Pre-diabetes is a condition where blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not quite elevated enough to be classified as full-blown diabetes. It can easily worsen unless preventive measures are taken.

Luckily, there are natural ways to protect you.

Go for whole grains: 

A Harvard University study has found that people who eat whole grains (eg -  brown rice and bran cereal) cut their diabetes risk by 42%. Whole grains keep fat off because they’re high in fibre, which leaves you feeling full longer. They’re also digested slowly, so they don’t cause a spike in blood glucose levels.

Cherries and cinnamon

Researchers at Michigan State University have found that anthocyanins (the compounds that give cherries their bright colour) help stabilise blood sugar, even in people on a high-fat diet. The explanation is that the anthocyanins make pancreas cells produce up to 50% more insulin.

Cinnamon is another potent insulin booster. In a 2003 study, diabetic patients taking cinnamon (equivalent to one teaspoon a day, in divided doses) dropped their glucose levels by as much as 29%; unhealthy fats like LDL cholesterol and triglycerides also showed marked reductions.

Magnesium and chromium

Compared to non-diabetics, patients with type 2 diabetes have lower levels of this mineral, which your body needs to form enzymes that help burn glucose as energy. Good sources of magnesium include whole grains, nuts, and green leafy vegetables; if you can’t guarantee the quality of your diet, take a supplement. Many diabetics also have low levels of chromium, a mineral that helps cells utilise glucose. Most experts recommend a dose of 1000mcg daily.