Your pancreas is a large organ behind your stomach which produces insulin to regulate blood sugar and enzymes to promote good digestion. Diseases of the pancreas include both pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer. In addition, if you regularly have high levels of blood sugar in your system causing a condition called insulin resistance, your pancreas may suffer because it is forced to overwork. Effective solutions include dietary and lifestyle changes which support good health.
The pancreas produces insulin in response to an infusion of blood sugar. The insulin is responsible for assuring your cells receive the glucose they need to function. However, too much sugar in your diet over a period of time can cause your cells to become resistant to the insulin. As a result, they do not receive adequate nutrition and your blood sugar levels remain high forcing the pancreas to work even harder to do its job. If this situation persists you will almost certainly develop type 2 diabetes. If you already have a history of type 2 diabetes it is just as important if not more so to take care of your pancreas.
There are a number of steps you can take to keep your pancreas healthy.
Start by exercising more. Activity increases your muscles’ demand for fuel which brings down your blood sugar level and allows your pancreas to take a rest as it can now produce less insulin. To help strengthen your pancreas, a good goal is to exercise 5 times a week for 30 minutes.
Exercise will also help you lose weight, another important step towards having a healthier pancreas. Linda Delahanty, M.S., R.D., Director of Nutritional and Behavioral Research at the Massachusetts General Hospital Diabetes Unit advises that a 5% to 10% weight loss will recharge your pancreas and help it work better.
Adopt a diet that helps alkalize your system. Increase your intake of alkalizing foods such as vegetables and some fruits to between 60% and 80% or your diet. You can also boost alkalinity by adding green supplements such as chlorella or spirulina to your diet. These foods often called superfoods provide protein and a full array of vitamins and minerals to support your health and your pancreas. Add freshly squeezed lemon (yes it is acidic but is alkalizing in your body) to the water you sip all day, and switch from black tea and coffee to green tea which is alkalizing.
Avoid sugar, artificial sweeteners, black coffee, tea, and alcohol. Conventional sources of protein such as milk, meat, or eggs are acid forming as are peanuts; eat them sparingly. It is especially important to avoid alcohol if you are prone to pancreatitis
Not only will this diet help you lose weight you will also have more energy and be more inclined to exercise. The antioxidant properties of the fruits and vegetables may help you resist pancreatitis and are good insurance against cancer. Green tea and the green superfoods also have anti-carcinogenic properties. Of course, always consult your healthcare practitioner before making major changes in your diet.