Herbs For Health: Obesity and Diabetes

| 7/13/2011 12:36:42 PM

L.HoltThere’s been a lot of media focus on obesity lately, and with good reason: According to a recent report by Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), obesity is a consistently growing problem. No state has decreased its incidence of obesity in the past year, and 16 states have an increased population of obese citizens. In fact, 38 states now have an obesity rate of more than 25 percent, and the state with the lowest percentage still hovers at around 20 percent. (It’s Colorado, by the way.)

One of the risks of chronic disease that can come with obesity? Type 2 diabetes. In 2003 an Herb Companion article stated that nearly 90 percent of the diabetics in our culture have type 2 diabetes, which is characterized by either a decrease in pancreatic insulin production, or cell resistance to using the insulin the body produces. Diabetes rates have tripled in ten states over the past 15 years, and in eight states 10percent of adults are now combating this illness. USA Today states that nearly 350 million adults worldwide have diabetes, and the rate is rising twice as fast in the U.S. as in Western Europe.

There are lots of debated causes for both the obesity epidemic and the rise in the number of people who have diabetes. Is it eating too much? Is the quality of our food? (Or rather, the low quality of a mainstream diet full of refined sugars and over-processed “meals?”) Is it hormonal disruptors in shampoo, or make-up, or plastics? Or maybe it’s stress, or a lack of exercise, or poor sleep?

Perhaps it’s time to stop worrying quite as much about a single cause for obesity or diabetes, and to start looking for a solution that’s more successful than a “quick fix” pill that only treats a single aspect of a disease. According to research in our archives, lifestyle changes and herbal supplement use have been shown to help people with type 2 diabetes reduce their dependence on pharmaceutical drugs and improve their body’s ability to regulate blood-sugar levels. 

The most important lifestyle elements are regular exercise (even just 30 minutes of walking per day), a diet of whole, real foods (especially foods high in fiber and low in fat or carbohydrates), and (often) weight-loss. Many obese diabetics can restore their blood-sugar balance if they reach their ideal weight, and eating smaller, regular meals rich with foods like legumes, nuts, whole grains, vegetables and fruits can help the pancreas to perform more efficiently. A supplement of guar gum has also been beneficial in increasing fiber in the diet.

Oregano and other antioxidant-rich herbs can help the body use insulin more efficiently.
Photo by tibbygirl/Courtesy Flickr

Subscribe today and save 58%

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living !

Mother Earth LivingWelcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $19.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $24.95.

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Free Product Information Classifieds

click me