Diabetes is a disease that can gradually affect your entire system and almost every organ in your body including your kidneys, eyes, heart and more.
Paying close attention to your diet can make a big difference in whether you develop the disease or experience complications from it. In fact, one of the leading factors behind the development of Type 2 diabetes, along with many other chronic and degenerative diseases, is a poor diet.
Making some smart dietary choices can prevent or help control Type 2 diabetes. Some superfoods can control diabetes by stabilizing or even lowering your blood sugar level when eaten on regular basis in appropriate portions.
Even if you already take medicine for diabetes, it is essential to understand that what you eat and drink can greatly affect how well you manage the disease.
Here are the top 10 superfoods to curb diabetes.
Several components in cinnamon promote glucose metabolism and reduce cholesterol. Studies have shown that in people with diabetes; just one-half teaspoon of cinnamon powder per day can significantly decrease fasting blood glucose levels and increase insulin sensitivity.
There are many ways to add cinnamon to your diet. You can sprinkle some in your coffee, stir it into your morning oatmeal, or add it to chicken or fish dishes. You can also soak a medium-sized cinnamon stick in hot water to make a refreshing cup of cinnamon tea.
2. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are a starchy vegetable that contains the antioxidant beta-carotene along with vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium and fiber. All of these help control blood sugar.
Diabetics can use sweet potatoes in place of regular potatoes for a lower glycemic index alternative. Whether you like grilled or baked sweet potatoes, try to cook them with the skin on since most of the nutrients are next to the skin.
Sweet potatoes are also tasty when steamed, broiled or stewed as a side dish or added to salads, soups, casseroles or other dishes.
Beans are a good source of dietary fiber and are also rich in protein, magnesium and potassium. All these minerals are very important for those who have diabetes. Beans can slow the digestion process and help maintain your blood sugar level after eating a meal.
You can choose from kidney, pinto, navy, white, lima, garbanzo, soy or black beans depending upon which you like to eat. Beans can be incorporated into your diet in many ways including as an ingredient in main dishes, adding to soup or salad, or as a side dish.
4. Dark Green Leafy Vegetables
Dark green leafy vegetables are very low in calories and carbohydrates and contain a good amount of vitamin C, insoluble fiber, magnesium and lots of calcium.
All these nutrients are helpful for diabetics as they have virtually no impact on your blood sugar level. Studies show that leafy veggies lower the risk of Type 2 diabetes.
To prevent or help manage diabetes, be sure to eat two servings of dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, chard, collard greens, mustard greens and other leafy greens daily.
Berries of all kinds are packed with antioxidants, vitamins and fiber that can help control your blood sugar levels while also protecting against cancer and heart disease.
You can choose different types of berries like strawberries, cranberries, black berries and so on. Berries are a smart substitute when you feel the urge to eat something sweet. You can add fresh berries to cereals or salads, eat the dried versions as a healthy snack, and use them to make low-sugar desserts.
Fish that is high in omega-3 fatty acids must be eaten on a regular basis if you are diabetic. Fish is a good source of protein, and a great substitute for higher-fat meats.
Aim to eat fish at least twice a week. Cold-water fatty fishes like salmon, sardines, halibut, herring, mackerel, and tuna are best for diabetics.
You’ll want to eat baked or grilled fish and try to avoid breaded and deep-fried varieties. If you do not eat fish, consult a doctor about taking fish oil supplements.