There is a scientific connection between metabolic syndrome and increased risk for developing some forms of cancer, and chronic illnesses like diabetes, arthritis and many others indications of early internal and external aging. Controlling metabolic syndrome is of particular importance to BRCA positive, Lynch syndrome and others with identified genetic mutations who are looking for ways to prevent or reverse these diseases, including cancer survivors looking to increase remission rates.
Ever the optimist I wanted to address how we can reverse and/or prevent the syndrome. Let's take a closer look at what it is.
Metabolic syndrome looks a lot like pre-diabetes with elevations in blood sugar levels and hemoglobin A1c values. However, even before these numbers begin to be abnormal, there are other signs that this condition id developing.
Signs that one may be developing metabolic syndrome include:
Increased waist line/girth (most often the greatest weight gain is along the waist)
Increased blood pressure
Increased blood sugar levels
History of yo-yo dieting
High levels of stress
The causes often include internal and external stress, disordered eating patterns, weight gain, inactivity, as well as depression or general disharmony.
So what can we do about these? I advise to start by taking a couple of weeks to exam life patterns and determine where small changes can be made.
Many people successfully adding a daily walk to their routines, as well as some limited dietary change like adding more fiber (simply adding a daily fruit or even a bean dish a couple times a week), or slowly decreasing the amount of simple carbohydrate one eats.
Interestingly enough one of the hardest issues to get a grip on what makes us happy/harmonious and what stands in the way of that happening. Its a great question to take your time with, and one worth considering. After all being stressed and unhappy can lead to suppression of the vitally important immune system.
Fall Lentils Pacific Northwest Style with Plum Chutney
Lentils are an excellent source of soluble fibers, as are pectins found in the apples and carrots. A servings also contains a good amount of protein. Together, the protein and fiber regulate blood sugar levels over a long period of time, thus helping to decrease large blood sugar fluctuations.
The Pacific Northwest West twist with this recipe is that we add apples to the lentils instead of potatoes. Apples will imbue a sweetness and supply some texture without causing blood sugar and insulin to increase dramatically. The flavor is savory, and the plum chutney adds some zip, and color.
3 cups of lentils
6 cups of water
10 cloves of garlic, minced
1 TBS curry spice
1 TBS of fresh ginger
2 TBS of cumin
2 branches of broccoli, chopped
4 small apples, sliced and halved
Salt to taste