Diabetic Diet: How Tangerines and Oranges Can Help Cure Diabetes

Don’t let anyone fool you. It is possible to cure type 2 diabetes and you can include many foods in your diabetic diet that contain substances that help cure diabetes.

Recent research proves that tangerines and oranges contain a substance called nobiletin that helps to cure diabetes. Specifically, nobiletin prevents the build up of fat in the liver and the subsequent over productive of insulin due to increasing glucose in the blood. Nobiletin also prevents the build-up of arterial plaque which causes heart disease and stroke.

Nobiletin is a very powerful antioxidant in a family of antioxidants called flavonoids. Antioxidants eradicate free radicals in the body that can lead to cancer, a compromised immune system, and a weakened body that can make it ripe for the development of diabetes. The underlying causes of all of these disorders are the same.

Tangerines contain more nobiletin than do oranges but both have a good quantity. Nobiletin is not found in lemons or grapefruit however. However, as an example of how variety is always good, lemons help diabetics in many other ways including very significantly lowering the glycemic index of any food it is added to and making your cells less insulin resistant.

The nobiletin is found in the tissues of the fruit and in the peel so just drinking juice is not as good as eating the whole fruit for this benefit. Grated peel is also a very tasty addition to salads and stirfries. You can also seep tangerine or orange peel in hot water for an excellent and very healthy tea. In fact, tangerine peel is has a mildly sweet flavor as a tea.

You really can can cure diabetes through diet and other natural means. I know because I cured my diabetes this way. I went from a HgAC1 of 10.6 to less than 6 (my last reading was 5.2) in less than 6 months and I’ve been able to keep it that way for quite a long time now. When I was first diagnosed, they were giving me insulin and then they wanted me to take a variety of prescription drugs for life.

They kept talking about how my disease would progress like it was a definite foregone conclusion this would happen. I finally said, “NO!” to the drugs, shopped around to find another doctor who would support my efforts to cure my diabetes naturally, and educated myself extensively on what to eat and what not to eat – and much of it is not as intuitive as you might think!

Diabetic Diet: How Lemon and Lemon Water Can Help Cure Diabetes

I started buying fresh lemons by the bag after I found out how they can help cure diabetes. They are quite literally a miracle from Mother Nature! I have always loved fresh lemon but now I make an extra effort to eat lots of them. In fact, I believe lemons should be an important staple in every diabetic diet.

Lemon Lowers the Glycemic Index of Other Foods

Research has shown that lemon lowers the glycemic index of any food it is added to. And… we are not talking a few points here. The drop is very significant! To benefit from this, all you have to do is add a little squeeze of fresh lemon over your food. Almost like waving a magic wand, this will instantly lower the glycemic index of your meal. Best of all, lemon is such an excellent flavor enhancer, it makes many foods taste better too. I often add a squeeze of fresh lemon to a hot bowl of soup (yum!), casseroles, stove top goulashes, almost any kind of salad (including salads containing fruit), and sauteed vegetables (especially greens!). Anything with chicken or fish of course tastes especially good with lemon. Please note that it is best to add the fresh lemon right before you eat the food. If you cook it in soup, for example, it can become a little bitter and the health benefits won’t be quite as great.

Have A Glass of Lemon Water First Thing In the Morning

A glass of lemon water is the perfect way for a diabetic to start the day. Most people start their day with coffee (very acidic) and food that shift the pH of the body toward the acid side. However, if you shift the pH back toward the alkaline side, you will notice your blood sugar will go down. Moreover, your cell membranes will become more sensitive to insulin – i.e. you will be LESS insulin resistant. In fact, this will actually aid your body in repairing those damaged cell membranes.

Although lemons contain a weak acid, when they are metabolized by the body they have an alkalizing effect. If fact, they are the strongest alkalizing food you can eat! This is why adding lemon to your diet can go a long way toward restoring the pH of your body to the alkaline side where it should be. It has been found that most diabetics have a very acidic body pH (as have cancer patients). Bringing back to the alkaline side will go a long way toward helping to cure your diabetes.

Making lemon water is very easy. Just squeeze the juice from a half lemon (or a full lemon if you are a larger person) into a glass of water, swirl it around a little, and drink it up. Do this first thing in the morning on an empty stomach before you have your coffee or breakfast.

Lemons Have TWICE the Vitamin C As Oranges

This was a fact that surprised me as you always hear that orange juice is so loaded with vitamin C. Well, the orange’s citrus cousin has it beat with twice the vitamin C. Most people don’t realize but vitamin C is an extremely powerful antioxidant. It is important to note that vitamin taken in the form of food is MUCH better absorbed by the body than vitamin C taken in the form of a pill!

Vitamin C is at least part of the reason lemons interact with the cell membrane and make it less insulin resistant. However, vitamin C also have other very important benefits to the diabetic as well. For example, it increases the production of collagen which strengthens blood vessels. This is key since many diabetics have problems with circulation and arterial damage.

Aids In Repairing Digestion

Most diabetics have impaired digestive enzymes and lowered acidity in the stomach. This means that they don’t always reap the full benefit from the nutritious food they eat. Lemon goes a long way toward curing this problem as well.

Diabetes Diet – The Visual Plate Method

The Diet for Diabetes is straightforward yet you need to know how to control the carbohydrates. How do you know what foods to eat? Maybe you like rice or pasta or grits or other carb foods that need insulin to process these foods.

How much of the carbohydrate or carb (CHO) foods can I eat? Well that depends if you would need to lose weight, gain weight or maintain your weight.

I think the most prudent way to eat foods you really enjoy and at the same time not putting too much strain on the pancreas to spit out insulin, is to eat in moderation. Type 2 Diabetes Diet or Diabetes 2 diet is basically the diet I am referring to.

What I mean by moderation is using the Visual Plate Technique. This is one way of calculating your intake, as well as how much carbs or carb foods you include with your meal.

So what does the Visual Plate Technique mean. For a Type 2 Diabetes Diet means that you look at your plate with your foodstuff in it. If all you see is rice, or grits or sweet foods as the greater piece of your plate, then you are way off base. Diabetes 2 diet contain a green leafy vegetable or salad, Protein foodstuff (eggs , meat, fish, cheese) and a smaller portion of carbohydrate vegetables or rice, pasta or whatever other carbs.

Since I work as a visiting nurse, I try to explain to the patients that you don’t have to go to extremes. Diets for Diabetes doesn’t matter what culture and foods you like and that tastes great. It matters that you somewhat control your carbohydrate vegetables (peas, carrots, corn, peas, potatoes) and your CHO foods (rice, pasta, and other carb foods) with each meal. Diet for Diabetes means more control over the CHO you eat.

If you make your mind up you and want peas and carrots, then eat very small amount rice or pasta. If you eat green leafy vegetables, then you can eat extra rice or pasta.

With Type 2 Diabetes Diet, protein foods do not raise your blood sugar, so you can add extra fish, eggs, meat, etc with your meals. As long as your cholesterol isn’t too high (eggs and meats) and you are not a Kidney patient, there should be no reason why you can’t eat extra protein foods. Protein foods in the diet for diabetes is that the protein contains its own natural fat which actually helps curb your appetite.

Whenever you eat a meal or snack, it should always include a small amount of protein that has its natural fat. The protein provides its own natural fat and tends to keep your blood sugar stable so it doesn’t spike and then drop immediately. That can happen if one has a piece of fruit and no protein with it. Also, eating just a piece of fruit can make you hungrier. That’s where the protein helps to curb the appetite.

I also tell my patients not to drink any juice unless your blood sugar is low. It is better to eat the fruit than drink the juice.

As always, you should get to consult with your doctor before changing your present diet.

Foods to Include in a Diabetic Diet

It’s easy to say what a diabetic shouldn’t eat: sugars, simple carbohydrates, alcoholic beverages. Sometimes it seems that all the tasty foods are forbidden – pizza, donuts, cake, ice cream, brownies, etc.

Is a diabetic doomed to a diet of broccoli and broiled fish?

Not at all. For the most part, people can eat normal foods – but wisely.

The biggest problem diabetics have is consuming too many calories. Simply limiting caloric intake to 1500-1800 calories would stabilize blood sugars for many patients. Not only that, but body weight and serum cholesterol would drop as well. If you are diabetic and make only one change in your diet, choose to eat less.

Problem foods for diabetics are those that raise the blood glucose level rapidly. Sugar does, of course, but so do simple carbohydrates and alcohol. It doesn’t mean you cannot have even a bite of these foods, but that you need to use discretion, and limit portion size to only 100-200 calories a day. Avoiding the “white” foods is a good idea: white flour, white rice, white potatoes, white pasta. All of these turn to glucose in your blood stream nearly as quickly as sugar itself.

Beyond that, what should a diabetic eat? And why?

Some of the best foods for diabetics are fruits and vegetables, which are high in soluble fiber. These promote a feeling of fullness, help the bowels eliminate properly, add potassium, vitamins, and anti-oxidants to the diet, and generally are low in calories. Aim for 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day.

Among the fruits, those that are less sweet are desirable, such as apples, berries, and cantaloupe. The very sweet fruits such as watermelon and pineapple may be eaten, but in limited amounts. A cup full of watermelon has nearly the same number of calories as a cup of 7-up, and may raise your blood sugar equally. A large slice of watermelon may have as many calories as a hot fudge sundae.

Vegetables tend to have more fiber and fewer calories. Lettuce, spinach, celery, cucumbers, cabbage,radishes,onions, leeks,kale, and other greens may be eaten as desired. Carrots have a higher glycemic index, but it’s difficult to eat too many carrots. Green beans and pea pods are good since they include the low-calorie pod. Beans and peas are high in fiber, a good source of protein, but higher in calories than the salad-type vegetables. Corn is actually a grain, not a vegetable, but is preferable to a processed grain such as white flour or cereal.

If not for toppings, a diabetic could eat an unlimited amount of salad. Dressing may add hundreds of calories, as may other toppings such as eggs, croutons, seeds, and bacon bits. Tasty low-calorie dressings are an option, or using a small amount of regular dressing. Again, portion size is vital. A restaurant portion of regular dressing for a large salad is easily 500 calories, whereas a large portion of diet dressing may be under 100.

Most diabetics love carbohydrates, but limiting these to whole grains is a good idea. And although oatmeal has been touted as a health food, processed oatmeal is metabolize nearly as quickly as sugar-coated cereal. If you like oatmeal, choose unprocessed steel-cut oats (but note, these take much longer to cook).

Everyone needs protein in the diet, to keep muscles strong and healthy. While it’s possible to consume sufficient protein from a vegetarian diet, most people prefer to add animal products such as fish, chicken, eggs, or meat. Many diabetics have high cholesterol levels, and therefore should avoid red meat and excess eggs. Lean meat such as chicken, fish, or turkey is preferable, but watch out for salted lunch meat, which may raise your blood pressure.

Five daily servings of calcium foods should be included in the diet (1500 mg) in the form of green leafy vegetables or dairy products. Skim milk, low-fat cheese, and artificially sweetened yogurt are good choices.

Lastly, what about dessert? Nowadays many desserts are available in no-sugar-added varieties, including ice cream, cookies, and pies. These are sweetened with alcohol sugars, which do not raise the blood glucose as quickly as regular sugar, but are equally high in calories. A bowl of berries with a little sugar-free ice cream is a reasonable choice.

Copyright 2010 Cynthia J. Koelker, M.D.