Making healthy food choices is tantamount to a healthier you, but this is even more vital when you have diabetes. For individuals with diabetes, choosing the right diet plan is a must as it helps in the effective management of blood glucose levels to prevent complications and worsening of your condition.
The key to the best diabetes diet plan is choosing superfoods that have a low glycemic index as outlined below:
Fish rich in omega-3 – Fish, in general, provides diabetics with a variety of vitamins and minerals also found in meat, but without the associated saturated fats that can wreak havoc on blood sugar levels. As a complication, diabetics are more prone to developing heart diseases. Consuming fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids helps to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease since omega-3 lowers blood pressure, helps prevent abnormal heart rhythm, and slows down plaque formation in the heart arteries.
Sweet potatoes – Known for being nutrient dense, sweet potatoes are a source of carbohydrates for diabetics. Its low glycemic index makes it an ideal component in a diabetic diet because it helps control blood sugar. Another characteristic of sweet potato that helps in diabetes control is its fiber content. Fiber slows down starch absorption, which lowers the sweet potatoes glycemic index, thus keeping blood sugar level at a normal range.
Cannellini beans – the fact that Cannellini beans are low in fat, rich in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids makes it a great food for diabetics. These three are the winning combination to help manage blood sugar levels. In the area of diabetes prevention, Cannellini beans high fiber content can effectively aid in lowering type 2 diabetes risks. With a glycemic index of 31, Cannellini beans rank among one of the superfoods with the lowest index level. The lower the index level of a food, the slower it is digested by the body, preventing a sudden increase in blood sugar levels and keeping you full.
Chia seeds – chia seeds have been the subject of extensive studies as to how it can benefit diabetics. As a total protein food rich in omega-3, fiber, antioxidants, and a variety of other nutrients, it has been proved that it is also very beneficial for diabetics. In a study published in Diabetes Care, a variety of chia seed was able to lower blood pressure and manage blood glucose among 20 diabetic individuals. And according to further studies, the extremely high fiber content of chia may just be the key. Glucose passage in the blood is slowed down, and since fiber can easily make you feel full, it lessens appetite.
Blueberries – studies have proved that polyphenols help decrease type 2 diabetes risks. A specific kind of polyphenol – flavonoid – is associated with lowering insulin resistance. And blueberries contain an abundance of polyphenols, flavonoids in particular. In addition, blueberries also contain anthocyanins, which help in the production of adiponectin. This compound is found to control blood glucose levels. In a study of blueberries’ impact on glucose intolerance and insulin resistance, evidence suggest that adding blueberries to a diet plan is beneficial.
Turmeric – last, but not the least in the list of superfoods perfect for diabetics is turmeric. With mounting evidence through the years, it was shown that curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, can decrease blood glucose levels and even minimize complications of type 2 diabetes. When it comes to the prevention of diabetes, studies also show that curcumin administered a few months before a full blown type 2 diabetes helps as well.
When it comes to how these superfoods help in blood sugar level management, preparation is key. For example, raw Cannellini beans contain a toxin that can cause health problems, but if very well-cooked, this toxin naturally disappears. Sweet potatoes are best eaten sautéed with the skin unpeeled. Fish preparations that maximize its benefits include broiled, steamed, and grilled.
The bottom line is, these superfoods do not cure diabetes, but only helps blood glucose level management as well as minimize complications associated with the disease. Incorporating these superfoods into your diet plan together with medical intervention, exercise, and a healthy lifestyle is still the best way to manage diabetes.