Type 2 Diabetes – Grapefruit Is A Superfood for Diabetics

Glass pitchers of grapefruit juice with slices of fruits

Superfoods are foods, typically fruits and vegetables, with a high concentration of phytochemicals that have been well-documented for their superior nutritional benefits. Superfoods are best known for their ability to reduce the likelihood of heart disease and cancers, but many are also essential for maintenance of Type 2 diabetes.

Grapefruit, one of the popular “superfoods,” is the perfect example of a “diabetic superfood.”

Of all the fruits to choose from, grapefruit is one of the most appropriate for Type 2 diabetics, as it doesn’t create sharp rises in your blood sugar levels like others will. A mixture of the phytochemicals and high fiber content in grapefruit make it especially powerful at lowering cholesterol – a trait that every Type 2 diabetic should appreciate.

Yet there’s an even stronger case for grapefruit, and it comes form a new antioxidant found in the citrus: Naringenin.

Naringenin has been found in grapefruits and other citrus, and promising research has reflected its ability to increase insulin sensitivity and to break down fats. The possibilities of its functions include…

  • improving glucose tolerance, and
  • fighting the metabolic syndrome.

Diabetics, take note.

Drug companies have been quick to research how they can take the medical benefits from these antioxidants and put them into medications for patients – but you don’t need to wait for a new prescription to benefit. Here are some easy ways to enjoy grapefruit straight from the tree…

1. Broiled grapefruit. Treat yourself to a nutritious breakfast or dessert with this sweet, wholesome dish. Cut a grapefruit in half and sprinkle a bit of cinnamon on top; drizzle just a teaspoon or so of olive oil over the surface. Place under the broiler for about 5 minutes, until the fruit is just a bit golden and charred. Serve with a lean protein like cottage cheese or an egg for a complete meal.

2. Grapefruit avocado salad. Two of the healthiest fruits also happen to make one of the tastiest salads together! Toss together fresh slices of grapefruit segments, avocados, and fresh mint or cilantro with a light vinaigrette. Add a sprinkle of feta cheese or almonds on top for a lean protein topper.

3. Grapefruit parfait. Layer fresh grapefruit slices with plain yogurt and a low-sugar granola for a delicious snack or dessert.

4. Enjoy it fresh. Digging into a fresh, seasonal grapefruit is one of the most rewarding snacks. Slice a fruit in half, grab a spoon, and dig in.

Grapefruit can interfere with several prescription medications, so check with your health care provider if you are on any medications.

Source by Beverleigh H Piepers

Superfood Spotlight: Cacao

Dark chocolate with cocoa

Cacao. Cocoa. Chocolate. Its scientific name, Theobroma Cacao, as dubbed by Carolus Linnaeus, means ‘food of the gods’ in Latin. Whatever you want to call one of the world’s favorite foods, it is indisputably delicious. However, depending on the form in which you consume it, it may or may not be nutritious. Most of the planet’s chocolate consumption is comprised of roasted, heavily processed beans brewed into artificial confections mixed with preservatives, sugar and milk, severely limiting its nutritional value. Many of the beneficial vitamins and minerals are destroyed during this process. On the other hand, cacao, when consumed raw, is one of the healthiest foods you can put in your body. The common misconception that raw cacao is too bitter to be tasty is founded on nothing but ignorance. After trying a properly concocted raw cacao dish, your mindset on chocolate will be indelibly altered.

A Brief History

Cacao has a storied history that few foods can compete with. Cultivated as early as 1800 BC, the cacao bean has its roots deep in the jungles of South America. The Olmecs were the first to consume it and domesticate the tree. They also considered it to hold divine properties, using it in sacrificial rituals. The Mayans were so fond of it that they used it as currency. It was most commonly consumed in beverage form, mixed with water, herbs and spices. The most famous ancient usage of cacao was by the Aztecs, particularly by emperor Monteczuma II, who supposedly drank 50 cups of it daily out of a golden goblet. He also apparently always downed a goblet before attending to his harem. He is quoted as having these high praises for it,

“The divine drink, which builds up resistance and fights fatigue. A cup of this precious drink permits a man to walk for a whole day without food.”

Once the Spaniards arrived, they brought it back to Europe, shared it only with Portugal, and drank it like the Aztecs did for the better part of a hundred years in the 15th and 16th centuries. It took the rest of Europe a considerable time to realize the value of the mysterious bean, with one English pirate ship reportedly mistaking a shipload of them for sheep droppings and burning the whole lot.

When Cacao finally caught on in the rest of Europe, it embarked on a long journey of transformation and bastardization. It spread through France, Italy and England in the 1600s, eventually making its way to America in the 1700s. in 1828, A Dutchman by the name of Coenraad Van Houten invented a machine that extracted the powder, allowing it to be made into a confection, and in the process, changing the face of chocolate forever. The English made the first chocolate bar in 1847, and then in 1879, two Swiss men, Daniel Peter and Henri Nestle collaborated to invent milk chocolate, marking the unceremonious abandonment of the traditional, healthy, liquid preparation method used in South America for two thousand years. A hundred and thirty years later, your average chocolate bar bares very little resemblance to the cacao brews of Mesoamerica and has a fraction of the nutritional value.

The World Market

Over 3,500,000 tons of cacao is produced annually. Approximately 70% of that comes from West Africa, with the Ivory Coast and Ghana ranking first and third in global production. Our beloved Indonesia places 2nd on that list, accounting for just under 20% as recently as 2010! Unfortunately, it is estimated that less than 1% of global production is organic. Hopefully we can change help change that from our organic friendly island of the gods, Bali. It would only be fitting that the revitalization of the organic production of the food of the gods began on the island of the gods. Cacao only grows in the tropics, within 10 degrees of the equator, and is traded as a commodity on two global exchanges, one in London and one in NYC. Arguably the most endearing aspect of cacao production is that a huge amount of it takes place on small family farms, making it conducive to a more balanced income distribution that is so desperately needed by many of the poor countries that produce it.

Nutritional Value

Cacao is ripe with vitamins, minerals and many other beneficial phytonutrients. Chock-full of anti-oxidants such as flavanoids, which have been found to field anti-allergic and anti-cancer properties, cacao has the potential to help cure a plethora of health issues. It is high in sulfur and magnesium, two of the most essential minerals for good health. It improves blood vessel function and blood flow, which some doctors believe might lead to improved cognitive function. This quality has lead many to speculate that it could play a role in limiting the negative symptoms displayed by sufferers of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.

While it does contain trace amounts of caffeine, its more prevalent stimulant is theobromine, an alkaloid similar to caffeine yet lacking the physically addictive properties. Theobromine has been shown to reduce asthmatic symptoms, relax and smooth out muscles and lower blood pressure. Cacao also contains enzyme inhibitors that may facilitate youthening & rejuvenation.

Asides from the positive physical health affects cacao has, it can also aid in the improvement of mental and emotional health. Phenylethylamine, a chemical created by the brain and released when we are attracted, excited, or in love, is present in healthy amounts. Anandamide, a chemical released when we feel good, is another constituent of cacao. There are also more enzyme inhibitors that decrease the body’s ability to break down anandamide, which means that positive feelings will last longer when you eat cacao. Lastly, it is loaded with tryptophan, a chemical that is required to synthesize serotonin, a chemical that makes us feel happy. Basically, cacao makes you feel great. A healthy dose of cacao in your diet has been shown to have incredible long term benefits on both physical and mental health. Be careful though, raw cacao is very powerful and has an intense effect on the central nervous system, so consuming too much at one time can lead to similar reactions produced by caffeine; hyperactivity followed by drowsiness.

Source by Jon S Dale

Superfood Splendor for Your Blender

Organic Healthy Fruit in a Blender

The term “superfood” has been thrown around recently to describe many edible items that may not necessarily fit the bill. An unfortunate example of this occurred on a well know street where a big yellow bird and disgruntled trash dweller have occasionally been spotted. Yes, sunny day, sweeping the clouds away, on my way to where the air is sweet, can you tell me how to get, how to get to Superfood Street…not exactly.

More …

Superfood: Olive Oil

olive oil and olives

Olive oil, the keystone food of the Mediterranean diet, helps prevent cardiovascular disease, cancer, arthritis, inflammation, skin aging, and cognitive decline. The powerful protection of this oil reduces the causes of death and the effect of aging. It an essential ingredient for this longevity diet.

More …

Say Hello to the Superfood, Yuca

Yucca, yuca, cassava, manioca, mandioca chips and flour

Currently there is a global health movement growing. People are more conscious about their health and are seeking alternatives to traditional eating habits. The realization that there are many different superfoods virtually untouched by the average population has created a desire to experiment with and try new exotic foods. Many of these superfoods have been brought over from South America, Asia, and Africa. Indigenous peoples have thrived off the land and sustained massive civilizations with the use of superfoods. One in particular is gaining momentum in North America.

More …