Do you suffer from diabetes?
And are you fed up with eating the same foods for diabetics?
There’s no question about it:
The food choices you make as a diabetic strongly influence the quality of your life.
And making smart food choices can mean the difference between you managing your condition…or it managing you.
The best foods for diabetics are most often whole foods that are not processed.
Because these foods are front-runners in keeping blood sugar levels low.
And regulating blood sugar levels through correct food choices is key to managing and reversing type II diabetes naturally.
Including these extra-healthy superfoods in your diet will not only lower your risk of, or even reverse diabetes, but also meet all your nutritional needs.
What’s more, eating these foods for diabetes will ward off heart disease, stroke, dementia, high blood pressure and obesity!
According to the American Diabetes Association, of the 30.3 million adults diagnosed with diabetes in 2015, 7.2 million were undiagnosed.
So whether you have diabetes, think you may be a candidate or simply want to enjoy better health prospects, make these 25 foods for diabetics a regular feature in your diet.
The Top 25 Foods for Diabetics.
1. Dark Chocolate
The flavonoids found in dark chocolate (85% or more) make your body sensitive to insulin and reduce insulin resistance.
These compounds can also bring a decrease in the insulin levels and help you control your cravings.
In one study, people who consumed dark chocolate felt a decrease in their urge towards eating salty, sweet, or fatty foods.
The people who ate milk chocolate did not report similar results. That is why, you should not reach out for any kind of chocolate blindly. Choose the dark variety as this has been proven conclusively to work!
Choose the dark variety as this has been proven conclusively to work!
Fenugreek seeds contain fiber that will slow down the process of digestion.
This gives your body a chance to regulate how much carbohydrates and sugars it should absorb from the digested food.
They also make your body more tolerant to glucose and reduce the levels of bad cholesterol.
Related: 18 Low Carb Meal Recipes
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
The evidence in favor of apple cider vinegar as one of the top foods for diabetics keeps stacking up.
Taking ACV 30 minutes before mealtimes not only helps you lose weight naturally but also improves glucose metabolism.
Best of all, it acts as a natural appetite suppressant.
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Tomatoes contain lycopene, which helps reduce the risk of developing cancer and heart diseases.
Whether you eat them raw or cooked, they are great foods for diabetics because they are non-starchy fruits.
They also have a low glycemic index (they won’t cause a surge in blood sugar).
A study showed that consuming 200 g of tomatoes daily can also reduce blood pressure that is linked with type 2 diabetes.
Jamun is a purple colored fruit that can improve your body’s sensitivity to the insulin it produces.
It can also increase insulin activity and control your blood sugar levels.
Since it has a low glycemic index, Jamun can both derive energy from starch AND manage the sugar levels in your blood!
6. Ceylon Cinnamon
It’s true that Ceylon and Cassia cinnamon are both great foods for diabetics. Each helps to slow the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream and improve insulin sensitivity.
However, Cassia contains coumarin, a compound which can be toxic.
So if you intend to consume cinnamon in large amounts cassia can be harmful due to the coumarin.
Ceylon cinnamon is therefore the safer choice and also much better quality!
Broccoli is one of the best foods diabetes because it has sulforaphane.
This compound is present in other cruciferous vegetables, such as kale and cauliflower, as well.
Sulforaphane can start different anti-inflammatory processes within your body when you ingest it.
This will help stabilize your blood sugar, as well as keep any cardiovascular damage to a minimum!
See also: 14 Quick and Easy Healthy Meals
8. Cashews, Almonds and Pecans.
Tree nuts are especially rich in magnesium, a mineral involved in blood sugar regulation.
It is estimated that up to 38% of type II diabetics are magnesium deficient.
Nuts are also an excellent source of healthy unsaturated fats which help lower levels of LDL “bad cholesterol”.
And according to new research from Louisiana State University, people who eat nuts regularly, have lower risks of type II diabetes AND heart disease.
9. Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits, such as oranges and grapefruit, are pulpy. And this pulp is actually a fiber source that is good for you.
However, you will enjoy its health benefits most, if you eat the whole fruit.
Studies have shown that eating whole citrus fruits lower the risk of diabetes.
So, stop reaching for that glass of orange juice – it’s full of sugar!
10. Bitter Gourd
Bitter gourd might not feature on your list of favorite foods. However, it’s composed of active substances that have anti-diabetic characteristics.
These remarkable substances can actually lower the glucose in blood naturally and act just like insulin.
Squeeze out some fresh bitter gourd juice and enjoy a glass of it every day early in the morning.
Make sure you do that on an empty stomach for full effect.
Blueberries are one of the top fruits when it comes to foods for diabetics.
This is because they contain insoluble fiber, which your body cannot digest.
That means, it will come out of your body and take some of the fat with it!
They are also rich in soluble fiber, which will make you feel fuller for longer.
It also slows down the digestion of carbs, so your blood sugar remains under control.
Regular readers of Xukkhini will know that I’m a big fan of turmeric.
I mush it to my eggs each morning and stir it into my Apple Cider Vinegar drink before meals.
Turmeric is one of the world’s most extensively researched foods for diabetics. In fact, according to a review in the “International Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism”, turmeric may be just as effective as drugs when it comes to the management and prevention of diabetes.
13. Green Tea
Empirical research suggests that regular green tea drinkers are 18 – 42% less at risk of developing diabetes.
Green tea is also packed with catechins. These compounds are among the most potent and beneficial antioxidants. One specific catechin called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCg), is the most widely recognized for its cancer-fighting properties.
For the most powerful cup of green tea to fight diabetes and cancer, try matcha green tea. Its catechin profile is 60% EGCg!
14. Omega-3 Fatty Acid Fish
Fatty fish, such as wild salmon is full of the beneficial nutrients known as omega-3 fatty acids.
But why are omega-3’s so good for us?
Well, for starters, they can reduce the risk of developing heart disease. Omega-3’s have also been proven to ward off depression.
Fatty fish also contains other nutrients, such as vitamin D and selenium. These keep our bones, hair, nails and skin healthy.
If you aren’t a fan of salmon, then you can also try sardines, herring, or mackerel.
15. Steel-Cut Oats with Protein Powder.
Oats are another food for diabetics that will reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
This is because oatmeal is another food rich in magnesium, which helps your body manage both glucose and insulin levels better.
The best part is that they are easily cooked; if you leave the grains whole, you will benefit from all the fiber, antioxidants, and the nutrients in them. This lends a steadying hand to your blood sugar level.
Give your oatmeal extra punch by stirring in a scoop of protein powder!
A study published in “Diabetes Care” in 2009 found that whey protein helped lower blood glucose levels by slowing down digestion and increasing insulin sensitivity.
Beetroots might taste sweet but they actually do not contain a lot of carbs!
Furthermore, the sugars that are found in beets are not readily converted into glucose either.
And it’s for these reasons that they’re such excellent foods for diabetics.
The vitamins, minerals, and fiber that is found in this vegetable also assist in managing diabetes.
17. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
This oil has been known to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by half!
Olive oil can also help satisfy your appetite and cravings better than other oils and fats, such as canola oil, butter, and lard.
The antioxidant nutrients that are found in this oil also reduce the risk of developing heart disease.
Lastly, olive oil has powerful anti-inflammatory properties that have been likened to ibuprofen.
Firstly, kale can satisfy your requirements of vitamins A and K when it comes to their recommended daily intake values.
Other greens, such as collard greens, also have many nutrients that are good for you.
Best of all, the glucosinolates found in Kale leaves can prevent carcinogenic (cancerous) substances from harming you.
What’s more, the potassium present in kale helps keep your blood pressure stable.
No wonder it’s a staple of the smoothie world. Just be sure not to eat it raw!
Avocado might be rich in monounsaturated fat, but it is fat that is good for you.
One of the many reasons this is so, is because it can slow down the digestion of food.
Therefore, your body won’t be able to immediately break down any carbs from the food that you consumed.
That means your blood sugar levels won’t spike immediately after you have eaten.
Try this fatty fruit mashed and spread on sandwiches in lieu of mayo or butter. And for a healthy, filling breakfast, there’s nothing better than Avocado Toad in the Hole or mashing it into scrambled eggs. Yum!
Choosing barley over other grains, such as white rice, will help your blood sugar stay stable. In fact, the difference can be as much as 70% lower blood sugar levels.
The use of barley will also keep the sugar level stable for longer because it is full of soluble fibre, which, if you remember, will slow down the digestion of other carbs.
This mean your body will also absorb those carbohydrates at a much slower rate.
Barley is an even healthier choice than brown rice, so start adding it to your soups or basing your casseroles and stir-fries.
21. Greek Yogurt
Even if you’re not a fan of yogurt, the creamy texture of Greek yogurt is bound to win you over. Now a regular fixture in the chilled isles of supermarkets, Greek yogurt contains more protein (but less calcium) than your average yogurt.
Greek yogurt also contains fewer carbs and sugars than traditional yogurt – a plus when it comes to the fight against diabetes.
Work it into your daily eating plan as a healthy diabetic-friendly snack without having to worry about the carbs or calories.
A Harvard School of Public Health study involving 200,000 participants found that those who regularly ate apples had a 23% lower risk of developing type II diabetes.
What’s more, apples are another fruit that contains both soluble and insoluble fibre.
They’re also rich in a specific antioxidant that has a profound effect on lowering LDL “bad cholesterol” levels.
Glutathione is widely touted as the king of antioxidants. And asparagus is especially high in this nutrient.
Glutathione not only wards off the effects of diabetes but also heart disease and cancer.
Bake it in the oven with a little oil and season with sea salt – delicious!
It’s the beta-carotene in carrots that’s responsible for its anti-diabetic properties.
Furthermore, this powerful antioxidant may even help lower the risk of type II diabetes in people who are genetically predisposed to the disease.
So if your family tree is riddled with diabetes, make sure you get busy crunching down on carrots. Great eaten raw for healthy snacking on the go!
Flaxseeds contain mucilage – a gel-forming fibre that can slow digestion which acts as a means to release glucose into the bloodstream more slowly.
Evidence of harvesting flaxseeds dates back centuries and various reviews corroborate what the ancients already knew. Participants in these studies have reported up to a 20% drop in their blood sugar levels.
Make sure you opt for milled flaxseeds. Our bodies are not designed to digest their tough outer husks.
Try combining them with cinnamon and use as a dip with apples, sprinkle them over blueberries or stir into your protein-packed oatmeal. A winning combination of the best foods for diabetics!
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