fiber. 
They also contain manganese, which contributes to healthy bones. 

Use blueberries to top off your morning cereal, whip them up in a fruit smoothie or enjoy them in a baked treat, such as muffins or crisp.

Cherries are filled with antioxidants and phytochemicals that protect your heart. When eaten daily, they have been shown to reduce inflammation.  

Fresh cherries make a delicious snack. Of course, cherry pie is a popular dessert, but there's also cherry crisp, cherry cheesecake and even cherry coffee cake. Cherry sauce makes a nice accompaniment to lamb or pork.

Cranberries are great for preventing urinary tract infections, because they make urine more acidic and help keep bacteria from attaching to the inside of the bladder. 
They've also been shown to protect against cancer and heart disease. 

Although we think of cranberries as a holiday side dish, cranberry juice can be enjoyed daily for added nutrition. Or toss a handful of dried cranberries into your cereal or salad.

Raspberries contain a compound called ellagic acid, which helps neutralize free radicals. The berry's red color comes from antioxidants called anthocyanins. Raspberries are packed with fiber, vitamin C and manganese. They also have plenty of folate, a B vitamin. Raspberries have properties that help stop cancer cell growth and the formation of tumors. 

Sprinkle fresh raspberries on cereal, or whip them up in a kidney-friendly fruit smoothie.

Strawberries are rich in two types of antioxidants, plus they contain lots of vitamin C, manganese and fiber. They have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties and also help keep your heart healthy. 

Like most berries, they're wonderful on cereal or in smoothies. Add whipped topping for a quick dessert, or puree them for a fresh addition to pound or angel food cake.

Red grapes
The color in red grapes comes from several flavonoids. These are good for your heart, because they prevent oxidation and reduce the chance of blood clots. One flavonoid in grapes, resveratrol, may boost production of nitric oxide, which increases muscle relaxation in blood vessels for better blood flow. Flavonoids also help protect you from cancer and prevent inflammation.  

Choose those with red or purple skin grapes for the highest flavonoid content. Eat grapes as a snack. When frozen, they make a good thirst-quencher for those on a fluid-restricted diet. Add grapes to fruit or chicken salad. Or drink grape juice.

Egg whites
Did you know that egg whites are pure protein? They provide the highest quality protein there is, along with all of the essential amino acids. If you're on the kidney diet, it's good to note that egg whites have less phosphorus than other protein sources, such as egg yolks or meats. 

Use egg whites for omelets or egg white sandwiches. You can also add them to smoothies or shakes. Hard boil eggs and use the whites to use in tuna or green salads.

Another high-quality source of protein is fish. Both the American Diabetes Association and the American Heart Association recommend that you include fish in your meal plan two or three times a week. 
Wild salmon
Besides being a great source of protein, fish contains anti-inflammatory fats called omega-3s. These healthy fats help prevent diseases, such as cancer and heart disease. They also help lower LDL (the bad cholesterol) and raise HDL (the good cholesterol).

The types of fish that have the most omega-3s are wild salmon, albacore tuna, mackerel, herring and rainbow trout.

Olive oil
Research has shown that people in countries where olive oil is used instead of other types of oils tend to have lower rates of cancer and heart disease. This is believed to be due to olive oil's many good components: oleic acid, an anti-inflammatory fatty acid which protects against oxidation and polyphenols and antioxidant compounds that prevent inflammation and oxidation. 

Use virgin or extra virgin olive oil – they're higher in antioxidants. Olive oil can be used in cooking or to make salad dressing, as a dip for bread and as a marinade for vegetables.

Note: Other top foods/beverages for the kidneys include: lemons, limes, celery, organic apple cider vinegar, raw green juice, and filtered water.

Note: For more information about kidney health, refer to Chapters 14 and 15 of the Death to Diabetes book.

Top Foods for the Kidneys

Friday, January 23, 2015

The Diet for Type 2 Diabetics

The Diet for Type 2 Diabetics That Actually Works!
There are hundreds of diabetic diets out there, claiming to work, but, unfortunately most of them just don't work.

Most of these diets are called "low carb", "low fat", "high fat", "high protein" or some combination of "low this and high that". 

Initially, these diets are effective in lowering your blood glucose, but, over time, your blood glucose gradually begins to increase again.

Even worse, these diets don't stop the disease from progressing and wreaking damage throughout your body.

In addition, these diets don't actually help to repair your body and begin reversing the disease.

However, the Death to Diabetes Diet, developed by an ex-diabetic engineer, is specifically designed to return your blood glucose to the normal range, reduce your blood pressure and reduce inflammation markers and other biomarkers such as CRP, high cholesterol, excess oxidation and excess toxins. By doing this, your body can initiate the repair process at the cellular level and actually heal damaged cells and tissues.

And, all of this is measurable and trackable by using conventional medical tests for your blood, urine, hormones, minerals, etc.

The beautiful thing about this diet and the associated nutritional model, is that it is not necessary for you to count carbs and/or calories. All of this is taken into account when the author designed the model. So, as long as you adhere to the attributes and characteristics of the model, you'll be consuming the proper levels of carbs and calories with each meal.

But, since everyone's body is different and reacts differently to various foods, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all diet. Consequently, you will still be required to measure your blood glucose before and after meals in order to customize the diet to fit your specific health needs.

The Death to Diabetes (DTD) Diet is the most flexible, customizable and effective diet for Type 2 diabetics (as well as Type 1s and non-diabetics). The DTD diet can range from a raw food diet to mostly or partially a raw food diet depending on what level of the program you are comfortable with implementing.

Note: Most diets are too restrictive. As a result, most people fail because they can't stick with the restrictions over a long period of time. In addition, most diet programs don't provide the level of support and customer responsiveness that we provide to guide you on your journey.

The Death to Diabetes Super Meal Model & Meal Plate
Reversing Your Type 2 Diabetes Without Carb/Calorie Counting

Super Meal Model Physical Plate + 5 Live-Dead Foods

The "Death to Diabetes" Super Meal Model Plate (Diet for Diabetics) was designed by the author after reviewing and analyzing more than 30 different diets -- to address the vitamin/mineral deficiencies, the cell damage (rotting), the excess toxicity, and the body's  repair process -- to reverse your diabetes and prevent further cell damage and the onset of blindness, amputation, kidney failure, heart attack and stroke.

Note: This type of plant-based diet is supported by hundreds of clinical studies, including the China Study, which substantiate the benefits of a plant-based nutritional program to prevent and possibly reverse the effects of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and some cancers. Consequently, if you adhere to the raw diet version of the "Death to Diabetes" Super Meal Model Plate, you will notice your blood glucose readings start to come down almost immediately! And, if you adhere to the complete Death to Diabetes 10-step program, including the detox, exercise, and drug weaning, you can get your blood glucose readings back to the normal range within 30-45 days!

The "Death to Diabetes" Super Meal Model Plate (Diet for Diabetics) has many of the attributes of the Mediterranean Diet, Paleo Diet, Zone Diet, South Beach Diet, Raw Food Diet, Asian Diet, Detox Diet and a Vegan Diet, with critical nutritional modifications to address the real root causes of Type 2 diabetes and help to better control Type 1 diabetes with less insulin requirements.Raw Vegetables Reverse Type 2 Diabetes

The "Death to Diabetes" Super Meal Model Plate (Diet for Diabetics)  is part of a comprehensive 10-step and 6-stage  clinically-proven diabetes wellness program that is designed to stop the rot and improve the health of people suffering with  Type 2 diabetes as well as with Type 1 diabetes.

This Super Meal Model is a diet designed for diabetics, as well as non-diabetics because it provides the missing vitamins and minerals and helps to strengthen the immune system; avoid the 4 major silent killers; and, address obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease,  chronic fatigue, and other similar systemic ailments.

Some people see this Super Meal Model (diet for diabetics) as a"low carb" diet, but, the author sees it as a lot more than just a "low-carb" diet. He prefers the term "balanced" diet because there is a balance of quality carbs, proteins, and fats that improves the overall health and wellness of the body.

Consequently, this Super Meal Model can be used by non-diabetics, who want to lose weight, lower their blood pressure, or just improve their overall health.

This "Death to Diabetes" Super Meal Model Plate (Diet for Diabetics)  utilizes the 5 super foods to create combo-super foods, combo-super meals, and super snacks, including omelets, casseroles, salads, sandwiches, smoothies, soups,  stews, and stir-frys. And, don't forget the importance of key minerals such as magnesium, potassium, chromium, and real salt -- all working together to stop the rot and repair the damage.

No More Carb Counting!
The Super Meal Model was designed by the author to make it easier for diabetics (and non-diabetics) to design healthy, balanced meals without having to spend a lot of time counting calories and carbohydrates. Calorie-counting (and carb counting) can be time-consuming and very frustrating.

And, given everything that a diabetic has to deal with, the author felt it was important to keep things as simple as possible. Consequently, the calories and carbs are "built into" the model (which has been submitted as a medical IP, one of the many invention proposals associated with "Death to Diabetes").

Note: Concerning the content of each meal, do not over-focus on the actual number of carbs and the number of calories. Instead, focus on the quality of the carbs that you're eating and the physical attributes of your meal plate. The author initially started out with a 40%-30%-30% carb/protein/fat balance as a guideline. But, he quickly moved to 50%-30%-20% based on his blood glucose testing and replacing all of his carbs and most of his proteins and fats with plant-based foods. He also found that by keeping his meals simple, it was easy to stick with his Super Meal Model.  Consequently, it is imperative that you use blood glucose testing to customize the model to fit your specific health needs.

Note: Most people just throw veggies and other foods together to create these combo-super meals, but these meals are out-of-balance and lack the proper balance of macronutrients and micronutrents. Without a proper balance of macronutrients and micronutrents, these combo-super meals do not contain the necessary nutrients to help you fight your diabetes! So, take out the guesswork and get the cookbook.

Please Note: If you are taking a blood thinner (such as Coumadin), you can still eat green vegetables as long as you eat a consistent amount on a daily basis. But, always consult with your physician before making any dietary changes.

Author's Note: There is a misunderstanding that people who take a blood thinner can't eat green vegetables because the Vitamin K in the vegetables counteracts the blood thinner. This is not true! I was told to avoid green vegetables when I was on a blood thinner. But, I found out after doing some research that I could eat green vegetables as long as I did it on a consistent basis every day. I believe that if I had stopped eating the green vegetables, I would have remained diabetic and would have remained on insulin. In addition, more than likely, I would probably not be alive today.

For the science behind the Super Meal Model Plate (Diet for Diabetics), read about nutritional science and the clinical studies that the author used to design the model.Raw Salads Reverse Type 2 Diabetes

The "Death to Diabetes" Super Meal Model is truly THE Diabetes Diet for Diabetics, because it is specifically designed to help control Type 1 diabetes and to help defeat and reverse Type 2 diabetes -- by providing a more sustained level of energy and key nutrients that diabetics (and non-diabetics) are missing when they consume the more traditional grain-based, overly-processed, nutrient-poor or starchy meal.

The "Death to Diabetes" Super Meal Model has a very nutrient-dense protocol that provides nutrients that are key to the effectiveness of THE Diabetes Diet including: carotenoids, antioxidants, Omega-3 EFAs (EPA, DHA), chlorophyll, magnesium, potassium, chromium, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, fiber, water -- all designed to stop the rot and repair the damage caused by the diabetes (and the diabetic medications).

These critical nutrients help to cleanse/detox, and strengthen your immune system, so that it can defend your body while initiating the necessary repair processes to repair the damage caused by the diabetes.

These critical nutrients are found in garlic, sea salt, super foods, healing foods, antioxidant-rich foods, anti-inflammatory foods, medicinal mushrooms, and other (organic) herbs & spices.

In addition, by avoiding the grain-based breakfast, the 5 "dead" foods, and many of the so-called “healthy” foods, diabetics and non-diabetics will not experience the mid-morning “crash” or craving for processed food/beverages.

Over time, the "Death to Diabetes" Super Meal Model Plate (Diet for Diabetics) will support blood glucose stabilization, cell repair and the regulation of the body's production and utilization of insulin.

Please Note: This diet is not a weight loss diet. This diet is a nutrient-dense wellness diet. This diet improves your wellness and your overall health.  Unfortunately, most diets focus strictly on weight loss instead of how to either prevent the disease or how to attack the disease and improve the body's overall health.

Even if you're only insulin-resistant or pre-diabetic, this diet's nutritional protocol can still help you prevent your body from becoming full-blown diabetic. Also, because this is a wellness diet, it can modified to address other health issues such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, chronic fatigue, hypoglycemia, gout, arthritis, lupus, sarcoidosis, etc.

Note: Refer to the clinical studies, including the China Study, which substantiate the benefits of a plant-based nutritional program to prevent and possibly reverse the effects of heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers.

Good News!: This is the only nutritional program that explains how to enjoy some of your favorite foods and comfort foods -- after you have changed the chemistry in your body back to a non-diabetic state.

Super Carbohydrates include many bright, colorful and green, leafy vegetables, some dark, colorful fruits, onions, garlic, other herbs & spices, legumes, medicinal mushrooms, and some specific organic whole grains/sprouts (but, not wheat!).

Note: We recommend that most diabetics avoid all grains and most fruits during the first 3 stages of the program. Grains contain specific harmful chemicals (i.e. gluten, phytates, lectins) that trigger cellular inflammation in your body!

Super Proteins include nuts, seeds, cold-water fish (i.e. wild salmon, tuna), blue-green algae (chlorella, spirulina), fermented soy, organic dairy (i.e. organic, Omega-3, free-range eggs), lean animal meats (i.e. free-range chicken, turkey, organic beef), wild animal meat (i.e. bison, ostrich, deer).

Note: If you are concerned about the mercury in fish, eat smaller fish or take an Omega-3 supplement.

Note: Fermented foods such as sauerkraut, pickles, homemade yogurt, kombucha (fermented black tea), miso and tempeh (fermented soybeans) help to improve the intestinal flora balance, build the immune system, absorb more nutrients, and generate new nutrients including Omega-3 fatty acids, digestive aids and the trace mineral GTF chromium.

Note:  If you want to follow a vegan diet, replace animal protein with non-animal protein; and, add more beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, vegetables, fruits, (some) organic whole grains/sprouts, and other super foods to your meal plan. Also, add meat substitutes (i.e. veggie burgers, black bean burgers, meatless “chicken nuggets”, “beef” crumbles, etc.) and organic soy products (i.e. soy milk, edamame, soy nuts, tofu, tempeh).

Super Fats include plant oils and the fat in nuts and seeds, and cold-water fish, i.e. extra virgin olive oil, extra virgin coconut oil. But, you must avoid the clear vegetable oils and canola oil!

Super Liquids include filtered water, raw vegetable juices; green tea, white tea; some raw fruit juices; and, a couple of the organic bottled juices, i.e. lemon, tomato, V-8.

Note: For more details about this diet, refer to the Death to Diabetes website and the book.

Super Meal Examples for Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Snack:

       Super Meal Example for Breakfast

 Super Meal Examples for Lunch

 Super Snack

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Top 10 Foods for Reversing Type 2 Diabetes

The following foods are nutrient-dense powerhouses that contains a diverse array of phytonutrients, macronutrients and micronutrients that provide superior nutritional benefits and multiple health benefits for people with Type 2 diabetes.

As a result, these foods can help a Type 2 diabetic to better manage and control his/her diabetes; and, possibly, reverse their diabetes and prevent the onset of major complications such as amputation and blindness.

When eaten on a regular basis (primarily in their raw form), these foods provide health benefits in the form of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, polyphenols, fiber, and healthy fats. Each of these foods offer more nutritional value per serving than most other foods. In addition, most of these foods are inexpensive and readily available in most grocery stores and health food stores. 

These foods provide key nutrients to the heart, brain, liver, kidneys, blood, and other key organs throughout the body. As a result, these foods help to prevent and fight many of the top diseases and illnesses, including diabetes, heart disease, cancer, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high blood sugar, and chronic fatigue.

Note: This "Top 10" list of foods has grown, based on new research and clinical findings.

Almonds and Walnuts
Almonds have been around since Biblical times, and are a staple in the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet. Almonds are rich in vitamin E and contain heart-healthy monounsaturated fats which helps to lower the risk of heart disease. Healthy fats like the ones in almonds help lower LDL cholesterol if they replace saturated or trans fats in the diet.

Almonds: SuperfoodA quarter-cup of almonds also contains more protein than an egg. They’re also packed with magnesium, which helps boost production of the brain chemical dopamine — good for regulating mood and preventing depression.

In addition, almonds also contain fiber, riboflavin, and calcium. And, because of its fiber content, almonds, along with other high-fiber foods, may play a role in improving stomach problems, like irritable bowel disorders and diarrhea, and boosting calcium absorption.

The American Heart Association recommends eating a handful of nuts as one serving at least four times per week.

Researchers at Loma Linda University found that adding two 1-ounce servings of almonds daily to study participants’ diets helped them to achieve a better intake of key nutrients and helped them to lower their intake of dietary detractors like trans fats, excessive sodium, sugars and cholesterol. Eating nuts may help protect against heart disease and inflammation, and research on walnuts showed that enjoying as little as eight to 11 walnuts daily reduced total cholesterol by up to 4 percent.

Note: Just be sure you avoid making the mistake of consuming nuts that are heated commercially as the fats they contain are perishable and will be damaged when they go through this type of processing. A new 21st century concern is pasteurization.  For the last four years, nearly all commercial vendors of almonds are required to pasteurize them before sale.

Where to get them: Anywhere nuts are sold. If they don’t have it in your local market, Trader Joe’s has a wide selection. Many farmer’s markets feature a nut seller, who will be happy to answer your questions about the nutritional value of almonds, as well as offer samples.

Added bonus: Whether you’re craving salty or sweet, almonds make the perfect snack food. The roasted nuts come in a variety of flavors, like wasabi, BBQ, vanilla or cinnamon. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, swap out your peanut butter for almond butter. Mild and versatile, these nuts work well in sweet and savory dishes.

Walnuts: SuperfoodWalnuts happen to be high in omega-3s, which research indicates can reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure and even depression. A daily handful of walnuts — which contains about 200 calories — is literally a generous handful of health.
Walnuts: Superfood

Eat walnuts as a snack or incorporate them into your favorite recipes — adding chopped walnuts to any dish will lend a delectable crunch and nutty flavor.

Walnuts are packed with tryptophan, an amino acid your body needs to create the feel-great chemical serotonin. (In fact, Spanish researchers found that walnut eaters have higher levels of this natural mood-regulator.) They're digested slowly, which contributes to mood stability and can help you tolerate stress.

If you use walnuts as a pre-walk snack or add them to your favorite oatmeal cookie recipe, you may enjoy even greater cholesterol-lowering benefit. Walnuts are a rich source of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, as well as a compound called ellagic acid that has been shown to reduce artery-forming plaque. Nuts are a truly heart healthy snack, topping or addition to any meal.

Note: Nearly all raw nuts are healthy for us due to their heart-healthy unsaturated fats and other phytonutrients.

Artichokes: SuperfoodIf you've been huffing and puffing up the stairs, try these spiky-leafed vegetables.

They're loaded with magnesium, a mineral vital for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body—including generating energy, says Forrest Nielsen, PhD, a U.S. Department of Agriculture research nutritionist. "If you're not getting enough magnesium, your muscles have to work harder to react and you tire more quickly."

About 68% of us aren't getting enough of this mineral. For women, the goal is 320 milligrams (mg) per day. One medium artichoke provides 77 mg of magnesium (and just 60 calories!). Other top sources include nuts, legumes, and whole grains.

Asparagus: SuperfoodThese spears are one of the best veggie sources of folate, a B vitamin that could help keep you out of a slump. "Folate is important for the synthesis of the neurotransmitters dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine," says David Mischoulon, MD, a psychiatrist at Harvard Medical School. All of these are crucial for mood.

A cup of cooked asparagus has 268 micrograms (mcg)—two-thirds of the 400 mcg RDA for women. Add a cup of enriched pasta—which is fortified with folic acid, the synthetic form of folate—and you'll have a feel-good meal indeed.

Avocado: SuperfoodAvocados are high in healthy monounsaturated fat and have a rich source of glutathione – a powerful antioxidant known to block over 30 different carcinogens (a substance capable of causing cancer in living tissue).

Avocados are also one of the most nutrient-dense foods; high in fiber, potassium, vitamin E, and magnesium.

Also, if you’re looking to banish wrinkles then stock up as they are packed with antioxidants and good fats, which help in your fight against the frown.

Avocados are an excellent source of healthful raw fat, which most Americans are seriously deficient in. They also provide close to 20 essential health-boosting nutrients, including: Fiber, Potassium (more than twice the amount found in a banana), Vitamin E, B-vitamins, and Folic acid
In addition, avocados enable your body to more efficiently absorb fat-soluble nutrients, such as alpha- and beta-carotene and lutein, in other foods eaten in conjunction.

Black Beans and Other Beans
Beans hit it out of the ballpark when it comes to nutrition. They’re loaded with the essential minerals, folate, magnesium and iron. Beans are the only food that crosses two categories on the food pyramid, Bazilian says. They’re both a complex carbohydrate and a protein source.

Beans: SuperfoodAll types of beans (kidney, chickpeas, soybeans, dried peas and lentils) are low in fat and have anti-ageing properties but these small red beans have one of the highest antioxidant ratings. Typically used in Japanese cooking adzuki beans are a good source of carbohydrates, folate, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, manganese and zinc.

Beans are a fabulous source of vegetarian protein and fiber, two nutrients that help you stay full and satisfied. The protein and fiber in beans also tempers the rise in blood sugar that occurs after a meal, which can help stabilize mood. The fiber in beans also helps keep you regular (every half cup serving adds another 7 g of fiber to you daily total) Beans are low in fat and a good source of magnesium and potassium, nutrients that work together to lower blood pressure and keep your heart and blood vessels healthy.

However, beans are not a perfect protein because they lack some essential amino acids. However, adding an organic whole grain (such as quinoa or amaranth) fixes this problem, especially for vegans.

Added bean bonus: They're inexpensive! So stock up on canned, no-salt added varieties and add them to soups, salads, stews, and more!

People who regularly consume beans have better weight management and blood sugar regulation because of their soluble fiber. Black beans, in particular, have three times the amount of omega-3 fats than other beans, and their dark skin contains cancer-fighting chemicals called flavonoids.

A cup of black beans packs 15 grams of protein, with none of the artery-clogging saturated fat found in meat. Plus, they're full of heart-healthy fiber, antioxidants, and energy-boosting iron. 

Note: If you’re wary of the fiber content, you can avoid digestive distress by easing beans into your diet slowly. Eat no more than half a cup at a time.

Where to get them: Canned beans are, by far, the most convenient – and they’re relatively cheap at 80 cents a can. But with a little planning, dried beans can save you even more money and aren’t too labor-intensive. Simply cover dried beans with water in a large bowl, let sit overnight with a bay leaf or two, drain, and voila! Your fresh beans are ready to cook.

Tip: Use half beans and half turkey to make chili, or adding beans to lean ground beef for sloppy Joes.

Blueberries and Other Berries
Blueberries are considered to be a nutrient-rich food. Eating blueberries will provide you with antioxidants, phytonutrients and fiber. According to the, eating blueberries will help you age in a healthy way and prevent chronic diseases. Blueberries, which are low in calories, can be easily snacked on, added to cereals, and baked into breads and sweets.

Blueberries: SuperfoodDid you know that much of the power of blueberries lies in their color? That deep-blue hue is a by-product of flavonoids — natural compounds that protect the brain's memory-carrying cells (neurons) from the damaging effects of oxidation and inflammation. Since blueberries are one of the best sources of flavonoids you can find, it's no surprise that this food has been shown to help preserve memory function.

Blueberries, like other berries, also have a high water content, which makes them hydrating for your skin and other cells of the body.

Açai Berries: This exotic berry from Amazon was named by nutritionist Nicholas Perricone as one of the greatest foods in the world. They are packed full of antioxidants which can help combat premature aging and contain something called monounsaturated oleic acid, which helps omega-3 fish oils penetrate the cell membrane. There’s also amino acids and essential fatty acids, to help promote cardiovascular and digestive health.

Goji Berries: Also known as wolfberries, this Himalayan fruit contains all 18 amino acids (six times higher than bee pollen) as well as huge amounts of vitamin A, B1, B2, B6 and vitamin E. Gram for gram they are packed with more iron than steak and spinach, and more beta carotene and vitamin C than carrots and oranges, respectively.

Strawberries: They may not have the smoothest complexion themselves, but strawberries can get you one. They're loaded with antioxidants that help your skin repair damage caused by environmental factors like pollution and UV rays. Plus, they're packed with vitamin C (less than a cup gets you your entire 75 mg RDA)—the vitamin associated with fewer wrinkles and less dryness, per research in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Low in calories (about 30 calories per cup) and high in health-promoting polyphenols, broccoli is considered one of the most potent nutrient-dense foods. Broccoli is rich in fiber, folate, phytonutrients, vitamin C and vitamin A. Regularly eating broccoli can help prevent heart disease, diabetes, cell damage, worsening eye sight and some forms of cancer. These berries are full of phytonutrients that neutralize free radicals (agents that cause aging and cell damage). The antioxidants in these berries may also protect against cancer and reduce the effects of age-related conditions such as Alzheimer's disease or dementia.

Broccoli: SuperfoodPacked with folic acid, vitamin C and carotenoids (the colourful plant pigments some of which the body can turn into vitamin A), broccoli is thought to boost your immune system, protect your cells from being damaged by free radicals and improve reproductive health. Broccoli also contains beta carotene, energy producing vitamins B3 and B5, potassium and chromium , which help regulate blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

Cruciferous vegetables contain indole alkaloids that may suppress the growth of tumors and help prevent cancer. They are also high in fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Plus, foods from the cruciferous and cabbage family (including broccoli, cabbage, kale, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, collards and turnips) may help bolster memory as you age. Researchers at Harvard Medical School found that women who eat the most of these foods are the least likely to be forgetful.

Cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts pack a serious punch against cancer.
That’s one reason why Joel Fuhrman, M.D., author of Eat for Health (Gift of Health Press) and Eat to Live (Little, Brown and Company), recommends eating foods from that family every day.

In lab studies, sulforaphane, a chemical found in broccoli and its cousins, actually made cancer cells like leukemia and melanoma self-destruct. A 2007 Chinese study found that the compound may slow down the spread of breast cancer.

Where to get it: Frozen or fresh, broccoli is easy to come by year-round. To get the most out of this vegetable, try to eat it raw or lightly steamed — cooking kills off most of its vitamin C.

Broccoli can be easily eaten raw as a snack, added to stir fries, pasta dishes and fajitas, or it can be steamed and eaten as a side dish with meals. The fiber in broccoli will help you remain full longer and keep your energy levels high.

Studies have shown that broccoli can combat cancer and heart disease, ward off cataracts, boost the immune system and reduce the risk of birth defects. Broccoli can be eaten raw, lightly steamed or stir-fried — be sure to cook until just crisp tender to avoid dampening broccoli's nutritional power. Include chopped broccoli in grain dishes, salads or as part of omelets or quiche.

Note: If you don't like broccoli, try cauliflower instead.                                                                                

Eggs (Organic)
Eggs received a bad rap because of the phobia tied to high cholesterol. But, the egg is an amazing source of high-quality nutrients that many people are deficient in, especially high-quality protein and fat.

Eggs: SuperfoodA single egg contains: 9 essential amino acids, high quality protein, lutein and zeaxanthin (for your eyes); choline for your brain, nervous and cardiovascular systems; and naturally occurring  B12.

Proteins are nutrients that are essential to the building, maintenance and repair of your body tissues such as your skin, internal organs and muscles. They are also the major components of your immune system and hormones

Note: Ideally, you'll want to eat the whole egg, especially the yolk where most of the key nutrients reside. If possible, eat your eggs raw, or as close to raw as possible, such as soft-boiled or poached.

Note: If you choose to use egg whites, please don't eat them raw unless you also consume the egg yolks, otherwise you risk developing a biotin deficiency.

Flaxseed, also known as linseed, is one of the ancient cultivated crops since Mesopotamian times, grown for its oil seeds, and fiber. The chewy seeds are packed with full of nutrients, omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, minerals, and essential vitamins.

Flaxseed: SuperfoodFlaseed is an excellent source of vitamin E, especially rich in gamma-tocopherol; containing about 20 g (133% of daily-recommended values) per 100 g. vitamin E is a powerful lipid soluble antioxidant, required for maintaining the integrity of cell membrane of mucus membranes and skin by protecting it from harmful oxygen-free radicals.

The seeds are packed with many important B-complex groups of vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6, and folates. Thiamin is an essential co-factor for carbohydrate metabolism and helps prevent beri-beri disease. Folates help prevent neural tube defects in the fetus when consumed during pre-conception period and pregnancy.

Furthermore, flax seed is rich source of minerals like manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc and selenium.

Flaxseed delivers the full benefits of Omega-3 EFA (alpha linolenic acid), the Omega-6 and Omega-9 EFAs, plus all of the fiber, protein, lignans, vitamins, minerals and amino acids, to help control blood glucose levels, appetite, and cravings.

Lignans are a type of natural plant chemical contained within the cell matrix of the flaxseed that act as plant hormones. When bacteria in the digestive tract act on plant lignans, these compounds are converted into potent, hormone-like substances, known as phytoestrogens. Research findings have concluded that the chemical release of these phytoestrogens is able to block the action of certain cancer-causing substances associated with breast, colon and prostate cancers.

Researchers believe these plant hormones mimic the body’s own estrogen type of cells and can block the formation of hormone-based tumors or growths. Unlike the hormones produced in the body, these plant hormones do not stimulate cancerous cells to grow. In fact, lignans boost production of a substance that fastens onto human estrogen and carries it out of the body. Lignans are also considered to be antioxidants; therefore, researchers believe they can protect healthy cells from free radical oxidative damage.
Garlic tops the National Cancer Institute’s list as a potential cancer-preventive food.

It is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory food that protects against heart disease, reduces blood pressure and lowers cholesterol levels. It also has vitamins C and B6, manganese, and selenium.

Olive Oil (Extra Virgin)
Anyone familiar with the Mediterranean diet is aware of the nutrient power of extra virgin olive oil and its health benefits, as well as the wonderful flavor of a good dose of olive oil on salads, fish, pasta and almost anything else.

Statistics have shown that Mediterranean populations such as Spain, Italy & Greece, have significantly lower rates of coronary heart disease (CHD) than that seen throughout the rest of the world. 

Extra Virgin Olive Oil: SuperfoodThe quality of olive oil production - especially the stage of pressing - really does make a difference when it comes to health benefits. Recent studies have compared the anti-inflammatory benefits of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) obtained from the first pressing of the oil to the anti-inflammatory benefits of virgin olive oils (non-EVOO) obtained from later pressings.

Health benefits of extra virgin olive oil include the following:

A reduction in inflammation markers was identified by researchers that EVOO  lowered the inflammatory markers in the blood when non-EVOOs were unable to do so. (Study measurements included blood levels of thromboxane A2, or TXA2, and leukotriene B2, or LBT2.)

This ability of extra virgin olive oil to help protect against unwanted inflammation is not surprising, since EVOO is known to contain stronger concentrations of phytonutrients (especially polyphenols) that have well-known anti-inflammatory properties. 

Research has documented a wide variety of anti-inflammatory mechanisms used by olive oil polyphenols to lower our risk of inflammatory problems. These mechanisms include decreased production of messaging molecules that would otherwise increase inflammation (including TNF-alpha, interleukin 1-beta, thromboxane B2, and leukotriene B4); inhibition of pro-inflammatory enzymes like cyclo-oxygenase 1 and cyclo-oxygenase 2; and decreased synthesis of the enzyme inducible nitric oxide synthase.

In heart patients, olive oil and its polyphenols have also been determined to lower blood levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a widely used blood measurement for assessing the likelihood of unwanted inflammation. They have also been found to reduce activity in a metabolic pathway called the arachidonic acid pathway, which is central for mobilizing inflammatory processes.

Heart disease reduction has been identified in numerous studies of the Mediterranean Diet that olive oil intake contributed to a decreased risk of heart disease. However, a recent group of studies has provided us with a fascinating explanation of olive oil's cardioprotective effect. One of the key polyphenols in olive oil - hydroxytyrosol (HT) - helps protect the cells that line our blood vessels from being damaged by overly reactive oxygen molecules.

Recent research studies have taken these heart-healthy effects of olive oil one step further. Olive oil's monounsaturated fat content (specifically, its high level of oleic acid) has now been determined to be a mechanism linking olive oil intake to decreased blood pressure. Researchers believe that the plentiful amount of oleic acid in olive oil gets absorbed into the body, finds its way into cell membranes, changes signaling patterns at a cell membrane level (specifically, altering G-protein associated cascades) and thereby lowers blood pressure.

To our knowledge, this is the first time that the monounsaturated fat content of olive oil has been linked not only to cholesterol reduction, but also to reduction of blood pressure.

Anti-clotting benefits have been demonstrated by various laboratory studies have also found that 2-(3,4-di-hydroxyphenyl)-ethanol (DHPE), a phenol component of extra-virgin olive oil with potent antioxidant properties, is able to inhibit platelet aggregation (blood clotting) more effectively that other flavonoids. The phenol enriched portion of olive oil also demonstrated similar activity. 
This is important because heart attacks and strokes are caused by blood clots which build up in the arteries of the heart or brain which have been narrowed due to atherosclerotic plaque formation. The ability to form normal blood clots to physical trauma is of course necessary to prevent hemorrhage (uncontrolled bleeding), however the degree of blood clot inhibition which would occur due to olive oil consumption would not be so severe that it would be dangerous at all.

Cancer prevention has been one of the most active areas of olive oil research, and the jury is no longer out on the health benefits of olive oil with respect to cancer. Twenty-five studies on olive oil intake and cancer risk - including most of the large-scale human studies conducted up through the year 2010 - have recently been analyzed by a team of researchers at the Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research Institute in Milan, Italy.

Firmly established by this research team were the risk-reducing effects of olive oil intake with respect to cancers of the breast, respiratory tract, upper digestive tract and, to a lesser extent, lower digestive tract (colorectal cancers). These anti-cancer benefits of olive oil became most evident when the diets of routine olive oil users were compared with the diets of individuals who seldom used olive oil and instead consumed diets high in saturated added fat, especially butter.

Digestive health benefits of olive oil for the digestive tract were first uncovered in research on diet and cancers of the digestive tract. Numerous studies found lower rates of digestive tract cancers - especially cancers of the upper digestive tract, including the stomach and small intestine - in populations that regularly consumed olive oil.  

Recent research has provided us with even more information, however, about olive oil, its polyphenols, and protection of the digestive tract. One fascinating area of recent research has involved the polyphenols in olive oil and the balance of bacteria in our digestive tract. Numerous polyphenols in olive oil have been shown to slow the growth of unwanted bacteria, including bacteria commonly responsible for digestive tract infections.

Improved cognitive function - especially among older adults - is a well-known feature of the Mediterranean Diet. As the staple oil in that diet, olive oil has been of special interest for researchers interested in diet and cognitive function. In France, a recent study large-scale study on older adults has shown that visual memory and verbal fluency can be improved with what the researchers called "intensive use" of olive oil. In this case, "intensive use" meant regular use of olive oil not just for cooking, or as an ingredient in sauces and dressings, but in all of these circumstances.

Note: When you savor the peppery zing of extra-virgin olive oil, you’re tasting powerful antioxidants. The phytonutrients that bring the bite also have an anti-inflammatory effect on your body. That helps protect and repair the cardiovascular system, which constant fluctuations in blood sugar can damage. Olive oil is also incredibly versatile. It's appropriate for anything from salads to sautés. Best of all, it slows absorption of the carbohydrates it's paired with for a healthier glycemic load overall.

Note: For more information about the benefits of extra virgin olive oil, visit the Death to Diabetes website.
Raw Vegetable Juice
Raw vegetable juice provides key vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, enzymes, and other phytonutrients that help to prevent and reverse various diseases, especially heart disease, cancer,  Type 2 diabetes, and obesity. 
Raw Vegetable Juice: Superfood

 Scientist says that when you drink juice, the nutrients enter your bloodstream within 30 minutes, so you get the healthy benefits from fresh vegetables almost immediately.

Also, raw vegetable juice is easy on your digestive tract because the juicer removes the fiber, making it easier for your body to assimilate the nutrients from the raw vegetable juice. The enzymes in raw juice increases metabolism, so you will feel energized. Also, when your metabolism is higher, it’s easier to drop those unwanted pounds.
Raw Green Vegetable Juice: Superfood

Since raw vegetable juice contains chlorophyll, this helps to strengthen your body through cellular cleansing. Chlorophyll assists the liver with detoxifying, it rebuilds blood cells, removes parasites and exotoxins, eliminates mold, and assists your body in preventing and eliminating cancer cells. It also assists your body by helping to stabilize your blood glucose level.

Note: For more information about raw juice, refer to the Death to Diabetes website or the Power of Raw Juicing ebook.

Note: Since bottled vegetable juices at health food stores are pasteurized,  these bottled juices provide very little if any health benefits.

Sardines get a bad rap. But before you toss this one back to sea, know this: These guys taste like tuna, are less fishy than caviar and come already de-headed – so they won’t stare back when you peel open a can.

Why it's a good food for women: Sardines are a cheap and convenient way to fill up on fish oil, vitamin D and calcium all at once, says Janis Jibrin, M.S., R.D., co-author of The Best Life Guide to Managing Diabetes and Pre-Diabetes (Simon & Schuster).

"Just one can of bone-in sardines covers 125% of your vitamin D needs, 35% of your calcium and 88% of your daily selenium requirement,” she says.

Selenium, an antioxidant, helps keep the immune system fighting fit and protects our cells from damage.

Where to get it: For the healthiest catch, choose water-packed sardines without added salt. - See more at:
Sardines get a bad rap. But, they provide many health benefits to the heart and the brain. Sardines and other small, fatty fish are high in essential omega-3 fatty acids that our bodies can only get from the food we eat.
Sardines: Superfood

As a result, sardines and other omega-3-rich fish help in a couple of ways: They're a great source of fat and protein to slow absorption of blood sugars, and they help protect your cardiovascular system, which irregular blood sugar fluctuations that can come with diabetes can damage.

The healthy fat in sardines is good for your brain, too, and may help fend off Alzheimer's disease and dementia. Also, sardines contain selenium, an antioxidant which helps keep the immune system fighting fit and protects our cells from damage.

Why it's a good food for women: Sardines are a cheap and convenient way to fill up on fish oil, vitamin D and calcium all at once. Just one can of bone-in sardines covers 125% of your vitamin D needs, 35% of your calcium and 88% of your daily selenium requirement.

Where to get it: For the healthiest catch, choose water-packed sardines without added salt.

There are many types of seaweed, which has been used traditionally in Asian diets. Seaweed is low in calories, but high in nutrients. According to the Planet Green website, seaweed provides a number of benefits such as alkalizing your blood, promoting weight loss, deterring the formation of cellulite and providing protection from different environmental toxins.

Seaweed is commonly used in sushi, but it can also be used as a baked snack, as a seasoning, and as an added vegetable in soups and stir fries.

Spinach: SuperfoodSpinach is filled with antioxidants, including vitamin C and beta-carotene, as well as lutein and zeaxanthin — a duo that acts like sunscreen for your eyes and guards against macular degeneration.

One cup of fresh spinach leaves also provides almost double the daily requirement for vitamin K, which plays an important role in cardiovascular and bone health.

And of course you can't forget that spinach is a great vegetarian source of iron, which keeps your hair and nails strong and healthy. Use fresh spinach leaves as a base for salad or sauté it and add to an omelet.

Researchers in Sweden recently identified another way in which these greens might keep you charged: Compounds found in spinach actually increase the efficiency of our mitochondria, the energy-producing factories inside our cells. That means eating a cup of cooked spinach a day may give you more lasting power on the elliptical machine (or in your daily sprint to catch the bus).                                         

Wild Salmon
Salmon contain a rich supply of omega-3 fats which contribute to overall health by protecting against heart disease and some cancers. Additionally, omega-3 fats fight inflammatory conditions and depression. Wild Alaskan salmon is noted to be the best variety for its nutritional benefits.
Wild Salmon: Superfood

Salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids, which the body cannot produce by itself. These fatty acids reduce inflammation, improve circulation, increase the ratio of good to bad cholesterol, and may slash cancer risk. Salmon is a rich source of selenium, which helps prevent cell damage, and several B vitamins.

Wild Alaskan salmon is the best wild salmon, as long as its purity can be verified. Wild Alaskan salmon  is an excellent source of: Essential animal-based omega-3 fats (EPA and DHA), Astaxanthin and other antioxidants, and High-quality protein.

Oily fish (such as salmon, trout, mackerel, herring, sardines, pilchards, kippers and fresh tuna (not canned))  is important because it’s rich in omega 3 fatty acids, which are especially useful in warding off heart disease. Most oily fish contains protein, zinc, selenium, vitamins A and D, and some B vitamins. Omega 3-rich seafood might help slow down macular degeneration (a common cause of age-related blindness), protect against the build up of cholesterol on the artery walls which can cause heart damage, and help reduce the impact of arthritis.

Bonus: There's wrinkle prevention on your plate: "Salmon is rich in a fatty acid called eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), a type of omega-3 that naturally helps block the release of UV-induced enzymes that diminish collagen, causing lines and sagging skin," says Ariel Ostad, MD, a dermatologist in New York City. Omega-3s also regulate oil production in the skin and boost hydration, which helps keep your complexion dewy and acne-free.

Also, the fish's omega-3 fatty acids could help you fight flab more effectively. They alter the expression of certain genes, shifting your body to burn fat rather than store it.

Proof: In a study analyzing the diets of 35,000 women, published in Public Health Nutrition, those subjects who ate oily fish such as salmon two to four times per week had the lowest basal metabolic indexes, a common measure of body fat.
Yogurt (Organic)
Eating yogurt (or kefir) made from grass-fed raw milk is an excellent way to boost your immunity and increase your daily energy. Lowfat and nonfat Greek and regular yogurts contain 20 percent or more of your daily calcium needs. The mineral slows production of cortisol, a hormone that encourages belly-flab buildup.
Yogurt: Superfood

Kefir is a traditionally fermented food that is chockfull of healthful bacteria (probiotics). In ancient times, food preservation was accomplished through lacto-fermentation, a process that adds a host of beneficial micro-organisms to food. This makes them easier to digest, and increases the healthy flora in your intestinal tract.

The importance of maintaining healthy balanced gut flora simply cannot be overstated. Far from simply helping your body to better digest and assimilate your food (which they do very well), probiotics influence the activity of hundreds of your genes, helping them to express in a positive, disease-fighting manner.

Friendly bacteria also train your immune system to distinguish between pathogens and non-harmful antigens, and to respond appropriately. This important function prevents your immune system from overreacting to non-harmful antigens, which is the genesis of allergies.

Probiotics can even help to normalize your weight, and lack of beneficial bacteria in your gut may play a significant role in the development of type 2 diabetes, depression and other mood disorders, and may even contribute to autism and vaccine-induced damage.

Note: Please beware that pasteurized products will not provide you with these health benefits, as the pasteurization process destroys most of the precious enzymes and other nutrients.
Other Healthy Foods

Here are some other foods that contain key phytonutrients that provide multiple health benefits.

This fruit's 4 to 5 grams of fiber not only are filling but also help ferry out some of the fat and calories you take in from other foods.

The  proof: People who ate an apple 15 minutes before lunching on cheese tortellini consumed 187 fewer calories in total than those who snacked on nothing beforehand, a study from Penn State University in University Park determines. How about them apples?

Don’t let the color scare you: These crimson root vegetables are sweet, rich and buttery. And the nutritional value these red devils pack is so great, you should get to know them better.

Why it's a good food for women: A 2008 American Heart Association study reported that beet (otherwise known as beetroot) juice helps in bringing blood pressure down.

Even if you don’t feel like you’re at risk for high blood pressure, you will be. One in three Americans has hypertension and 90% will get it in their lifetime. High blood pressure can damage your arteries, which can lead to plaque buildup, heart disease, blood clots and strokes.

According to Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., author of The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth (Fair Winds Press), beets are loaded with potassium, which counteract the effects of our salt-heavy diet. They’re also high in folate, which we need to manufacture new cells and prevent DNA damage (a precursor to cancer).

Beet juice may also boost workout stamina by 16%, making exercise feel less tiring so you can go for longer, according to a 2009 English study.

The chemicals in beets also show great promise in combating cancer and inflammation.

Bell Peppers
A little known fact: one red bell pepper has twice as much vitamin C as an orange. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps clear your body of free radicals and keeps your skin and blood vessels healthy and strong. The vitamin C in bell peppers may also help prevent arthritis or slow the progression of the disease. Red bell peppers also deliver beta-carotene and lycopene, two more antioxidants that have been associated with decreased risk of eye diseases like cataracts. And, thanks to their high water content, bell peppers of all colors are a high-volume, low-cal food that's very figure-friendly. 

Cherries (Tart )
Don’t confuse tart cherries with the sweet black cherries usually found in the supermarket produce aisle. This fruit is most often used in baking and comes frozen, canned or as juice.

Why it's a good food for women: Tart cherries are anti-inflammatory and may be great for managing pain.

“They’ve long been used to treat arthritis and gout symptoms,” says Bazilian. Research in animals and humans suggests they can help relieve arthritis and post-workout muscle soreness, lower cholesterol and possibly even reduce body fat, according to a 2009 University of Michigan study.

Where to get it: Your cheapest bet: Buy them canned, for about $2.50 each, in the baking aisle. Tart cherries have the same zippy flavor as cranberries and taste good in smoothies or mixed with other fruits. 

Chia SeedsChia Seeds
High in protein and loaded with fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, chia seeds are a nutritional powerhouse. The flour made from these nutty-tasting seeds is a great addition to a diabetes-friendly kitchen. “It actually lowers blood sugar due to the fiber and omega-3 fatty acid content,” says Amy Jamieson-Petonic, RD, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and director of coaching at Cleveland Clinic. 

There's some evidence that chia seeds help reduce belly fat -- the kind that contributes to insulin resistance. Substitute a quarter of your regular flour with chia flour (and experiment with higher ratios) in just about any baked good. Order the flour online, find it at health-food stores, or grind chia seeds in a food processor.

Cinnamon Cinnamon
The bark of Cinnamomum trees contains phytochemicals that enhance insulin signaling and facilitate glucose uptake and storage by the body’s cells. Studies have shown that as little as a teaspoon of cinnamon a day may significantly decrease fasting blood glucose levels and increase insulin sensitivity. There are lots of ways to add more cinnamon to your diet. Sprinkle some in your tea, stir it into your morning oatmeal, or add it to rubs for chicken or fish.

Note: The two major types of cinnamon used in food preparation are Ceylon cinnamon and Cassia cinnamon. Ceylon cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum or Cinnamomum zeylanicum), native to Sri Lanka, is also known as “true cinnamon.” This is NOT the predominant spice typically sold as cinnamon in the United States. What is commonly found at your grocer is a closely related and less expensive variety called Cassia cinnamon. Cassia is native to Burma and also grown in China and Vietnam. Cassia is slightly darker in color compared to Ceylon, and has a stronger, more pungent flavor. While both Cassia and Ceylon are derived from the inner bark of Cinnamomum trees, Ceylon cinnamon is preferable. Ceylon cinnamon is considered a finer quality spice due to its sweeter, more delicate and complex flavor.

In addition to flavor, a critical difference between Ceylon and Cassia is the coumarin content of Cassia. Cassia cinnamon is the main source of coumarin in the human diet. Coumarin is a naturally occurring toxin which has the potential to damage the liver in high doses. Cassia contains high levels of coumarin, whereas Ceylon contains either undetectable levels or only traces of coumarin. Coumarin can cause liver toxicity in several species, and was found to be carcinogenic in rodents.

Citrus Fruit
Citrus fruit such as grapefruit, oranges, lemons and limes provide soluble fiber and vitamin C. The white part right underneath the skin contains hesperdin, a flavanone glycoside that fights cancer. Specifically, the limonoid compounds in limes have been shown to prevent cancers of the colon, stomach and blood. Though the exact mechanism is unknown, scientists have observed that antioxidant limonoids also cause cancer cell death. Lime limonoids also stay active longer in your bloodstream, mopping more free radicals than green tea or dark chocolate.

Note: Citric acid is a natural inhibitor of kidney stones made of crystallized calcium. Go for fresh lime juice squeezed into water, as opposed to commercial limeades, for maximal benefits.

Coconut Oil (Organic)
Half of the fat content in coconut oil is lauric acid—a fat rarely found in nature—that could easily qualify as a "miracle" ingredient because of its unique health promoting properties. Your body converts lauric acid into monolaurin, which has anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-protozoa properties.

Additionally, the naturally occurring saturated fat found in coconut oil also has some amazing health benefits, such as: Promoting heart health, Supporting immune system health, Providing you with an immediate energy source, Promoting weight loss, Supporting a healthy metabolism , andSupporting the proper functioning of your thyroid gland

Your body sends medium-chain fatty acids directly to your liver to use as energy. This makes coconut oil a powerful source of instant energy to your body, a function usually served in the diet by simple carbohydrates.  Additionally, research has demonstrated that, due to its metabolic effect, coconut oil also increases the activity of your thyroid. And you've probably heard that a sluggish thyroid is one reason why some people are unable to lose weight, no matter what they do…

Perhaps one of the most interesting benefits of coconut oil is its potential to ward off, or perhaps even treat, dementia. According to research by Dr. Mary Newport, ketone bodies—an alternative fuel for your brain which your body makes when digesting coconut oil—may offer profound benefits in the fight against Alzheimer's disease.

Coconut oil is the ideal choice for all types of cooking. In fact, it's the only oil stable enough to resist mild heat-induced damage. So, whenever you need an oil to cook or bake with, use coconut oil instead of butter, olive oil, vegetable oil, margarine, or any other type of oil called for in recipes. And, if you must fry, by all means use coconut oil -- it's your smartest choice.

Dark Chocolate
Believe it or not, chocolate is a healthy treat, as long as you choose wisely. Dark chocolate is rich in flavonoids, antioxidants that have been shown to lower blood pressure, improve blood flow, and boost overall heart health. Choose chocolate that is at least 70 percent cacao or cocoa to optimize the antioxidant power and health benefits.

Dark chocolate may even boost your mood. While there's no scientific explanation for why, the rich taste and sensuous mouth-feel of a decadent piece of dark chocolate may be to thank. Just be sure to keep your portions in check — one ounce of dark chocolate has about 150 calories.

Very high on the happiness quotient, which alone is thought to add years to your life. Also contains flavonols, which are potent antioxidants.

Grapes (Dark Purple, Red)
Grapes provide vitamin C, vitamin B1 and vitamin B6, but mostly provide pleasure in their juiciness and sweetness. Red and purple grapes also contain powerful phytochemicals (especially phenolics) that may help decrease risk of cardiovascular disease. These phenolic compounds are housed mostly in the skin of the red grapes.

Resveratrol, a polyphenolic stilbene found in the skins of red and purple fruits including grapes, may be responsible for some of the health benefits ascribed to the consumption of red wine. Resveratrol has been shown to have anti-oxidant, anticancer, and anti-inflammatory activity.

Enjoy grapes in salads, alone as a snack, or sliced in sandwiches.

Tip for your children: Place a bunch of grapes in the freezer. Your kids can eat the frozen grapes like a popsicle while receiving its health benefits.

Green Tea
Green teaGreen tea contains polyphenols, which may reduce heart disease, cancer and stroke risk. Green tea also supports brain health and memory, likely due a key compound in green tea called EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), a flavonoid. EGCG is thought to boost the immune system and prevent tumors. Aim for at least two cups daily.

Green tea — as well as black, white and red teas — is high in polyphenols and the flavonoid EGCG. Studies suggest that drinking tea every day can fight cancer, stroke and heart disease as well as boost the immune system and cognitive health. Replace your daily soft drinks with calorie-free tea and take advantage of the many green tea infused drinks and food products.

Hummus, a Middle Eastern specialty, is a great addition to a diabetes-friendly plate. The fiber and protein in chickpeas -- 12 grams of dietary fiber and 15 grams of protein per cup -- help regulate the absorption of the sugars from the starch so your blood sugar stays on an even keel.

The healthy fats from the tahini (made from ground sesame seeds) and olive oil slows the absorption of sugars even more. Pair your hummus with vegetables and whole-grain crackers for an even greater effect.

Kale's dark green pigment is an indicator of its concentrated supply of beneficial compounds. Lutein and zeaxanthin both protect against cataracts, while abundant vitamin A and other carotinoids work as powerful antioxidants. Kale is a rich source of vitamin K, which benefits cardiovascular health and helps to keep bones strong.

Kale contains a type of phytonutrient that appears to lessen the occurrence of a wide variety of cancers, including breast and ovarian. Though scientists are still studying why this happens, they believe the phytonutrients in kale trigger the liver to produce enzymes that neutralize potentially cancer-causing substances. 

Not only does it do a number on cancer, it also helps the heart. According to Jibrin, a half-cup of kale juice per day jacked up helpful HDL cholesterol by 27% and lowered artery-clogging LDL in just 12 weeks.

Kale is loaded with vitamin C, which is great for your complexion, along with calcium and vitamin A, Bazilian says. Leafy greens also contain nutrients — carotenoids such as lutein and zeaxanthin – that help preserve vision and prevent eyestrain, a serious asset for those who stare at a computer screen all day.

Lentils are smart legumes when managing your blood sugar. They contain a good amount of starch (normally a no-no when managing blood sugar), which gives them a satisfying, hearty creaminess. Lentils are also packed with both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber. Soluble fiber turns into a gel-like consistency during digestion, which slows absorption of the sugar molecules in the starch. Insoluble fiber passes through the digestive tract without "registering" as a carbohydrate, while slowing down the whole digestive process so you stay satisfied and your blood sugar remains steady.

Nuts of all sorts -- walnuts, pecans, take your choice! -- are great for controlling blood sugar. Despite their diminutive size, nuts are power packages of protein, unsaturated (healthy) fat, and fiber. Those three factors have a positive impact on blood sugar levels. In a recent study, participants who ate 2 1/2 ounces of nuts daily had an 8% decrease in their A1c levels. Keep in mind that nuts also pack plenty of calories. Your best bet is to substitute nuts for high-carbohydrate foods, such as croutons or pretzels. Sprinkle them on yogurt and salads, or nibble them for a snack.

Once considered an exotic fruit, the beautiful ruby red pomegranate is bursting with antioxidants and delicious sweet-tart flavor (at only about 100 calories each). Excellent for heart and brain health, pomegranate arils (seeds) can be tossed in salads, sprinkled on yogurt or ice cream, folded into muffin or pancake batter, used as a colorful garnish or simply snacked on as is. Pomegranate juice can be enjoyed as a refreshing wake-me-up, turned into a sweet syrup, or transformed into a tasty trendy cocktail. 

Pumpkin is good for a lot more than carving jack-o'-lanterns on Halloween — it's loaded with nutrients that will help your heart, bones, eyes, and skin. Beta-carotene and potassium are the two standouts here: Beta-carotene is an antioxidant that helps rejuvenate skin, protect your vision, and may even reduce risk of arthritis. Potassium is a mineral involved in lowering blood pressure and maintaining healthy bones. Use fresh or canned (no-sugar-added) pumpkin in stews, soups, pies, or pureed as a side dish — or add a scoop to some nonfat vanilla yogurt for a yummy snack.

Quinoa (pronounced ‘Keen-wah’) is a protein-rich seed that the Incas ate to give them strength and energy. It is gluten-free, high in amino acids, protein, vitamin B6, B1, B2, B3, and potassium. Plus it is a great source of copper, zinc, iron, magnesium, and folate.

Quinoa is a excellent grain for many reasons: It’s one of the few non-animal proteins that's considered a "complete protein" in that it has all of the essential amino acids your body needs to build protein molecules. Plus, quinoa is a whole grain with germ, endosperm, and bran intact, bringing a host of nutrients and healthy fat to the mix. Quinoa is also a source of calcium, so useful for vegans and those who are lactose intolerant. 

Even better, all those benefits come with very little impact on your blood sugar level. A half-cup of cooked quinoa ranks just under 10 (that's low!) on the glycemic load scale. It's easy to add quinoa to meals. Try using it in place of white rice as a side.

Why it's a good food for women: Quinoa contains all nine of the essential amino acids. The building blocks of protein, amino acids make up our muscles, tendons, glands and organs. Since our body can’t manufacture or store them, we need a steady source from our diet.

Without even one of the essential nine, our muscles and organs would start to break down. Most of us get all that we need from meat, but vegetarians need a surplus of whole grains and legumes to keep their levels intact.

Unlike refined carbohydrates, which are stripped of nutrients and fiber during processing, organic whole grains are loaded with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Quinoa is a good source of magnesium, which helps relax blood vessels and maintain healthy blood pressure levels. It may even be help prevent migraines.

Note: Other organic whole grains that provide major health benefits  include amaranth and bulgur. Amaranth seeds are between 14 and 16 percent protein, packed with the amino acid lysine, are gluten-free, and have about 8 grams of fiber per cooked cup. Bulgur is a type of cracked wheat kernel packed with a lot of fiber per cup (about 8 grams) and close to 6 grams of protein.

Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are good for your health, but not so much if they are baked into high calorie and high fat dishes. Eating sweet potatoes by themselves will provide you with carotenoids, vitamin C, potassium and fiber. Sweet potatoes are relatively fat free and very low in calories.

Sweet potatoes can provide a healthy alternative to sweets and desserts because of their natural sweetness. If you must add sugar to your sweet potato dish, use apple sauce, raisins or pieces of apples.

Tomatoes contain lycopene, an antioxidant rarely found in other foods. Studies suggest that it could protect the skin against harmful UV rays, prevent certain cancers, and lower cholesterol. Plus, tomatoes contain high amounts of potassium, fiber, and vitamin C. Tomato

Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that gives tomatoes their red color and it helps absorb the damaging free radicals that can harm our cells.

Tomatoes are packed full of vitamins including vitamins A, C and E and contain potassium and other mineral salts. Not only does their high water content make them refreshing, but they’re low in calories too. It is thought tomatoes help ward against prostate breast cancers and stomach cancers as well as age-related macular degeneration.

Leafy Vegetables
Spinach, kale, chard, and other leafy greens are loaded with vitamins, such as folate; minerals, such as magnesium; a range of phytonutrients; and insoluble fiber -- all of which have virtually no impact on your blood sugar level. Mark Hyman, MD, author of The Blood Sugar Solution (Little, Brown and Company), calls leafy greens "free foods," which means you should eat as many of them as you can. Bonus: The fiber in leafy greens will slow absorption of any carbohydrates (e.g., potatoes or bread) they’re paired with, resulting in a healthier overall glycemic load.
Leafy Vegetables: Superfood

This vegetable group includes salad greens, spinach, collards, kale, radicchio, and watercress.  Leafy vegetables may grow in tight loose heads or individually on stems.  A few leafy greens, such as turnip greens and beet greens, are actually the tops of root vegetables.

Salad greens, such as lettuce, are usually served raw.  Sturdier more flavorful greens, such as kale and collard greens, are usually served cooked.  They can also be eaten raw. 

Most leafy vegetables are rich in carotenoids (such as beta carotene), vitamin C, and are good sources of fiber and folate.  They also provide varying amounts of chlorophyll, iron, and calcium.

Other Foods to Eat
Other foods that help to prevent diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and high blood pressure include vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, bok choi, kale, Romaine lettuce; asparagus, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, cucumbers, okra, peppers, stringbeans, other greens (collard, turnip); sea vegetables such as chlorella and sea plankton; and, grasses such as wheat, barley, alfalfa.

Vegetables of other bright colors (green, red, yellow, purple, orange) include artichokes, avocado, bean sprouts, beets, carrots, chickpeas, mushrooms, onions, parsley, peppers, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and zucchini. 

Fruits include dark, bright-colored fruits such as açai berries, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, cranberries, elderberries, strawberries, apples, grapes, goji berries; apricots, avocado, figs, grapefruits, kiwi, lemons, limes, mangosteens, melons, papaya, peaches, pears, plums, pomegranates, prunes, raspberries.

Lean protein includes fish (wild salmon, sardines, tuna, mackerel, tilapia), nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, whey protein, whole soy foods (tofu, tempeh, miso, soy protein powder); lean, organic beef, chicken breast without the skin, turkey breast without the skin; goat’s milk, low fat plain yogurt; organic eggs, egg whites; low fat cheese, soy/tofu cheeses, blue-green algae (spirulina, chlorella); grains (amaranth, quinoa); wild game (venison, bear); organic seafood (shrimp, crab, lobster); and vegetables.

Top 10 Foods for Reversing Type 2 Diabetes

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