Spinach, tomatoes and berries, oh my! Don’t you just love the fresh taste of seasonal produce? Did you know these are some of the best foods to eat if you are diabetic?
Super foods are those loaded with the vitamins and minerals that are most important to people with diabetes or a pre-diabetic condition. These nutrients include vitamins A, C and E, calcium, potassium and magnesium. Most of the super foods are also high in fiber. Fiber is important because it helps you to feel full longer reducing a possible spike in blood sugar levels. Spring and summer is a great time to make simple food changes to improve your health. Take a walk in the nice weather. Drink lots of water or iced tea and enjoy the sweet, fresh, satisfying tastes of the seasons.
The Top 10 Super Foods for Diabetics
- Beans are high in fiber and protein, they also deliver essential minerals like magnesium and potassium, and according to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, beans may be a good way to control glycemic levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
- Kale or other Dark Green Leafy Vegetables
- Kale provides more than 100% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin A and K. It’s also full of potassium and has been shown to help manage blood pressure.
- Citrus Fruits
- The pulp of citrus fruits, most notably oranges and grapefruit, provides a great source of fiber. But, it is important to eat the whole fruit rather than just drink the juice because some studies have shown that whereas eating citrus fruits can lower the risk of diabetes, the sugars without fiber in drinking fruit juice alone can potentially increase the risk.
- Broccoli helps manage your blood sugar levels. Consuming broccoli sprouts points to a reduction in blood sugar in people with diabetes. This reduction is likely due to sulforaphane, a chemical in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli.
- From vitamin C to fiber, berries are loaded with antioxidants and other goodies. Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are all excellent choices for those with diabetes, reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer, most berries also have anti-inflammatory properties.
- Raw or cooked, tomatoes are full of lycopene. A powerful plant nutrient that may reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, and macular degeneration. Eating tomatoes everyday has been shown in studies to both reduce blood pressure and had researchers concluding tomato consumption might help reduce cardiovascular risk that’s associated with type 2 diabetes.
- Fish with Omega 3 Fatty Acids
- Since fish and other protein foods don’t contain carbs, they will not increase blood sugar levels. Salmon is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which can lower risk of heart disease. Salmon also has vitamin D and selenium for healthy hair, skin, nails, and bones. Other nutrient-dense fish include herring, sardines, and mackerel.
- Whole Grains
- Whole grains are full of antioxidants and soluble and insoluble fiber. These help to metabolize fats and keep the digestive track healthy. Grains also keep blood sugar levels stable.
- Walnuts contain magnesium, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, as well as alpha-linolenic acid, an essential fatty acid that boosts heart health and lowers cholesterol. Aside from being full of vitamin E, folic acid, zinc, and protein, substituting nuts and other healthy fat foods for carbohydrates can help lower blood sugar.
- Fat-Free Milk & Yogurt
- Vitamin D is essential to keep bones healthy, yet many of us don’t get as much as we need. Non-fat dairy foods, including milk and yogurt, are fortified with vitamin D and protein, and typically low or even free of carbs.
Keep your eye out for us to share a few fresh healthy recipes featuring super food ingredients in the future! Something has got to keep us busy around the house, why not tasty and healthy recipes?!
*Some seasonal foods need not apply until spring