BALANCE YOUR BLOOD SUGAR
‘Raised blood-sugar levels are linked to diabetes, heart disease, cancer and impaired memory, so knowing how to keep them lower is important. That’s why I was intrigued to read that Israeli researchers have found a “high variability” in individual blood glucose responses for the same food, with some people having a bigger glucose response after sushi than ice cream for example, and vice versa. Knowing which foods have what effect on an individual’s blood sugar could pave the way for personalised nutrition, say the researchers. In the meantime, try my top tips for keeping your blood sugar healthy.
BALANCE YOUR BLOOD SUGAR ON TRAVEL Photo Gallery
1.Eat a Mediterranean diet. Studies suggest the odds of developing diabetes are around one fifth lower for those who build meals around vegetables, beans, nuts, wholegrains, fish, fruit and olive oil.
2.Eat berries regularly. The anthocyanins that give berries their bright red and purplecolours were linked to better blood sugarcontrol in a University of East Anglia study.
3.Stay strong. Women who combine aerobic exercise with strength work havethe lowest diabetes risk – about one thirdless than that of non-exercisers. After a workout, your muscles take up more glucose from the bloodstream, plus you become more sensitive to insulin. Aim for two and a half hours of cardio and two to three 30-minute strength sessionsa week.’
January is the season of extreme diets, but be careful not to deplete your body of nutrients while you shift those excess pounds.Detoxing can be really effective, but only if it’s well managed. Ensure any regime puts nutrition first, or simply try to cut out the obvious calorie culprits of booze, added sugar and refined carbohydrates for a healthier system.If you want to give your body some extra support, bathe in Epsom Salts (findthem in your local pharmacy) – your skin will absorb the relaxing magnesium they contain, while the salts also help draw out toxins from your body. Add 500g to your bath water and soak for 20 minutes. Detox your digestion with the beneficial probiotic bacteria in fermented foods such as kefir and sauerkraut. And try my new daily supplement strips that’ll boost your essential fatty acids, probiotics, micronutrients and vitamin D (£25 for a 28-day supply; amandahamilton.com).
FEELING A BIT CHILLY?
If you’re having a hard time staying warm in winter, get your iron levels checked, as chronic iron deficiency – leading to anaemia – can impair your ability to maintain adequate body temperature. Women with heavy periods are especially at risk as they lose more iron each month. To up your intake, eat lean red meat, nuts and seeds such as cashews and sesame, sardines, liver, greens such as rocket and kale and snack on dried fruit such as a small handful of apricots or raisins when you crave something sweet. Not drinking tea and coffee with meals can also help (tannins in these drinks impair iron absorption), as will eating plenty of vitamin C-rich foods such as oranges, tropical fruits, broccoli and peppers with the iron-rich foods, as they improve iron uptake.