Over the winter months, with temperatures dropping those with type- 2 diabetes usually have higher HbA1c levels than during the warmer months.
To prevent those blood sugar levels creeping up during the cold snap, Dr. Sarah Brewer, working in association with CuraLin Diabetes supplement (www.curalife.co) shares her top tips…
1. Keep moving
Don’t reduce your level of exercise when it’s cold – still go out for a daily walk but wrap up warm. Exercise helps to prevent blood sugar levels from creeping up.
2. Fight against flu
Infections cause blood sugar levels to rise, and respiratory infections are more common during the cold months of the year. If you have diabetes, an annual ‘flu vaccination is recommended. Check that you’ve received a one-off pneumococcal vaccine, which is also recommended for people with diabetes.
3. Don’t forget about Vitamin D
Vitamin D levels tend to be lower during winter months, due to lack of exposure to sunshine. Vitamin D plays an important role in immunity against infections. Public Health England recommend that everyone takes a vitamin D supplement at this time of year.
4. Winter warmers
Fill up with healthy, winter, warming stews full of low GI vegetables and beans. If having crusty bread, select granary-style seeded and brown wholemeal loaves.
5. Aid your glucose levels with Ayurvedic medicinal herbs
Opt for CuraLin (£59.00, www.curalife.co) – a blend of 10 traditional Ayurvedic medicinal herbs, including Bitter Melon, Fenugreek, Amla fruit and Turmeric. These herbs are prescribed by Ayurvedic doctors to help support glucose balancing. By combining different herbs which work in different ways, blood sugar levels can improve through different mechanisms. This combination approach can produce a synergistic effect while using lower doses.
6. Spice things up this winter
Home-made curry makes a great winter warmer, and curry spices such as cinnamon, fenugreek, chilli and turmeric have beneficial effects on blood sugar levels. If you are having rice, select brown or wild rice rather than white rice.
7. Switch up your hot chocolate
Rather than drinking hot chocolate, opt for high flavanol unsweetened cacao, which is a delicious way to help improve glucose control by reducing insulin resistance.