Superfoods for Diabetes
Add these superfoods to your hero lineup.
Consider tying a cape onto these superfoods, because the below hero ingredients are ready to come to the rescue for those struggling with diabetes. Known to help control and maintain a steady blood sugar level, these six superfoods are not only a healthy addition to your meal, but they're also incredibly delicious, too.
"You'll find berries, especially blueberries, at the top of many lists of superfoods, as they contain flavonoids, which are not only fun to say, but also functionally incredible," says Joy Cornthwaite, M.S., a registered dietitian manager at the McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. "Flavanoids are antioxidant compounds that function to protect the body by reducing oxidation and inflammation, and studies have shown impact on brain and cardiovascular health improvements – areas that are at risk of damage from diabetes."
"Beans are excellent sources of complex carbohydrates and fiber, which account for their low glycemic index," says Cornthwaite. "This means that for most individuals, they will process to glucose at a slower rate, which results in a lower change in glucose over time." Additionally, beans are high in vitamins and minerals that are supportive of body processes, like iron, magnesium, thiamin and folic acid.
3. Vegetables and Leafy Greens
"Vegetables that have a low glycemic index and are high in nutrients and vitamins are superfoods, like kale, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, asparagus and beets," says Nisha Jhalani, M.D., a cardiologist and assistant professor of medicine at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. "Leafy greens are unique in that they are available throughout the year, in a variety of types and available to use in a variety of recipes and food preparations," says Cornthwaite. "They promote satiety through fiber and water content, while providing valuable nutrients like antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E, and potassium for muscle function."
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4. Wild-caught Salmon
"High in omega-3 fatty acids to promote heart health, salmon is a great protein that will keep you feeling full without raising blood sugar levels," says Jhalani. When shopping for salmon, Cornthwaite suggests opting for wild-caught. "Keep in mind that wild caught salmon may have higher levels of the omega 3 fats and lower levels of omega 6 fats which are less healthy, since their diet is composed of a variety of invertebrates," explains Cornthwaite.
5. Foods with Healthy Fats
"Walnuts, avocados, and extra virgin olive oil are all healthy fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats), which have been shown to improve cholesterol and have a neutral effect on blood sugar," says Jhalani. "Nuts are one of the best snack items because a handful can prevent hunger and keep someone from searching for unhealthier alternatives."
6. Greek Yogurt
"Unsweetened non-fat greek yogurt is another source of protein that has a low glycemic index and will keep you feeling full," says Jhalani. "It is also loaded with probiotics which can lower fasting blood sugar."