20 Amazing Foods to Combat Diabetes
There is a lot of truth to the saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”. Apples have a lot going on when it comes to helping prevent and combat diabetes. Apples provide much needed fiber and can be helpful in reducing harmful levels of cholesterol. Apples are a satisfying snack that is low in calories. There are a lot of ways to add apples to your diet. Keeping an apple around when you need a snack encourages healthy eating habits and help maintain a healthy weight, which is an important thing when you are combating diabetes.
The green goodness that is asparagus is high in antioxidants which can help combat diabetes and a myriad of other illnesses. Asparagus offers a lot of dietary fiber but doesn’t pack a lot of calories, so you feel full and satisfied at meals. Asparagus is delicious when served with different sauces and can be used in casseroles, salads, and more for an interesting twist of flavor to your favorite recipes. This vegetable is easy to grow if you have space. Gardening is a good source of exercise so growing some asparagus yourself might be appealing. If not, you can get asparagus year-round at many grocery stores.
Many Types Of Fish
Fish is high in good fats and oils that are beneficial to your health. The most important oils from fish for the human body are Omega-3 Fatty Acids. If you are pregnant, nursing, or have a compromised immune system, it is important to avoid or limit consumption of fish that is known to have high levels of mercury such as Yellowfin Tuna, Halibut, and Flounder. There are plenty of other types of fish that offer the same nutritional benefits. Freshwater trout, for example, would be a good choice for those concerned about environmental pollutants in the ocean.
It turns out that the guacamole you love is good at preventing you from getting diabetes. Avocados are high in monounsaturated fats which are good for your overall health and well-being as opposed to saturated fats such as those found in corn oil. The fats can help stabilize blood sugar levels in those suffering from diabetes. The oleic acids found in the fat of the avocado help to lower LDL Cholesterol levels. In fact, avocados are the most concentrated source of oleic acids out of all vegetables.
Beans and Legumes
Beans and legumes are high in fiber, so they help slow down glucose entering your blood. Protein is an important component of the healthy and well-balanced diet that is necessary for control and combat diabetes. Low calorie and high protein foods make it easier for diabetics to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. Beans and legumes are inexpensive and easy to add to a variety of dishes. For those that need to reduce the amount of meat they consume, beans offer a healthy and delicious substitute. Low calorie, flavorful, and protein-rich bean soups can help alleviate food cravings and reduce calorie intake for a healthy lifestyle. The extra protein can also help maintain good muscle tone.
The antioxidant power of blueberries is amazing. Blueberries also have a lot of compounds known as flavonoids which can help protect you from many different health issues. Blueberries are low in carbohydrates, so they are a good choice for diabetics that want to be able to eat a good sized portion of fruit without worry. Blueberries can be added to cereals or yogurt at breakfast for a great start to the day.
Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Folates, Beta-Carotene, and Fiber are all found in broccoli and make it one of the best vegetables you can eat if you are serious about preventing and treating diabetes. This powerful vegetable has a lot of flavors. Broccoli is a very versatile vegetable in the kitchen. You can add broccoli to salads, stir fry, macaroni and cheese, and other dishes with ease. Broccoli is convenient as well because it is so fast and easy to cook and available year round at most any grocery store. It can be purchased frozen for those that don’t get to a fresh market often enough to keep a supply on hand.
Carrots are known to be high in antioxidants known as carotenoids. These compounds can help combat diabetes. In fact, a study done by the University of Minnesota discovered that individuals with high levels of carotenoids in their bodies had a 50% less risk of diabetes than their peers that had low levels. Carrots are a great snack that is low in calories and high in fiber so they can help regulate how fast glucose enters your blood.
If there is a category for superfoods, then cranberries deserve a prominent spot. Dried or fresh cranberries contain a lot of antioxidants. Cranberries also have a positive effect on the urinary tract system. Diabetics can be more prone to urinary problems, so the infection protection offered by cranberries is very beneficial. If you have the choice, choose fresh cranberries for maximum benefit. Sometimes dried cranberries have added sugars that can elevate blood sugar. Reduced sugar or sugar-free versions are available, but you should always check the exact sugar amount before consuming if you are managing diabetes.
Sprinkling cinnamon on your food can help your body have a better reaction to insulin which is critical to maintaining a healthy blood sugar level. If you don’t like the taste of cinnamon, then you can take it via a capsule available at any health food store. Cinnamon can easily be added to teas, yogurt, cereal, and more. If you choose to take cinnamon in supplement form, be careful to not take too much. There is a big difference in the concentration of cinnamon oil and just powdered cinnamon. Although cinnamon is usually safe for everyone, concentration is important.
Flaxseeds and Oil
Those that have a gluten free diet are likely already familiar with this antioxidant rich grain. Flaxseed contains alpha-linolenic acid which your body can convert to the all-important Omega-3 fatty acids that are a component of good health. Flaxseeds are considered a low glycemic food, so they don’t contribute to major shifts in blood sugar levels. Another benefit of flaxseed is that it is high in fiber so it helps you feel full for longer to maintain a healthy weight is easier than it otherwise would be. Since digestion is slowed, you get more nutritional benefit out of the foods you eat.
Garlic has been known to lower cholesterol, prevent and reverse hardening of the arteries or atherosclerosis, and reduce blood pressure. Garlic is wonderful to cook with. For snacks, you can purchase pickled garlic that is easy to add to salads. If peeling garlic is hard for you or just something you don’t like to do, you can purchase large containers of peeled cloves or buy minced garlic in oil for fast addition to recipes. Some people are not a fan of the smell of garlic and the fact that it can linger far after you eat it. Any store with even a small selection of vitamins usually has garlic pills that allow you to get the health benefits without dealing with a lot of odor.
There are a lot of cooks and others just raving about Kale, but this powerful green is far more than just a fad vegetable. Kale contains a lot of the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin. The low calorie and dense nutrient composition of kale make it a good addition to any diet. There are many ways to prepare Kale so finding some good recipes will not be hard to do. Kale is rich in vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin A, and beta-carotene. Studies have shown that high levels of beta carotene can prevent diabetes altogether. Vitamins C, K, and A all help boost the immune system while lutein regulates blood sugar more readily.
There are a lot of positive things to be said about Green Tea. This beverage is inexpensive, easy to make, and contains very high levels of antioxidants. While Green Tea does contain some energy boosting caffeine, it contains far less than Black Tea or Coffee, so you get an energy boost without having as high a risk of being jittery or not able to sleep at night.
Nut allergies are somewhat common but if you have the ability to eat them than you should. Nuts are very calorie dense, so they are good when you need some quick and long lasting energy while on the go. Nuts contain varying high levels of Omega-3s, Vitamin E, and antioxidants. They also improve blood sugar levels due to being high in fiber. Nuts milk such as cashew and almond milk can offer benefits but lack the fiber you will find in nuts in their unprocessed form.
Oats are a very nutritious and heavy fiber addition to any diet. High fiber means digestion is slowed so that you get the maximum nutritional value from your food. Foods that are high in fiber also contribute to a healthy weight because you feel full for longer and thus have fewer food cravings and discomfort. For a powerful diabetes-fighting meal, you can add fresh blueberries or apples and cinnamon to your oatmeal and enjoy with a refreshing glass of green tea. Oatmeal is an inexpensive food to keep around and its available instant form for those that have trouble with cooking or keeping fresh foods around all the time.
There has been a rising awareness of looked over grains and grasses recently. Quinoa is commonly available at any major grocery or health food store. This nutrition packed grain makes a fantastic dish when mint, tomatoes, and other vegetables are added. By itself, Quinoa can be used as a good substitute for rice or even pasta in the diet. Some people find that they prefer the taste and texture of Quinoa over that of rice and wheat products that are high in calories and gluten. Quinoa has a higher fiber content percentage than many other grains and will not cause any blood sugar spikes so it can be eaten with confidence at meals.
Soy is an amazingly easy and simple way to increase your protein intake. If you are trying to reduce your intake of red meat, for example, soy is a lower calorie alternative. Soy milk, tofu, tempeh, and raw soy beans are all beneficial to the diabetic diet and do not contribute to blood sugar spikes. Just be sure to get the unsweetened or artificially sweetened versions of soy milk. A lot of commercial soy milk have a substantial amount of sugar. Soy doesn’t have saturated fats in it like red meat so for those watching fat intake. It is a great choice.
Drinking just one cup of coffee in the morning daily can reduce your chances of every having diabetes by an amazing 7%. While this might not seem like a drastic increase, it is quite a difference for a single serving of a daily beverage. When combined with other healthful foods, coffee can be an important part of any good diabetes prevention and management diet. Coffee also has antioxidant properties and can help your liver be better able to eliminate toxins.
Well, you don’t have to tell us twice to eat some chocolate! Dark chocolate has many different antioxidants that help increase your overall well-being. The flavanols in chocolate increase your body’s ability to use insulin to regulate blood sugar. Of course, you will want to choose sugar-free chocolate. There are many brands of chocolate available that use sweeteners such as Stevia. It is very hard to tell any difference in flavor between the sugar filled and the alternatively sweetened versions. If you can eat dairy products, milk chocolate can have the benefit of helping slow the absorption of glucose into your bloodstream.