November was Diabetes Awareness Month, honoring those who live with the daily struggles of diabetes. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as of 2021 29.7 million people in the United States (or 8.9% of the population) have been diagnosed with diabetes. There are a number of factors that can impact the possibility of living with diabetes ranging from genetics to socioeconomic status, demonstrating that it’s a health condition that can affect anyone anywhere.
For the men, women, and children living with diabetes, staying on top of their nutrition is essential. The CDC emphasizes the connection between food and nutrition and the diagnosis, and the Mayo Clinic touches on key elements of a healthy-eating plan rich in nutrients and low in fat and calories in order to keep your blood sugar level in a safe range.
If you’re a person living with diabetes who’s considered adding maca root to your diet, you’ve no doubt done your research. Which means you might have learned that maca is not only safe for a diabetes-friendly diet, but it’s also been associated with positive effects on the liver and on the body’s ability to regulate glucose levels.
How Does Diabetes Affect the Body?
How does diabetes impact your health? To put it simply, the body of a diabetic person doesn’t produce insulin or doesn’t use it as well as it should. This results in a chronic (or long-lasting) health condition that negatively impacts the ways your body converts food into energy.
Typically, when a person’s body breaks the food they’ve eaten down into sugar (or glucose), the process will trigger their pancreas to release insulin, which triggers your body’s cells to use that blood sugar for energy.
With diabetes, however, there simply isn’t enough insulin produced, or the body’s cells stop responding to insulin appropriately. This results in too much sugar in the bloodstream, contributing to a variety of issues like heart disease and loss of vision.
There are two different types of diabetes: Type 1, wherein the pancreas isn’t producing insulin at all, or Type 2, where it isn’t producing as much insulin and/or your body becomes resistant to it. Type 1 diabetes, unfortunately, has no known cure, though it can be treated with a pancreas transplant. Type 2 diabetes may in some cases be reversed with significant changes in diet and exercise.
How Does Maca Affect Diabetes?
The first thing to note is that maca is safe for people who have been diagnosed with diabetes, whether it’s Type 1 or Type 2. In fact, consuming maca has been linked to positive effects in the bodies of those with either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes.
The results of a 2021 study suggested that the glucosinolates found in maca can impact a body’s insulin resistance, exerting potentially beneficial effects in treating glucose and lipid metabolic disorders. Our premium maca powders, which have been speed-dried in dehydrators immediately after harvesting, have higher levels of glucosinolates than what you’d find in our standard sun-dried organic raw maca powders.
Glucosinolates are phytochemicals found almost exclusively in cruciferous vegetables like mustard and cabbage - and maca, of course - and they’re known for both their anti-inflammatory and cancer-fighting properties. They’ve also demonstrated an impact on insulin and insulin receptors, suggesting the “protective and regulatory effectiveness” of maca root as part of a healthy diet.
Maca for Diabetes
It’s important to keep in mind that there’s no miracle cure for chronic health conditions like diabetes, which must be addressed with healthy eating and exercise habits. You should always consult with a licensed medical professional before making any significant changes to your diet. Before consuming maca, read up on the different types of maca there are and what particular benefits they might be associated with, in addition to getting an idea of your ideal serving size.
If you have any further questions about our Fair Trade, sustainably-grown maca, we’d love to hear them. Please don’t hesitate to Contact Us using our web form, or call us toll-free at 888-919-8616.
Enjoy the Day!