A diagnosis of diabetes can be a life changing moment. Keeping blood sugar under control is essential to keep this dreaded disease in check. Most diabetic patients wish to have a handy list of foods good for diabetes. They also want to know what fruits are good for diabetes. The American Diabetics Association has published a ready list of diabetes superfoods for lowering blood sugar. Here are the 10 super foods that can help lower blood sugar:
Beans are rich in fiber and you can include all kinds of beans including pinto, black, kidney, and navy beans in your diabetic grocery list. Just half a cup of beans can provide you with tons of fiber, potassium and magnesium. Beans are also ideal for vegetarians since half a cup of beans can give you as much protein as meat without the associated heart risks that come with red meat. So eat plenty of beans-dry or canned. Just make sure you rinse your canned beans before using them in your diabetic food recipes.
2. Green leafy vegetables
Green leafy vegetables like kale, spinach and mustard greens are low in simple sugars. They are also rich in iron and have low calorie values-so you can eat them guilt free every day with each meal.
3. Fruits that are good for diabetics
All citrus fruits, berries etc are great for people with diabetes. Eat plenty of berries as they are packed with antioxidants. You can add a handful of berries to your morning cereal or smoothies. You can also add multi colored berries like blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries to low fat yogurt as an after dinner sweet treat. Do eat plenty of cranberries. Not only are they great superfoods for diabetics, they also prevent infections such as Urinary tract infections. Berries are rich in Vitamin C and fiber. Other fruits great for diabetics include oranges, lemons, limes, nectarines and Clementine. These citrus fruits are packed with vitamin C and potassium. A glass of fortified sugar-free orange juice is a great way to start the day. Also Papaya is excellent for diabetics. Fruits to avoid for diabetes include sugary fruits like mangoes, pineapples and bananas. Here are some other fruits great for diabetics:
- Grapefruit-This has “Naringenin” that produces same effect as that of many Type 2 diabetes drugs
- Rose apples
Always try to consume fresh fruits instead of canned or dried fruits that are high in sugar.
4. Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are not only superfoods for diabetics- they are also great foods for everyone-health issues or not. Regular white potatoes add a lot of glycemic overload in our bodies causing a sugar spike in the blood after their consumption. So replace white potatoes with sweet potatoes in all your diabetic food recipes.
Many diabetics ask their doctors whether tomatoes are allowed in their diabetic food chart. There is a bit of controversy surrounding tomatoes- they belong to a group of vegetables called nightshades that are prohibited in many diseases such as arthritis and gout. They increase the uric acid levels in the body. However, they are some of the best food for diabetes control as they are densely packed with vitamins E and C as well as Iron. Cooking tomatoes actually increases their lycopene content-so go ahead and make some nice homemade tomato sauce as part of top superfoods to fight diabetes. It is also a good idea to cook tomatoes in cast iron utensils as this increases their antioxidant content, enhances their flavor and also increases their ability to help you absorb iron better.
6. Omega-3 fatty acid rich foods
If you are going grocery shopping for buying superfoods for diabetes control, you must include salmon, anchovies, sardines, tuna, shrimp and other seafood in your diabetic grocery list.These fatty fish are rich in Omega 3 essential fatty acids which can help regulate blood sugar levels. Avoid deep fried, breaded fish or even the farm raised varieties. Go for organic wild fish as far as possible. Also talk to your doctor about supplementing with a quality fish oil supplements having balanced ratio of EPA and DHA fatty acids. Other superfoods for diabetes rich in Omega 3 essential fatty acids are: walnuts, flax seeds, etc.
7. Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds are excellent sources of good fats and omega 3 essential fatty acids mentioned above. They are ideal snacks for diabetics to help them avoid low sugar between meals. Avoid salted seeds and nuts and go for roasted ones that bring out the flavor and also enhance their health benefits. Eat plenty of sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, walnuts, almonds, cashew nuts, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, hemp seeds, hazel nuts, macadamia nuts, Brazil nuts etc.
8. Whole grains
Whole grains are high up in the list of superfoods to fight diabetes. You must look for grains with the embryo and germ intact. Barley, oats, bran, brown rice, spelt, whole wheat and rye are some examples. These days, cereals made of these whole grains are readily available in the market and you must include them in your diabetic grocery shopping list.
9. Fat free dairy
Fat free daily such as low fat or skimmed milk, yogurt, cheese are some of the best super foods for lowering blood sugar. These also contain vitamin D which is essential for strong bones and teeth and also for overall health and well being.
10. Spices and herbs
Spices and herbs are also essential in the diabetes food charts. Top superfoods to include are cinnamon, garlic, ginger, cilantro, parsley and oregano, thyme, rosemary, lavender, sage etc. Make a tea from ginger, rosemary, thyme, and lavender to drink 2-3 times a day. Add a teaspoonful of cinnamon in place of sugar to your daily cup of coffee to regulate blood sugar. Eat raw or roasted garlic to maintain heart health. Eat cilantro and parsley garnished over soups, stews and curries, rice etc. These are the best food for diabetes control.
Include these 10 superfoods to fight diabetes and manage your blood sugar.