Life After a Diabetes Diagnosis

More than 250,000 New Zealanders develop diabetes every year*. Even more are thought to live with symptoms, yet remain undiagnosed.

However, there are steps you can take to support the body back to balance.

Naturopath, nutritionist and Lifestream ambassador, Janella Purcell shares easy-to-implement advice for those facing a Diabetes II diagnosis:

  • Eat a mostly wholefood diet that contains oils such as avocado, olive and coconut oil, tahini, coconut, chia and flax seeds, as well as complex carbohydrates like nuts and seeds, fruit and veg, legumes and whole grains.
  • Protein is essential to control sugar levels. Start your day with an egg, organic tempeh or tofu, lovely homemade baked beans, almonds, oats, quinoa, millet or amaranth. Add protein-rich Lifestream Spirulina Balance to your green smoothie or morning juice.

    • It’s okay to include complex sugars: those still close to their original state, not highly refined or processed. Things like coconut palm sugar and nectar, rapadura, organic dried fruit, rice syrup, raw honey and dark agave.

Instead of overcomplicating your diet, simplify it. Janella says:

  1. Add superfoods such as spirulina and/or aloe vera to your daily diet. Research has found both positively affect blood sugar levels and may prevent and help manage diabetes. For purity and potency, I recommend Lifestream Spirulina and Biogenic Aloe Vera juice.
  2. Eat mostly plant-based protein at every meal.
  3. Eat healthy sweeteners such as stevia.
  4. Eat mindfully. Chew lots.
  5. Exercise moderately and regularly.
  6. Always eat breakfast.
  7. Avoid artificial sweeteners.
  8. Avoid refined and processed white flour, sugar and its products.
  9. Get enough sleep. Feeling tired will make you crave sugar and refined grains.
  10. Alcohol is high in sugar so this needs to be moderated. A glass at night with a couple of alcohol free nights is recommended.

“Try not to see these changes as a punishment, but an empowering step towards fuelling your body correctly,” Janella says. “Not only will your risk of getting diabetes dramatically decrease but your health will improve so much that your chances of enjoying wellness at every level of your being will increase also.

*Diabetes New Zealand

Diabetes Diagnosis Shopping List

New Zealand BlackCurrant

Blurry vision may be one of the first signs of diabetes. Diabetic retinopathy affects blood vessels in the retina. Early detection and treatment is important, as is looking after the health of your eyes. New Zealand blackcurrants contain high levels of purple/blue anthocyanins (up to three times the amount from other countries.) These are powerful anti-oxidants that localise in the eye area to neutralize free radicals and prevent oxidative damage. Blackcurrant extracts help microcapillary circulation to assist with eye health, including eye strain and fatigue from long term computer use.

Circulation Herbs

Heart disease and poor circulation are common in diabetic sufferers, both of which can also lead to kidney damage. Ginger, hawthorn, gingko, cayenne and garlic help encourage good circulation and support a healthy heart and cardiovascular system. As poor circulation can also lead to skin ulcers (especially legs and feet) it is important to get blood moving. Also, daily exercise and dry skin brushing before showering can help keep circulation flowing to reduce the risks of nerve damage from lack of blood flow.

Plant-based Protein

High protein, low carb diets have been shown to support a slower release of glucose into the blood, helping to support healthy blood sugar levels. Plant-based protein contains fibre to slow down glucose release. This results in a more alkaline internal environment. These types of proteins are also easier for the kidneys to process. Try plant based protein from grains, legumes, algae and seeds such as rice, golden pea, spirulina or chia.

Ultimate Green Foods

Since diabetes can result in acidic blood and general toxicity, the alkalising and detoxifying effects of chlorophyll-rich foods can help with overall health and the prevention of escalated symptoms. Try barley grass, wheatgrass, chlorella and spirulina.


Fibre slows down glucose release into the blood stream, which is better for energy levels and sustained good health. It also sweeps our bowels helping to remove a build-up of toxic waste to promote clean bowels and better absorption of nutrients. Psyllium can be taken daily. Make sure you drink six to eight glasses of water each day when taking fibre.


Lifestream Blackcurrent

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Lifestream Circulate

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Lifestream Essential Protein

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Lifestream Ultimate Greens

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Lifestream Bowel Biotics Fibre

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