BYE-BYE HIGH BLOOD SUGAR!
Summer is now in full swing and most of us are enjoying vacations and parties! Parties are a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with friends and family but also full of temptations like ice cream, various pies, and trifles to name a few which could create high blood sugar…
Research is showing a link between sugar and cardio-vascular diseases. People eating a lot of sugar seem to also have lower levels of HDL (good cholesterol) and higher triglycerides, two factors increasing your risk of heart disease, strokes, and heart attacks.
In addition, our sugar intake is messing up with the glucose level in our blood throwing us on a sugar roller coaster ride. What follows could be irritability, mood swings, insomnia, anxiety, and depression! It becomes a problem especially for individuals suffering from anxiety, bi-polar disorder, or any type of personality disorder.
So, what now? How can we satisfy our sweet tooth without significantly raising our blood sugar?
Summer is a great time to enjoy fruits and they are a viable alternative in moderation. Most of them are in season and readily available. Although fruits contain sugar, they are also loaded with vitamins and minerals, and the high-water content in most fruits will keep you satiated faster.
The fruit that particularly peaked our interest this season is watermelon. A recent article on WebMD advertises the vast benefits of the fruit.
Watermelon contains more lycopene than even tomatoes. Lycopene is responsible for the red color and is a powerful antioxidant lowering your risk of cancer and diabetes. So, remember when you buy a watermelon, chose it bright red if you buy it sliced.
In addition to lycopene, watermelons also contain an amino acid called Citrulline suspected to lower blood pressure and keep your heart healthy.
And the list goes on… beta-cryptoxanthin is a natural pigment also found in watermelon that seems to lower inflammation and your risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.
If you want smooth skin and healthy eyes, this is your fruit as well. A high concentration of Vit A, B6, and C will keep your skin soft and elastic.
Not crazy about the taste of water, no problem, watermelon is 92% water, making it another great way to hydrate.
Replace ice cream for watermelon and you have reduced your calories by close to 100 fold with 1 cup of ice cream costing you 300 calories versus the same amount of watermelon for only 40 calories. You will also eliminate the blood sugar spike with watermelon because of its low glycemic index and low carbs.
Unfortunately, in our society, digestive issues created by our diet and stress have become the norm. Watermelon is a soft fruit, gentle on the digestive tract and an ideal summer treat for someone suffering from IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), Crohn’s disease or colitis.
Tips on how to choose the best watermelon:
- Favor seedless as they seem to have an even higher concentration in lycopene
- Deep red is best
- Make sure the skin is in good shape, free of dents and bruises
- Look for a yellow spot at the bottom which indicates the watermelon is ripe versus a white spot
- The heavier the better
- When you thump it, it should make a hollow sound
Once you have carefully chosen your watermelon, wash the outside before you cut it to avoid bacteria from getting inside the fruit.
If you are not eating the whole watermelon in a day, consider only cutting a portion and storing the cubes in a container or freezing them. Keep the uncut portion covered in the fridge, it will stay crisper and fresh longer.
If you are an ice cream nut, try creating an easy sorbet by putting watermelon chunks in the blender with a touch of lime and freeze. For more of an ice cream consistency, first freeze chunks of seedless watermelon, then add the frozen chunks to coconut cream into a blender using the following proportions: 3 cups of frozen watermelon to ¾ of a cup of coconut cream!
Watermelon is very versatile, it can be added to a salad with a few mint leaves and feta cheese or try a watermelon pizza by topping wedges with yogurt, mint, slivered almonds, and berries.
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TO A HAPPY AND HEALTHY SUMMER!