Ischaemic heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, cancers – the list of diseases that plague the world is endless. Of all these health conditions that take a toll on the human race, the prevalence of Diabetes in Singapore is one that the local government has called attention to. With about 1 million Singaporeans estimated to have Diabetes by 2050, the Ministry of Health (MOH) has officially declared war against this epidemic.
Understanding Diabetes in Singapore
Diabetes Mellitus comes in two forms – Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 is usually a genetic condition that causes the body to produce insufficient insulin. Type 2, the most common type of Diabetes in Singapore, is preventable as it is correlated to one’s diet. It is often seen in people who have poor dietary habits, are overweight or obese.
Due to Singapore’s war on Diabetes, MOH recommends the “prevent, screen, and control” approach. Tapping on this, we will cover dietary changes you can make to prevent Type 2 Diabetes.
1. Get Your Berry On!
The benefits of consuming fruits are widely known. Berries are generally known as antioxidant powerhouses. Antioxidants not only reduce the risk of heart diseases and cancers, but studies have shown that eating 3 servings of berries a week can reduce the risk of Type 2 Diabetes by 26%!
Beyond their high concentration of antioxidants, berries also have a low glycaemic index, which is a great option when trying to maintain a steady blood glucose level. Not a fan of blueberries? At organic food stores in Singapore, like Nature’s Superfoods, you’ll find an abundance of options, even those in freeze-dried powder forms – Acai powder, Camu Camu berry powder, organic Tibetan goji berries, Incan golden berries, and more.
2. Up Your Fibre Intake
Your lifestyle choices and diet can do a lot to prevent diabetes, explaining why one of the reasons behind the prevalence of diabetes in Singapore is the unhealthy foods we have at our disposal.
The most fibre you can get from a McDonald’s a la carte menu is 7g – soluble fibre is extremely important as it slows down the absorption of sugar. One good source of fibre is organic chia seeds. When soaked in water, the viscous fibre of black chia seeds reduces blood sugar levels by lowering the rate at which food moves through the gastrointestinal tract. Since fibre also reduces hunger, glycaemic management can be maintained too.
3. Feel Whole with Wholegrains
Whole grains such as oats and organic quinoa seeds are high in antioxidants like avenanthramides and plant compounds called phenolic acids. Since individuals with Diabetes are incapable of producing nitric oxide normally, avenanthramides come in handy. Besides having anti-inflammatory properties, avenanthramides increase nitric oxide production, improving blood flow. Quinoa also has a low glycaemic index of 53 – and we all know that choosing foods with a low glycaemic index is an exceptional way of controlling blood sugar levels.
4. Dietary Boosts with Superfood Powders
Incorporating superfoods into your diet is a quick way getting a high dose of nutrients. A powerfully nutrient-dense component, its large quantities of fibre, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants is one aspect that can help prevent Diabetes. Should you head down to an organic shop in Singapore, consider the following superfood powders:
1. Moringa Powder
Moringa powder has chlorogenic acid, which is also found in coffee. Chlorogenic acid helps moderate blood sugar levels after meals. It also has insulin-like proteins and a plant compound called isothiocyanates, which may help reduce spikes in blood sugar levels and positively affect the way your body releases insulin.
2. Matcha Powder
Matcha powder improves insulin sensitivity and lowers your fasting glucose levels hence making it a must-eat superfood when following a Diabetes-friendly diet. It is also loaded with antioxidants.
3. Organic Maca Root Powder
Though there has been little research, organic maca root powder is said to help fight the inflammation typically associated with uncontrolled blood sugar levels. Its dietary fibre content also keeps blood sugar levels under control by aiding insulin distribution in the body. It also makes the cells more sensitive to the effects of the sugar-regulating hormone and slows down digestion and glucose absorption.
4. Superfood Spices – Ceylon Cinnamon & Ginger Powder
Spices like ginger powder have anti-inflammatory properties and can thus help treat the symptoms and reduce the risks of diseases like Diabetes. Both Ginger powder and Ceylon cinnamon can reduce fasting blood sugar levels due to their ability to improve insulin sensitivity. These spices can also imitate insulin and help lower the levels of haemoglobin A1C.
Incorporating superfoods or even substituting unhealthy foods with nutrient-dense ones can help in some ways. For superfoods like organic chia seeds, matcha powder, or moringa powder, browse our extensive online catalogue or head down to our organic shop in Singapore for more options.