Glucose levels can be maintained by eating the right foods as only exercise and medication are effective in lowering blood sugar levels. Diabetics are therefore advised to eat healthy, exercise regularly and conscientiously take their medication as prescribed by a physician.
Read on for part two of our special on the 12 nutritious foods that help combat the detrimental side effects of diabetes. All the items on this list are easily available in local supermarkets and can be effortlessly incorporated into all your meals.
Apples are packed with nutrients and contain a special type of antioxidants that are especially effective in lowering LDL, or bad cholesterol, by 40%. A study completed by the Harvard School of Public Health reported that those who enjoyed a daily serving of apples had a 23% lower risk of developing type-2 diabetes as compared to people who did not.
In order to benefit from the fiber, vitamin C and antioxidants found in apples, refrain from removing the skin when enjoying them as it is the most nutritious part of the fruit.
It is commonly known that avocados contain the healthy kind of fat – monounsaturated fats. Monounsaturated fats not only lower cholesterol levels and improve heart health, but also aid in lowering the risk of developing type-2 diabetes, as discovered in a study conducted by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
A few delicious ways to eat avocados include mashing it up and mixing with jalapenos (lowers high blood pressure and aid in weight loss) to make guacamole, mixed together with hard-boiled eggs and sour cream to be enjoyed as a simple salad or sliced and placed on toast for a tasty and hearty breakfast.
Improved sensitivity to insulin can help with managing glucose levels. One of the issues that type-2 diabetes patients face is insulin resistance and this can be greatly eased by eating more blueberries which can aid the body in processing glucose and maintain a healthy blood sugar level.
Blueberries are high in fiber which effectively reduces one’s risk of developing diabetes and prevents a sudden spike in glucose levels. This juicy and versatile fruit also contains anticancer properties and flavonoids which promote a healthy heart.
Enjoy blueberries on its own as a nutritious snack or whip up a batch of low-fat muffins or blueberry pound cake. You can also mix a handful of blueberries in with Greek yogurt or some fresh greens for a simple salad.
This leafy green is rich in nutrients and considered a ‘superfood’ that is also fast becoming a popular food in combating diabetes. It is high in protein and low in calories and carbohydrates. Kale also contains vitamins A, C and K and more than 40 flavonoids boosting antioxidants and with anti-inflammatory properties. In many studies conducted over the years, those who ate a large amount of vegetables like kale or spinach were less likely to develop diabetes and heart disease.
Kale also contains lutein and zeaxanthin, both of which are essential in keeping the eyes healthy as they kill free radicals that damage tissues in the eyes and also protect the eyes against cataracts.
A mere half cup of beans (about 120g) fulfills a third of your daily fiber requirements and also provides your body with protein, anti-oxidants, potassium and magnesium. Researchers have found that incorporating about a cup of legumes into your daily diet can help your body manage glucose levels better and also effectively lowers blood pressure.
There are a variety of beans you can cook to add this versatile ingredient to your meals – kidney beans, black beans, red or green beans, pinto beans, lima beans and garbanzo beans. Beans are great in soups, salads, chili and Chinese-style desserts, and is also a protein that is easy on your wallet.
Read Part I here.