Amazing Health Benefits of Coconut Water

902After your next workout, reach for some anti-inflammatory coconut water. Not only does coconut water help balance your glucose levels, but it is also packed with electrolytes, vitamins, phytonutrients and minerals. Drinking coconut water will promote a healthy immune system, and you might even notice an improvement in the appearance of your eyes and skin.

You can purchase whole, fresh coconuts at most grocery stores. Carefully push a metal skewer though the “soft eye” found on every coconut, drain it’s sweet water into a cup and enjoy!

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Dr. Kim

*http://www.stylecraze.com/articles/amazing-benefits-of-coconut-water-for-skin-hair-and-health/
Photo | fresh-water-coconut | ©Phu Thinh Co | Used under a Creative Commons Attribution Share-alike license

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Berberine Can Improve Diabetes

1352Berberine is one compound that can have a major effect on your metabolism. Berberine activates the metabolism regulator in your body known as adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK). Increased AMPK activity can improve your insulin sensitivity while reducing glucose production in your liver. For this reason, Berberine may benefit people who suffer from diabetes. Berberine can help improve gut health and heart health too.*

The standard dose of Berberine is 900-2,000mg daily, divided in 3-4 doses. Always consult a doctor when attempting to use a compound to control your blood sugar. Together you can figure out the best dosage for you.

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Dr. Kim

*http://www.life-enhancement.com/magazine/article/2455-berberine-gives-diabetes-the-12-punch
Photo | Leonora Enking | Argemone mexicana in the Spiny Desert | Used under a Creative Commons Attribution Share-alike license

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A Healthy Bite of Dark Chocolate

chocolateThe high levels of flavonols found in dark chocolate have been known to improve glucose regulation, which can protect you from developing Type 2 Diabetes. The dark chocolate flavonols known as oligomeric procyandins have been credited as being the most effective at controlling glucose levels. Another study, conducted by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, also found that dark chocolate can be linked to lowered blood pressure and decreased insulin resistance.*

Don’t just add dark chocolate to your diet, instead you should swap it out for an already-sugary treat. Remember that the closer your cocoa is to a natural state, the healthier it is, so make an effort to choose raw, dark versions over milk chocolate varieties whenever you snack.

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Dr. Kim

*http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/can-diabetics-eat-chocolate-5950.html
Photo | “Chocolat de Bonnat tasting” | ©Everjean | Used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

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Watch Out for Toxic Splenda

splendaA study on sucralose (Splenda) resulted in a lengthy list of troubling safety issues, from DNA damage to toxicity. The study showed that Splenda destroys as much as half of the healthy bacteria in your stomach. We also now know that Splenda alters glucose and insulin, which could lead to weight gain, insulin resistance or worse, type-2 diabetes.*

Cut out toxic Splenda from your sweetener routine. Instead, reach for agave or date sugar, which are natural, safe ways to satisfy your sweet tooth.

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Dr. Kim

*http://www.peertrainer.com/health/complete-guide-to-sweeteners.aspx
Photo | 91/365+1 Splendid | &Copy;Dave Crosby | Used under a Creative Commons Attribution Share-alike license

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Okra Lowers Blood Sugar

okraIf you need help controlling your blood sugar levels, reach for some okra. Fiber-rich okra prevents the starches in your body from converting into glucose (sugar). Okra is also full of magnesium, vitamins, potassium, and zinc.

Glucose-regulating okra can be prepared by being steamed, sautéed, or grilled. Keep in mind that only one cup of okra packs about 8.2 grams of fiber. Enjoy!

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Dr. Kim

*http://healthland.time.com/2013/07/22/eat-this-now-okra/
Photo | Kuwaiti-style okra with tomatoes | ©Gloria Cabada-Leman | Used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

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Health Benefits of Black Pepper

Black pepper’s flavor comes from a substance called piperine, which studies show, blocks new fat cells from forming in your body. Piperine in black pepper has also been proven to improve glucose tolerance, liver function and can even lower your blood pressure. By combining exercise with the habit of sprinkling black pepper on fresh vegetables, your metabolism will get a kick-start. Moreover, black pepper increases your body’s absorption of the foods you eat, which makes this natural compound a healthy addition to any diet. [1]

Ground peppercorns are the most potent form of black pepper. Pick up fresh peppercorns from your local grocers and store them in a dry, dark place in airtight containers.

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Dr. Kim

[1]http://www.livestrong.com/article/541325-does-black-pepper-cut-belly-fat/
Photo | Black pepper | ©Tim Simpson | Used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

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Cancer Cells Thrive From Too Much Sugar

The problem with consuming too much sugar is that it causes your pancreas to produce an abundance of insulin. And what does insulin do? In addition to regulating your glucose levels, it also encourages cells to grow. So if you have cancerous cells in your body, consuming too much sugar will produce a lot of insulin that will in turn grow your cancer cells. Regulate your sugar intake to keep glucose levels and insulin production at a healthy, steady rate.[1]

Consider having a fresh piece of fruit rather than a glass of fruit juice. The juice is packed with sugar; however the piece of fruit, while sweet, is also packed with fiber and protein which help keep glucose levels from spiking and dropping drastically.

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Dr. Kim

[1]http://breastcancer.about.com/od/cancerfightingfoods/a/cancer_sugar_myth.htm
Photo | Sugar | © Uwe Hermann | Used under a Creative Commons Attribution Share-alike license

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