How you eat is important if you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes. The body needs a certain amount of vitamins and nutrients, and if you have diabetes, it’s even more important to get the nutrition you need to keep your glucose levels under control. Fortunately, you can use dietary supplements to help keep your body healthy and balanced, and there are twelve nutrients that are key for diabetics.
Calcium is important for everyone, but many people do not get enough by drinking milk or eating dairy. Calcium is especially important for women, who are at risk for osteoporosis later in life. Even if you think you’re getting enough calcium, you may want to consider a separate supplement that contains between 500 and 1,000 mg of calcium.
Chromium supplements should be between 50 and 200 mcg. Unfortunately, you may not get enough chromium in the food you eat, and since this mineral helps your body handle blood sugar, it’s especially important to make sure you’re getting enough chromium. Extra chromium can also help you build muscle.
Copper shares to regulating your blood sugar, the way your body uses iron, and in bone and heart health. It’s an important part of your diet, but like chromium, your regular diet does not give you enough. Diabetics should look for supplements that contain 2 mg of copper.
Folic Acid, also known as folate, is particularly important for women in their child bearing years. About 400 mg of folic acid in early pregnancy help the development of your baby’s brain and spine. Higher levels of folic acid can lower your risk of heart disease and colon cancer.
Iron is important, but too much can be harmful to you. On the other hand, if you’re not getting enough iron, you can become anemic. Most people get enough iron if they eat fortified cereals, but if you need a little extra iron, make sure you do not exceed 18 mg of iron each day, which is the daily recommended amount for everyone.
Magnesium supplements should contain 100 mg for diabetics. Magnesium is particularly important since it has been linked to protection from diabetes, as well as hypertension, osteoporosis, and migraine headaches. If you have kidney problems, be sure to check with your doctor before adding magnesium to your diet.
Vitamin A should be in the amount of 5,000 international units (IU), but no more than 10,000 IU Diabetics should look for supplements that contain 2 mg of vitamin B6. Vitamin C is an antioxidant, and diabetics should have 200 to 500 mg of it as a daily supplement. Vitamin D can be added to your body from sunlight, but to get enough through the sun, you would spend too much time exposed to the sun without protecting your skin. Diabetics should look for 400 IU of vitamin D, but be sure your supplements, in conjunction with fortified cereals and milk do not exceed 800 IU Vitamin E is another antioxidant, and diabetics should look for 100 to 400 IU of it.
Zinc is one mineral that is probably the most lacking in your diet, and diabetics should look for supplements that contain 15 mg of zinc. Zinc helps wounds heal properly, as well as helping keep your immune system strong.