Diabetes is a chronic condition which requires regular monitoring. Your diet and lifestyle significantly affect your blood sugar levels. People with diabetes are often advised to eat healthy and exercise moderately to manage the condition effectively. But sometimes it can become difficult to determine what to eat and avoid, how much to eat and when to eat. To help people with diabetes make right choices, awareness plays a crucial role. There are several foods, food groups and nutrients that can help lower blood sugar levels, naturally. One of them is Vitamin D. The sunshine vitamin is essential for your bones, immune system, skin health and much more. To your surprise, it also has a role in managing diabetes.
Diabetes: Here’s how vitamin D helps control blood sugar levels
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin which is extremely essential for the human body to function properly. However, vitamin D deficiency is quite common, especially in vegetarians. Vitamin D helps in the absorption of calcium consumed from food sources. Therefore, adequate vitamin D intake helps boost bone health and reduces the risk of bone-related diseases.
This vitamin is extra beneficial for people with diabetes. Several studies have highlighted the link between vitamin D and diabetes. A study published in the European Journal of Endocrinology revealed that consistent vitamin D3 supplementation can help improve insulin sensitivity in patients who have been diagnosed with type-2 diabetes recently or are at risk of developing the condition.
Another study explains that people who have insulin resistance and low levels of vitamin D are at a higher risk of developing type-2 diabetes.
Megha Jaina, Clinical Nutritionist and Diet Expert at BLK-MAX Hospital, New Delhi explains, “Vitamin D is crucial for hormonal health. So, when there is a deficiency of vitamin D, the endocrine health goes for a toss, especially the thyroid gland. In such a situation, insulin levels are disturbed. The pancreas does not secrete enough insulin. With deficiency of vitamin D putting on extra body weight also becomes easy. All these factors when combined with a sedentary lifestyle can trigger the risk of type-2 diabetes.”
How to prevent vitamin D deficiency
Sunlight is a free source of vitamin D. When your body is exposed to the sun, it produces vitamin D. One can also add foods with vitamin D to their diet including milk and milk products, lean protein, mushrooms, eggs and salmon.
The nutritionist further warned that one should not add supplements to their diet without consulting an expert.
(Megha Jaina, Clinical Nutritionist and Diet Expert at BLK-MAX Hospital, New Delhi)
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.
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