Diabetes is a disease that occurs when a person’s body can no longer produce hormone insulin or response to insulin properly. If left untreated, this disease may lead to health complications, such as heart disease, kidney failure, nerve damage, blindness, and limb amputations.
Currently, there is no cure for diabetes yet, however, you can lower your blood sugar levels by getting exercise and eating the right foods. Here are some foods that will help control your blood sugar levels and reduce your risk of developing complications from the disease. Make sure to include them into your daily diet.
Eat an apple a day help keeps diabetes away. Apples are very useful when it comes to treating diabetes because it contains pectin which may lower the body’s insulin needs.
A study has found that women who ate at least one apple a day were 28 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who did not eat apples .
Broccoli is a good source of chromium, which is a mineral that helps regulate blood sugar and insulin. It also could reverse the damage caused by diabetes. It helps by reducing the damage to the blood vessels (people with diabetes are five times more likely to suffer heart attack and stroke, both linked to damaged blood vessels).
The researchers believe that the key is a compound called sulforaphane found in the vegetable. Sulforaphane is an organosulfur compound that help protect blood vessels and reduce high levels of molecules which cause significant cell damage.
3. Bitter melon
Bitter melon is one of the most commonly used vegetable to treat diabetes naturally. It contains an insulin-like polypeptide called polypeptide-p, which is known to decrease blood sugar levels.
In addition, bitter melon also has hypoglycemic agent called charantin, which increases blood sugar uptake and glycogen synthesis inside the cells of the liver, muscle, and fatty tissue. Together, these compounds may help reduce blood sugar levels and regulate insulin response in people with diabetes.
4. Whole grains
Many studies have shown that a diet high in whole grains can lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.
A meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies showed that participants who consumed the highest amounts of total whole grains – including whole grain breakfast cereal, oatmeal, wheat germ, dark bread, and brown rice – had a 29% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, compared with those who ate the smallest amounts of these foods .
The high soluble fiber contained in nuts is not only beneficial for your digestive system, but it also keeps blood sugar from spiking after meals. If you have type 2 diabetes, eating nuts can help balance your blood sugar levels while providing steady, slow-burning energy.
6. Fatty fish
Fatty fish, such as tuna, mackerel, and salmon, are rich in omega-3 EPA and DHA. These fatty acids have been shown to reduce inflammation, protect blood vessel, and improve insulin resistance.
Fish is also a great source of protein, which not only makes you feel fuller for longer, but also aids in reducing blood sugar spikes when consumed at mealtime.
Garlic contain many organic compounds, such as allyl propyl disulphide (APDS), allicin, flavonoids, which are important components to decrease blood glucose levels and stimulate the pancreas to release insulin.
Recent studies have found that cinnamon may have a regulatory effect on blood sugar level, making it very beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes. To include cinnamon in your diet, just sprinkle it over your tea, coffee, or cereal.
9. Green tea
Green tea has been used traditionally to control blood sugar levels. The polyphenols found in green tea can help regulate glucose in the body, thus helping to prevent diabetes.
One study in Japanese individuals found that those who consumed 6 or more cups of green tea a day were 33 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who drank less than a cup of green tea per week .
Soybeans contain both fiber and protein, which help keep blood sugar from rising too high or too fast after a meal.
11. Olive oil
Olive oil is an excellent source of monounsaturated fat, a type of healthy fat that help cut off the risk of heart attacks and has been shown to help maintain stable blood sugar levels by reducing insulin resistance.
Studies show that eating foods rich in monounsaturated fatty acids may prevent insulin resistance by raising HDL cholesterol, lowering triglycerides, and ensuring better control over blood sugar levels.
12. Apple cider vinegar
The acetic acid in apple cider vinegar has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity. In a study of eleven patients with type 2 diabetes showed those who consumed apple cider vinegar before a meal had an increased uptake of sugar into the cells and reduced blood sugar levels .
Try drinking one tbsp of apple cider vinegar with a cup of water before you eat to help reduce a spike in blood sugar.
13. Citrus fruits
Citrus fruits are also rich in vitamin C and study has shown that daily consumption of 1000 mg supplementary vitamin C may be beneficial in decreasing blood glucose in patients with type 2 diabetes. However, the dose of 500 mg vitamin C did not produce any significant reduction in blood sugar .
Researchers have found that incorporating blueberries in your diet can help improve insulin sensitivity and maintain a healthy blood sugar.
These benefits are due to anthocyanins in the blueberries, a phytochemical that encourages the release of adiponectin, a hormone that is responsible for regulating blood glucose levels.
Blueberries also have high levels of soluble fiber, which helps slow down the digestion process, leading to a gradual rise in blood sugar levels.
15. Chili peppers
In a study conducted by Australian researchers showed that when people with type 2 diabetes include chili peppers in their diet, the amount of insulin required to lower blood sugar after a meal is reduced. When chili-containing meals are a regular part of the diet, insulin requirements drop even lower .