How Diabetics Can Use Zinc To Lower Their Blood Sugar
Diabetics can lower their blood sugar by eating more foods that contain the mineral zinc, according to studies, since zinc has been shown to be essential to insulin action, as well carbohydrate metabolism.
The simple truth is, we’re all zinc deficient, according to a worldwide analysis. A whooping one third of people worldwide don’t get the zinc they need from diet. In fact, dietary zinc deficiency, often called marginal zinc deficiency, is quite common in the developing world, affecting an estimated 2 billion people, according to the Linus Pauling Institute
The easiest zinc deficiency treatment is to eat a diet high in foods that contain zinc. Notably, there are a select amount of zinc-containing food options in our food supply and it’s highly unlikely that people are loading up on an abundance of oysters, apricots and pumpkin seeds daily. That being said, there are some negative repercussions to being deficient, especially if you’re a diabetic.
The mineral zinc plays a pivotal role in how the human body uses insulin according to a 2015 meta-analysis study in the journal Nutrition and Metabolism. When non-healthy people supplement with zinc, the new study found, they can “significantly reduce total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides.” The meta-analysis which was entirely focused on diabetics, found that zinc helps manage both blood glucose and lipids better.
Zinc Deficiency Can Be Deadly
According to research, chronic, severe, and untreated, zinc deficiency can be fatal. Less drastic symptoms include infections, skin conditions (eczema and psoriasis), hypogonadism, weight loss, emotional disturbance, dermatitis, alopecia, impaired taste acuity, night blindness, poor appetite, elevated blood ammonia levels and susceptibility to colds and flu. Poor wound healing is specifically attributed to zinc deficiency especially in diabetics.
According to the study in populations at risk of zinc deficiency, preventive zinc supplementation reduces the incidence of premature child birth, decreases the chances of death from childhood diarrhea episodes as well as acute lower respiratory infections, lowers all chances of dying, and increases growth and weight gain among infants and young children. In addition, therapeutic zinc supplementation during diarrheal episodes has been shown to reduce the duration and severity of the illness.
How Much Zinc Do You Need?
How much zinc you need usually depends on how deficient you are. However, it’s safe to say that if you’re prone to colds and flu, and have poor wound healing or low growth,you can benefit from a zinc deficiency treatment.
If you are zinc-sensitive, start supplementation slowly and monitory yourself for reactions. If there reactions of zinc sensitivity, lower your dose or simply eat more foods that contain zinc naturally.
You Want To Be Mineral Efficient, Not Mineral Deficient
An excerpt from the book EAT! Empower. Adjust. Triumph!: Lose Ridiculous Weight recommends taking a synergistic approach to ending mineral deficiency.
“Take a moment right now and think about how you want your body to be. Do you want your body to be mineral deficient or mineral efficient? Essential trace minerals are important! You must have an adequate amount of minerals in your diet for your body to function well and properly. The best way to get minerals is colloidally – from a plant, as this affords the most efficient absorption of vitamins and minerals. Eating a diet of at least eighty percent alkaline-forming foods with ten percent acid- forming foods and ten percent good fats is the best way to secure your alkaline reserves.”
Herein lies the reason a plant-based, high carbohydrate, low fat diet is the preferred choice for diabetics. Plant-based foods that work well as a zinc deficiency treatment contain zinc naturally. These include:
- Baby greens (Low GI)
- Kale (Low GI)
- Asparagus (GI =15)
- Peas (GI = 39)
- Cherries (GI = 22)
- Apricots (GI = 34)
- Pumpkin seeds GI = 0-20)
Incorporating more of these low GI zinc-enriched foods into your diet daily is certain to help restore your levels of zinc, however this may not be enough if you’re already too deficient. To boost zinc reserves, you’ll want to supplement with a quality zinc supplement recommended from your naturopath or holistic practitioner, then continue to eat the above foods to maintain adequate levels of zinc for optimal health.