Best Superfoods To Control Diabetes
You may have heard about Superfoods, But what are these really? Are there diabetes superfoods? We will give you answers to all your questions in this article.
Not Every healthy food is equally nutritious. Leafy greens are rich in nutrients but the nutrition in lettuce may not be equal to kale or spinach. Besides nutrition, the glycemic index of a food is also responsible for making them healthy.
The Glycemic Index measures the ability of a food to raise blood sugar. Low GI (score of 55 or below) are good choices for a diabetic diet, instead of high GI (score of 70 or above). Foods that are nutritious and have low GI help in managing the blood glucose level and keep you healthy.
Before we learn about Diabetes superfoods, First let us understand what superfoods are.
What are Superfoods?
Superfoods are foods-mostly plant-based, but also includes dairy and fish-that are highly nutritious and good for your health. Salmon, blueberries, acai, and kale are few food examples that have earned the title of “Superfoods”.
According to the American Heart Association, there are no fixed criteria for deciding what is superfoods and what is not. Superfoods are rich in nutrients, antioxidants, which are known to ward off cancer. These also contain healthy fats, which are believed to prevent heart diseases, Fiber to prevent digestive problems and diabetes.
List of top 10 diabetes superfoods:
We Have listed some of the best superfoods for a diabetic diet. These foods are highly nutritious and have a low Glycemic Index to prevent a hike in blood sugar levels.
1. Non-Starchy Vegetables
Non-starchy vegetables are low in carbs. These include everything from asparagus and artichokes to beets and broccoli. These non-starchy veggies go a long way in boosting your vitamin, fiber, minerals, and phytochemicals and intake and also satisfying hunger at the same time.
These are not only low in carbohydrates but are also low in calories, which makes them a diabetes-friendly food.
American Diabetes Association identifies the non-starchy vegetables Low on the Glycemic Index. In a study done on 11 diabetic people, it was found that non-starchy vegetables reverse type 2 diabetes.
2. Milk and Yogurt
Vitamin D is very important for good health. One key role of Vitamin D is to keep the bones strong and healthy. Yet, most people do not get enough vitamin D on a daily basis. Non-fat dairy products like yogurt and milk are full of vitamin D. These products should be a must in a diabetic diet because of their low GI scores. Full fat yogurt has a 33 as GI score and Skim milk has a GI score of 32.
Daily milk consumption, especially low-fat dairy reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes by 9 percent.
Tomatoes, raw or cooked are filled with lycopene. Lycopene is a very powerful substance that reduces the risk of cancer, macular degeneration, and heart disease.
Just like other nonstarchy vegetables, tomatoes also have low GI scores. In a study, it was found that raw tomato 200 grams when eaten every day, reduced blood pressure. The consumption of tomato may also help in reducing the cardiovascular risk that is associated with type 2 diabetes.
Filled with vitamin C and fiber, berries are a powerhouse of antioxidants. These high fiber foods are most suitable for diabetes. Berries have the highest amount of antioxidants than any other fruit or vegetable. It may minimize the risk of cancer and heart disease.
Not only this, but berries are also known to have anti-inflammatory properties.
Raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries are all excellent food options for people with diabetes.
5. Oranges and Citrus Fruits
The pulpiness of grapefruit and orange are good sources of fiber. And as you read earliest high fiber foods are excellent for those with diabetes.
These diabetes superfoods are also known to minimize the risk of diabetes.
Instead of drinking juice, eat whole fruits. The average Gi score of orange is 40 while unsweetened orange juice has Gi score 50. Grapefruit is a citrus fruit with the lowest GI score, 25.
6. Wild Salmon and Other Fatty Acid Fish
Wild salmon and other Fatty Fishes are loaded with Omega-3 fatty acids that lower the risk of heart diseases. These are filled with selenium and Vitamin D, which is good for healthy skin, hair, bones, and nails. Some other fishes that are rich in nutrients are sardines, herring, and mackerel.
Because fish do not contain carbs, like any other protein foods these also do not increase the blood sugar levels. Adding salmon to your diabetic diet will help to slow down the digestion and increase the feeling of fullness.
Fish oil is also a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids. Before taking any additional supplements always consult with your doctor first.
7. Flaxseeds, Walnuts, and Other Nuts/Seeds
Flaxseeds and walnuts contain fiber, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids. Walnuts are also rich in alpha-linolenic acid which is an essential fatty acid that lowers cholesterol level and improves heart health. These are full of folic acid, protein, vitamin E, and zinc.
Substituting carbs with healthy nuts and fats will lower your blood sugar. Nuts in general have a low GI score. Peanuts have only a GI score 7 and Cashews have 27.
One of the most nutritious food around us. Beans, high fiber foods are excellent for people with diabetes. These are loaded with protein, and fiber, which makes them a great option for vegans and vegetarians.
Beans also provide essential minerals like potassium and magnesium and are low on GI scores. For instance, black beans have a GI only 30, and chickpeas GI score is 10.
If you are wondering, are beans good for diabetes? Then include them in your diet without any hesitation.
Adding beans to a diabetic diet is a good way to keep control of glycemic levels in people with type-2 diabetes. Beans also minimize the risk of coronary heart diseases.
9. Leafy Green Vegetables
Kale is a powerhouse of nutrition in the world of diabetes superfoods. It provides more than the daily required intake of Vitamin K and Vitamin A. Collard greens are the other leafy greens that are loaded with nutrients into small bundles.
Kale contains glucosinolates, a chemical that helps in neutralizing cancer-causing substances. It is full of potassium and helps in keeping blood pressure in check.
10. Lentils, Barley, and Other Whole Grains
Whole grains contain antioxidants and fiber, both soluble and insoluble. They help in metabolizing the fats and keep your gut healthy. People who include hulled barley in diabetic diet have less bad cholesterol levels. Whole grains are also beneficial to keep your blood sugar in check.
Another good option is lentils. These are a good source of iron, vitamins, proteins, and complex carbohydrates. Eating grains and lentils help to minimize the risk of developing type-2 diabetes.
Many people suffer from diabetes around the world. Exercise and eating the right foods play a major role in controlling blood sugar levels. With the help of the above-mentioned diabetes superfoods list, you will be able to add healthy low GI foods to your diet. Consuming these foods will not only keep you healthy but also keep your blood sugar levels in check.