Nutrition Powerhouses for Immunity in Diabetics

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Our immune system is a network of various cells, organs, and the gut. To keep everything functioning, adequate sleep, adequate exercise, good hygiene standards, and a healthy diet come into play. Good nutrition is important for diabetics because the wrong type of carbohydrate choices can destabilize blood glucose and prevent immune cells from working properly. Every nutrient has a purpose, but there are key powerhouse nutrients diabetics can focus on. Controlling diabetes with food is the easiest, but supplements can help, so as long as they are Diabetes Specific Formula (eg. Glucerna and Glucerna RPB).1, 2, 9

Before Nutrition

Make sure you have good sleeping habits and stay well hydrated (keeps blood flow good). Bad sleep quality throws off your body’s circadian rhythm and reduces the body’s production of cytokine proteins to deal with infections.7 Plus the disruption makes your body unable to bring blood glucose back down after the natural rising of it at night, which increases your insulin resistance. If you did not have diabetes (Type 2) before, you are more likely to get it.1, 3

Powerhouse Nutrients

Though well meaning, certain diet advice for diabetics can be too limiting and leave little room for error for essential nutrients, often leaving out the key powerhouse ones.1, 2 

  1. Eat higher quality carbohydrates – Higher quality low glycemic index foods come from whole grains, beans, leafy green vegetables, and whole fruits. It is because they contain fiber (a type of carbohydrate the body cannot naturally digest) that keeps you fuller longer and acts like a prebiotic for the immune system benefiting gut bacteria.3, 7
  2. Zinc – key nutrient in helping the synthesis of immune system cells, it helps the body heal wounds. Needed by the white blood cells specifically, good sources of zinc are avocados, pomegranates, cantaloupes, and guavas.3, 4, 5, 7
  3. Vitamin E & Healthy Lipids – An antioxidant that helps protect cells from damaging free radicals, it needs healthy lipids to be effective. Healthy lipids also help power the immune system as it requires a lot of energy to run. Best sources for Vitamin E & lipids are almonds, sunflower seeds, peanut butter, vegetable oil, spinach, and broccoli.3, 7
  4. Vitamin D – Key in helping regulate immune system cell functions,  it is important for diabetics because their immune cells have been weakened by high blood glucose. Diabetics can consume fortified foods (cow milk, soy milk, cereal, orange juice), mushrooms, or work out under the sun.1, 2, 6

Other Nutrient Collections to Keep in Mind

An easy way to tell if the food is low on the glycemic index is if the finished product is close to its original form. If you eat plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains, a diabetic should be set. It might take a little getting used to, but you can always use the assistance of alternate nutritional formulas, so long as they are diabetes-specific formulas (DSF). For example, diabetics can try Glucerna.9 Scientifically formulated to be low on the Glycemic Index, Glucerna® has a new and improved carbohydrate system15 with 800 mg Myo-inositol 12 (a carbohydrate that mimics insulin action8) and 28 vitamins and minerals to provide complete and balanced nutrition. Rated as No.1 Doctor Recommended Diabetes Nutritional Formula in the US10, it can help provide the needed diabetic nutrition to start action from day 111. Since 12 immunity supporting nutrients (protein, Vitamin A, B6, B12, C, D, E, Folate and selenium, copper, zinc and iron)1, 2 of the 35 total nutrients in Glucerna works together with heart healthy lipid ingredients, it can help improve normal functions of the immune system, while helping manage blood glucose response in 3 months13.

You can have Glucerna as part of a meal or as a snack (eg. 2 servings per day at 5 scoops + 200ml water per serving) to help effectively manage blood glucose levels14. Glucerna is also available in pre prepared Glucerna RPB for your blood glucose managing needs when on the go.9

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    10. “IQVIA, using the ProVoice Survey, fielded to 13,040 physicians from November 1, 2022 to October 31, 2023 and recorded the OTC product recommended most often in the Diabetic Nutrition Supplement category, has validated the following claim at a 99% confidence level.”
    11. Glucerna has been shown to lower postprandial rises in blood glucose (Devitt et al. J Diabetes Res Clin Metab. 2012; Luo et al. J Diabetes Mellitus. 2012; Mottalib et al. Nutrients. 2016; Davila et al. Nutrients. 2019.)
    12. Compared to previous formula of Glucerna
    13. +Peng et al. 2019..
    14. Chee et al. BMJ Open Diabetes Res Care. 2017; +Peng et al. 2019..
    15. Jenkins et al. Diabetologia. 1982