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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 December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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