10 Foods and Spices That Fight Diabetes
According to UnitedHealth, more than half of Americans will be diabetic or prediabetic by 2020. Currently 8.3 percent of the U.S Population is diabetic, with the highest rates—nearly 17 percent—found among American Indians and Alaska Natives.
By the numbers alone, things don't look very bright for Indian country. But there are a number of movements to reverse the trend of diabetes among tribes—at the national and community level.
Take the Notah Begay III Foundation for example. The nonprofit is pumping money into promising initiatives through its Native Strong: Healthy Kids, Healthy Futures program, and promoting sport and physical activity among Native youth.
Diabetes centers on reservations are making fitness workshops more accessible to people of all ages. The St. Regis Mohawk Tribe's Diabetes Center for Excellence, for instance, offers fitness classes, yoga, a pool for aquatic exercise, and nutritional support including counseling and a cooking demonstration space. The center also extols the benefits of stress-reduction and mind-body connection.
And the Cheyenne River Youth Project is a grassroots organization significantly improving the lives of Indian youth by not simply preaching the virtues of eating fresh produce, but actually teaching kids how to garden and cook what they harvest—while making it fun.
Fighting diabetes is a group effort that involves educating people about managing and preventing the disease, and creating opportunities for them to do so.
But the individual is ultimately responsible for making good choices, starting with nutrition.
Indian Country Today Media Network suggests 10 foods or spices you should incorporate into your diet that will help you reap the immediate rewards of feeling energized and satiated, as well as the longterm goal of helping reverse diabetes, and thus preserving Native culture and sovereignty:
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