Having diabetes doesn’t mean meal times have to be boring!
There are so many simple, delicious foods that provide your body with a regular supply of energy and can help to control blood glucose levels.
The trick is learning to say goodbye to quick-digesting carbohydrates like white bread and pasta, and hello to slower-digesting carbohydrates like vegetables, whole grains, beans, and berries. When you understand that what you put in your stomach can make a big difference in whether you develop diabetes or experience complications from it, it makes the switch to healthy eating a breeze.
Here are 10 superfoods for you to digest and help control your blood sugar levels.
Great in tea, coffee, oats, yogurt and pretty much anything you cook, this powerful spice is the ultimate blood sugar reducer. According to the Human Nutrition Research Center in Beltsville, Maryland[i], cinnamon can make cells more sensitive to insulin when you use ½ teaspoon daily.
After 40 days of taking various amounts of cinnamon extract, diabetics experienced lower blood sugar spikes after eating and showed signs of improved heart health.
Tasty when steamed, broiled or stewed, sweet potatoes are packed with nutrients and cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber. Rich in vitamin A, C, potassium, and the antioxidant beta-carotene, diabetics can use sweet potatoes in place of regular potatoes for a lower glycemic index (GI) alternative. So, next time you’re making potato salad, use sweet potatoes instead. Your blood sugar will thank you for it later!
Beans are an excellent option for vegetarians and vegans. Rich in protein, magnesium, potassium and a great source of dietary fiber, beans can slow the digestion process and help maintain blood sugar levels after eating a meal.
This cruciferous vegetable, which is hailed as the anti-diabetes superhero, contains a compound called sulforaphane. It’s one of the most important plant compounds you can get in your diet. Also found in other vegetables such as cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussel sprouts, it’s known to improve blood sugar control and protect blood vessels from cardiovascular damage.
According to a Harvard School of Public Health study, eating fish just once a week can reduce your risk of heart disease by 40 percent. The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, especially salmon, halibut, and tuna have been shown to help lower artery-clogging LDL cholesterol and triglycerides while raising levels of HDL (good) cholesterol.
As well as tasting great, eating a handful of blueberries every day is an awesome way to improve your health. They contain high levels of flavonoids and have been shown to reduce the risk of diabetes, cognitive decline in the elderly, and even certain types of cancer.
Dark Green Leafy Vegetables
Make dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, chard, and collard greens your friends in the fight against diabetes. Low in calories and carbohydrates, they’re a great source of vitamin C, insoluble fiber, calcium, and magnesium. Best of all, they have virtually no impact on your blood sugar level.
Studies show that this aromatic bulb of goodness has the potential to manage blood sugar and lower fasting blood glucose. Garlic also doesn’t have a glycemic index ranking, it’s not a carbohydrate, and it won’t increase blood sugar levels. But it might make your breath smell.
Swap out milk chocolate for dark chocolate next time you want to indulge! Dark chocolate is rich in flavonoids, which has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity, reduce insulin resistance, and drop fasting blood glucose. Surprisingly, it also blunts cravings. Just try not to overdo it, as it still packs a lot of fat and calories.
Snacking on nuts, if it’s in moderation, is never a bad thing, as most nuts have low glycemic index scores, between 0 and 20. They also contain lots of minerals such as magnesium and vitamin E that can stabilize blood sugar levels, as well as healthy fats and fiber. Roasting them also brings out their flavor and makes them great additions to yogurts, soups and entrées.
So, there you have it! Ten superfoods to improve blood sugar control. Did you find this article useful? Get more helpful tips and tricks to make managing diabetes easier by visiting our blog. Or learn more about our pain-free lancing device Genteel. It’s perfect for diabetics of all ages and can be used with your existing blood glucose meter and test strips.
[i] Diabetes Journal Accessible [Online] http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/26/12/3215 Retrieved 2018-005-31