7 Superfoods for Diabetics

These healthy & delicious superfoods for diabetics may help to control blood sugar and keep you healthy…

Diabetes can be a very serious disease, and it’s linked to a number of other serious health conditions as well, including macular degeneration, obesity, heart disease, stroke, and more. Fortunately, Type 2 diabetes (the most common type) is also one disease that can be prevented or possibly even reversed by taking care of your health and learning to eat right.

However, there’s a lot of misinformation out there, and it can be quite confusing to figure out what foods to eat and which ones to avoid – especially since each person’s body responds to foods a bit differently. The key is to find the right balance of foods that you enjoy and which can also have a positive effect on your blood sugar.

As you might expect, eating lots of fresh, whole foods is key! However, below are 7 especially nutritious foods to eat often – particularly if you are at risk of diabetes. These “superfoods” for diabetics contain especially beneficial combinations of nutrients that may help with glycemic control and keep you healthy.

1.) Greek Yogurt

Fun fact. Eating just 80–125 grams (about 3–5 ounces) of yogurt per day can reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 14 percent.

Fermented foods like yogurt are famous for supporting healthy digestion with good bacteria. Researchers think probiotics in yogurt may help with glucose metabolism (the process of breaking down sugar into energy) by altering your gut bacteria for the better.

Think of plain Greek yogurt as the Levi’s 501 to mix and match with some of the other superfoods listed here. Yogurt with strawberries and walnuts? Yes, please. Who doesn’t love a protein with a side of antioxidants?

2.) Seeds & Nuts

Synergy! Sounds like an X-Men name, but really it’s like if all the X-men teamed and their superpowers intensified because of #TeamWork.

Nutritional scientists think it’s the synergy of fiber, healthy fats, minerals, and other bioactive compounds in nuts that can help prevent and manage type 2 diabetes by decreasing insulin resistance, increasing insulin secretion, and regulating blood sugar spikes after eating.

Which nut should you crack? Walnuts, almonds, pecans, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds… sprinkle a few here and there until you find the ones you love.

3.) Avocados

Who needs an excuse to add half an avocado to their lunch? One study indicates people who include half of a nutrient-dense Hass avocado with lunch are more satisfied and had less desire to eat hours later. Participants also released more insulin and had lower blood sugar levels after eating avocado.

4.) Ginger

It’s spicy, soothes an upset stomach, and describes everyone’s BFF — Ron Weasley. Ginger is easy to add to tea, soup, chicken, and just about anything else. But can it also lower blood sugar? Yes — studies show that ginger consumption reduces blood glucose by blocking enzymes that raise blood sugar during carbohydrate absorption.

People with type 2 diabetes who took 1–3 grams of ground ginger daily saw a significant decrease in fasting blood sugar, compared to those who took a placebo.

5.) Spinach

Three cups of raw spinach (that’s a substantial salad) contains 558 milligrams of potassium. Studies have shown that low potassium is associated with an increased risk of diabetes, while eating more potassium-rich foods is associated with reduced risk.

The US Panel on Dietary Reference recommends a daily intake of 4700 milligrams of potassium. To hit that target, eat your spinach and try some of these other superfoods that are high in potassium: avocado, sweet potatoes, and beans. Sounds like a super salad.

6.) Cinnamon

A study found that people who took two 500-mg capsules of cinnamon powder per day for 3 months saw improvement in glucose and insulin levels. Cinnamon capsules are commercially available, but you could boost your daily intake just by sprinkling some powdered cinnamon on fruit, yogurt, and cereal.

7.) Eggs

Eggs suffered some bad PR in recent decades because of their cholesterol content, but researchers are uncovering evidence that they’re not only not harmful, but could even be beneficial in blood sugar control.

In a 2018 study, people with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes were given one large egg per day for 12 weeks. Their fasting glucose levels and insulin resistance were significantly lower by the end of the study. Why not boil a week’s worth of eggs and stash them in the fridge for snacking?

Find more superfoods for diabetics at Greatist.com

 

 

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