Metabolic syndrome is a group of risk factors that play an important role in the development of various diseases and it is not a disease itself. High blood pressure, abdominal fat, high cholesterol levels, and high blood sugar are part of the metabolic syndrome. In cases when a person has one or more of the above-mentioned risk factors, it means that he/she is in a great danger of developing serious medical conditions such as heart diseases and blood vessel diseases which lead to heart attack and stroke. Having a metabolic syndrome means that you also have five times higher risk of developing diabetes. A good thing to know that reversing metabolic syndrome is possible with a significant change of the lifestyle.
Diet Changes to Reverse Metabolic Syndrome
Metabolic syndrome develops due to nutrition and it can be easily prevented by changing the eating habits. A total change of your daily diet is often needed, normally not an easy thing to do. But if you take it slowly and make these changes one step at a time, you will soon notice to be in a better shape and of a better health. Here are some diet changes when reversing the metabolic syndrome:
- Eat small and frequent meals as eating large meals only once or twice a day can flood the bloodstream with glucose and insulin as well.
- Reduce the size of your portions.
- Eat healthy proteins such as chicken, turkey or fish. Legumes are a great source of healthy proteins as well, but they should be consumed in moderation as they are high in carbohydrates.
- Eat fresh foods and avoid foods that are frozen, canned, in bottles, in jars, in boxes, and in bags as much as possible.
- Eat vegetables and fruits of all kinds such as broccoli, spinach, salads, cucumber, zucchini, bell peppers, asparagus, radishes, cabbage, blueberries, raspberries, kiwi, etc.
- Use olive oil when cooking as it is more healthily than other oil types.
- Avoid soy, corn or sunflower oil and use olive oil when cooking as much as possible.
- Eat foods that are high in magnesium such as leafy green vegetables, avocado, nuts, almonds, beans, etc. These foods are known to lower the incidence of metabolic syndrome.
- Eat fish several times a week as fish are high in omega 3 fatty acids.
- Avoid refined sugar such as desserts, sugary drinks, white bread, pizza, pasta, donuts, etc., as they contain large amounts of simple carbohydrates.
- Limit the intake of carbs and grains and avoid foods like white rice, pasta, etc. Instead, choose healthier options such as brown rice for example.
- Drink plenty of water a day. Drinking herbal iced tea or mineral water is also better than juices, energy drinks or alcoholic beverages.
Other Natural Ways in Reversing Metabolic Syndrome
Here are some other beneficial tips that can help you reverse metabolic syndrome process:
Losing about 5 or 10 % of your body weight can be very beneficial as your body can regain the ability to recognize the insulin produces from the pancreas. You can lose those extra pounds through diet, physical exercise, or even some medications that your doctor can prescribe.
Physical activity is very important for overall health. Being physically active is also very beneficial when reversing metabolic syndrome. Most healthcare providers recommend at least 150 minutes of aerobic exercise each week in order to reduce the risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, etc. Regular physical exercise reduces the risk for heart diseases even without weight loss.
Everybody knows that cigarette smoking is an unhealthy habit with many negative effects on the entire body. If you are trying to reverse the metabolic syndrome, and reduce your risk for various diseases then you should stop smoking as soon as possible.
Certain supplements can be beneficial as well, such as:
- Holy basil – is known to significantly improve the levels of blood glucose and even improve the cholesterol levels. According to the Department of Home Science at Azad University of Agriculture and Technology in India, basil supplements can be a great way of controlling diabetes complications that result from the metabolic syndrome.
- Ginseng, Berberine and Bitter melon – are potent natural remedies for the treatment of metabolic syndrome, widely used in Chinese medicine. They help regulate the glucose metabolism as well as the lipid metabolism.
- Maca root – increases the glutathione levels in the human body. Glutathione boosts the immune system, balances the levels of cholesterol, improves significantly glucose tolerance, lowers the levels of glucose in the blood, improves heart health and other medical conditions such as metabolic syndrome, diabetes, etc.
- Spirulina – according to Japanese researchers reverses the endothelial dysfunction in metabolic syndrome, but due to phycocyanin, it has antihypertensive properties as well.
Try Medical Ways
If your lifestyle changes are not enough to help you with reversing metabolic syndrome, then you should talk to your doctor and perhaps get medications that can help you reduce the risk for serious diseases. Some medications that are often prescribed in these cases are:
- Diabetes medications such as Avandia, Actos, or Glucophage, necessary in cases of glucose intolerance
- High blood pressure medications such as ACE inhibitors, diuretics, angiotensin II receptor blockers, beta blockers, etc. which can help you control and normalize the blood pressure levels
- Cholesterol medications such as statins, bile acid resins, etc., which help you control and normalize the cholesterol levels in the blood
- A low dose of aspirin which is very beneficial in reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke