Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon. ~ Doug Larson Click To Tweet
Type II diabetes has become a modern epidemic. Gone are the days of thinking of it as an ‘old person’s’ disease — it affects everyone, all the way from grandparents to young children.
The main reason? Diet. This has been proven time and again. Thus, it is possible to manage it (most effectively proactively) by making smart diet decisions.
Here are some of the top nutrition superstars that you should consider incorporating in your diet to lower blood sugar level safely, and without spending a fortune.
This is one of the world’s most famous vegetables, gaining massive popularity due to the seemingly endless health benefits it possesses. Containing copious amounts of sulforaphane, a special compound that improves blood sugar control by triggering a series of anti-inflammatory processes and is currently being researched for its benefits for everything from autism to cancer, broccoli is a powerhouse of natural health for the human body. Also, it helps to protect the blood vessels from damage. It is important to point out that this damage is a consequence of this disease and can lead to other serious diseases such as heart attack, stroke, and high blood pressure.
This is a diabetes superhero that you can use to add nutritional value to your diet. The berries are rich in both soluble and insoluble dietary fibers. The latter helps to flush out unwanted fat deposits from the body while the soluble fibers improve digestion and absorption of nutrients into the blood. These two positive effects enhance the body’s ability to control blood sugar levels. A recent study that was conducted by USDA found out that people who ate 2½ cups of wild blueberry smoothie every day for 12 weeks consecutively managed to lower their blood glucose level significantly.
Fish is one of the best sources of protein and omega 3-fatty acids that promote mental health. Unlike beef, which is actually categorized as red meat, fish contains low levels of cholesterol. Apart from promoting mental health, omega 3-fatty acids are very effective in reducing inflammation and body weight. Note that inflammation worsens the negative effects of diabetes as well as making it difficult to maintain the right body weight.
4) Olive Oil
This is one of the main ingredients used to make Mediterranean based meals. Thousands of studies have shown that proponents of the Mediterranean diet plan are less likely to suffer from heart disease and diabetes than those who subscribe to more conventional diets. Using olive oil to prepare your meals will help manage diabetes, as it is rich in antioxidants and health-promoting monounsaturated fats that lower the risk of heart disease and protect your body’s cells from damage.
5) White Cannellini Beans
If you are on a vegetarian or vegan diet, beans are one of the best sources of protein to include in your meal-plan. White Cannellini beans, in particular, are packed with soluble dietary fibers that improve digestion and absorption of sugars into the blood stream. This in turn helps to improve the body’s ability to control blood sugar levels. A study that was conducted by the University of Toronto showed that people who consumed a cup of this bean on a daily basis for three months managed to lower their A1C level (a blood test that measures your blood sugar levels) twice as much as another group of people who consumed whole grains for the same period.
Spinach is one of the leafy nutrient-packed vegetables that you can use to meet your daily requirement of vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients. A recent British study showed that people who consume more than one serving of spinach per day and other leafy greens reduced the risk of getting diabetes by 14%. Some of the minerals that you will get from spinach include potassium, zinc, folate, and magnesium.
Walnuts are the most famous tree nut in the world. They are rich in alpha-linolenic acid, a polyunsaturated fatty acid that lowers inflammation. As mentioned earlier, inflammation aggravates the adverse effects that diabetes has on your health and general wellbeing. Walnuts also contain omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, L-arginine, and other beneficial phytochemicals that have potent antioxidant, anticancer, cholesterol-lowering, and antiviral properties.
8) Collard Greens
This is a dark green leafy vegetable that is rich in vitamin C, which reduces inflammation and cortisol. Just like other cruciferous veggies, collard greens are a good source of alpha-lipoic acid that promotes the body’s ability to deal with stress. An extensive study that was conducted at Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University showed that alpha-lipoic acid strengthens nerves that are damaged by diabetic neuropathy as well as reducing your blood sugar.
This is a yellow spice that has been used as a powerful medicine in India and China for over 5,000 years. The traditional Indian diet usually comprises flour bread and white rice; both are rapidly absorbed into the blood stream resulting in a drastic increase in blood sugar. Turmeric has a potent impact on the level of blood sugar. Curcumin, one of the most active ingredients in turmeric, improves fat metabolism and reduces inflammation on pancreatic, kidney, muscle, and fat cells. Scientists are of the idea that these two positive effects help to enhance turmeric ability to reverse high blood sugar, high cholesterol, and insulin resistance. At the time of this writing it is also being explored for its potential anti-cancer effects.
Clearly, it is possible to manage and combat diabetes by making smart diet choices. Incorporate the above foods in your diet to revamp your health, productivity and diabetes free years!