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Why Quinoa Is the Perfect Food for Diabetics

Why Quinoa Is the Perfect Food for Diabetics

Quinoa has only recently begun to rise in popularity in the United States but it is already made a name for itself as a great source of nutrition.  Compared to other grains, quinoa has more protein, antioxidants, minerals and fiber.  Quinoa is also gluten free, making it the perfect food for people who are sensitive to gluten.  On top of that, it has recently been shown as a good nutrition source for diabetics and can be used as a healthy way to maintain blood sugar levels.

What is Quinoa?

While it may be new to supermarkets in your area, quinoa has been a staple of the South American diet for centuries dating all the way back to the time of the Incas.  It is native to the Andes Mountains and is able to survive harsh conditions.  Quinoa is eaten like a grain with the Incas referring to it as “the mother of all grains”, but it is actually a seed.

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There are currently 120 different known variations of the seed, but the most popular are the white, red and black quinoa making these three varieties the types you will most likely see in your local grocery store.

Research into the benefits of quinoa is relatively knew compared to research in other foods and it is only in the last thirty years that researchers have begun to discover the health benefits of this little seed.  While more research is needed, it is currently believed that adding quinoa to your diet can reduce the risk of high blood pressure and high cholesterol and it is has also been shown to provide many benefits to people suffering from diabetes as well.

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How Quinoa Can Impact Blood Sugar

One of the keys to living a healthy life with diabetes is managing and controlling your diet.  Quinoa is a great choice for diabetes because it is a whole grain, one of the key components of a healthy diabetic diet along with fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and unsaturated fats.

Foods that are high on the glycemic index will raise your blood sugar and could make it difficult to control.  Quinoa, however, is very low on the glycemic index meaning it won’t cause a spike in blood sugar when eaten.

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While most grains don’t have the amino acids necessary to form a protein, quinoa has enough present to be considered a complete protein.  Quinoa is also a great fiber source that doesn’t impact blood sugar that could help you maintain proper body weight to prevent other chronic conditions associated with diabetes.

Easy Ways to Prepare Quinoa

Quinoa is prepared in water and cooked in a similar fashion to rice.  When preparing the dish, place one cup of uncooked quinoa and 2 cups of water into a saucepan and bring it to a boil.  Once the water is boiling reduce the heat and simmer the quinoa until most of the water has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender.  In most cases, this usually takes about 15 to 20 minutes.

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Quinoa can also be used as a healthy addition to other types of dishes as well.  Much like rice, you can add it to soups, stews or chili to give your dish an extra touch that is not only healthy but quite tasty as well.

With all of the good things we keep hearing about quinoa, it’s a wonder that anyone still uses rice anymore.  For diabetics, it is the perfect grain that is built for a healthy diabetic diet.  Incorporating this little seed into your diet can help you control your blood sugar while also maintaining a healthy weight to prevent many of the secondary problems that are caused by diabetes.

Featured photo credit: By Vi..Cult… (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC BY-SA 2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons via upload.wikimedia.org

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Brian Wu

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Last Updated on September 15, 2020

4 Ways to Deal With Big Life Changes in a Positive Way

4 Ways to Deal With Big Life Changes in a Positive Way

Life changes are constant. Whether it’s in the workplace or our relationships, nothing in life ever remains the same for long.

Regardless of the gravity of change, it can always be a little scary. So scary, in fact, that some people are downright crippled by the idea of it, causing them to remain stagnant through anxiety.

Have you ever noticed how much of life’s transitional periods are riddled with anxious vibes? The quarter life crisis, the mid-life crisis, cold feet before getting married, retirement anxiety, and teenage angst are just a few examples of transitional periods when people tend to panic.

We can’t control every aspect of our lives, and we can’t stop change from happening. However, how we respond to change will greatly affect our overall life experience.

Here are 4 ways you can approach life changes in a positive way.

1. Don’t Fight It

I once heard one of my favorite yoga instructors say “Suffering is what occurs when we resist what is already happening.” The lesson has stuck with me ever since.

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Life changes are usually out of our control. Rather than trying to manipulate the situation and wishing things were different, try flowing with it instead.

Of course, some initial resistance is natural if we’re going into survival mode. Just make sure you are conscious of when this resistance is no longer serving you.

If you’re feeling anxious about impending life changes, it’s time to practice some techniques to address the anxiety directly. These can include meditation, exercise, talking with friends about how you’re feeling, or journaling.

If you’re worried about a big life change, such as starting a new job[1] or moving in with your partner, do your best to control your expectations. It may help you to talk with people you know about their experiences going through similar changes. This will help you form a realistic picture in your mind of what things will look like post-change.

2. Find Healthy Ways to Deal With Feelings

Whenever we’re in transitional periods, it can be easy to lose track of ourselves. Sometimes we feel like we’re being tossed about by life and like we’ve lost our footing, causing some very uncomfortable feelings to arise.

One way we can channel these feelings is by finding healthy ways to release them. For instance, whenever I find myself in a difficult transitional phase, I end up in a mixed martial arts studio.

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The physical activity helps me channel my emotions and release endorphins. It also helps me get in shape, which generally increases my mood and energy levels.

Exercise is important in cultivating positive emotions, but if you’re struggling with anxiety in particular, it’s important to cultivate a regular exercise routine as opposed to a one-off workout. One study found that “Aerobic exercise can promote increase in anxiety acutely and regular aerobic exercise promotes reduction in anxiety levels”[2].

If exercise isn’t your thing, there are other, less intense ways of cultivating positive emotions and reducing anxiety around life changes. You can try stretching, meditating, reading in nature, spending time with family and friends, or cooking a healthy meal.

Find what makes you feel good and helps you ground yourself in the present moment.

3. Reframe Your Perspective

Reframing perspectives is a very powerful tool used in life coaching. It helps clients take a situation they are struggling with, such as a major life change, and find some sort of empowerment in it.

Some examples of disempowered thinking during life changes include casting blame, focusing on negative details, or victimizing[3]. These perspectives can make awkward transitional phases much worse than they have to be.

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Meanwhile, if we utilize a more positive perspective, such as finding a lesson in the situation, realizing that there may be an opportunity for something, or that everything passes, we can come from a greater place of ease.

4. Find Time for Self-Reflection

Having time to reflect is important at any stage in your life, but it’s especially important during transitional periods. It’s quite simple really: we need our time to step back and get centered when things get a little crazy.

As a result, big life changes are perfect for doing some self-reflection. They are opportunities to check in with ourselves and practice getting grounded for a few minutes.

Take a look at this reflective cycle adapted from Glibb’s Self-reflection guide (1988):[4]

Use self-reflection when facing life changes.

    Self-reflective exercises include meditating, yoga or journaling,[5] all of which require some quiet time to get yourself together.

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    One study found that journal improves “self-efficacy, locus of control, and learning”[6]. A healthy sense of self-control can make the process of change easier to bear, so that in itself is a great reason to try self-reflection through journaling.

    To learn how to start journaling, you can check out this article.

    Final Thoughts

    Big life changes may rock us for a little while, but they don’t have to be as bad as we initially perceive them. If handled in a positive manner, transitional periods can pave the way for some serious self-growth, reflection, and awareness.

    Cultivate a sense of positivity and find ways to diminish the anxiety around life changes. Once you make it to the other side, you’ll be grateful that you made it through in the best way possible.

    More Tips on Facing Life Changes

    Featured photo credit: Alora Griffiths via unsplash.com

    Reference

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