Not all healthy foods qualify as superfoods. Some greens such as spinach, cabbage, and kale contain more nutrients in comparison to others. However, you’re probably wondering what exactly qualifies as a superfood. Here is a list of the top 10 superfoods for diabetes that help reduce blood sugar levels.
Top 10 Superfoods for Diabetes
1. Sunflower Seeds
One of the unique qualities of sunflower seeds is the presence and combination of so many nutrients. It contains copper, vitamin E, selenium, magnesium, and zinc, which are beneficial for diabetes management. Moreover, it is high in total fat but mostly has polyunsaturated fat, which is the best type of fat to combat diabetes.
2. Unsweetened Greek Yogurt
Did you know studies have shown a 14% lower risk of type 2 diabetes with daily yogurt consumption? It is a better option than regular yogurt to manage blood sugar levels due to its lower glycemic index. Additionally, it has a large amount of calcium, healthy probiotics, and protein.
3. Flax Seeds
Flax seeds are another superfood that helps in diabetes management. Studies suggest that the fiber present in flax may be responsible. Moreover, flax seeds contain a gluey, gel-forming fiber, mucilage that slows digestion and allows the glucose from foods to be digested and released into the blood slowly.
4. Oranges and Other Citrus Fruits
All citrus fruits contain a great source of fiber, especially oranges and grapefruits. This is why it can help in controlling your sugar levels. However, it is always best to eat the whole fruit rather than drinking juice.
The GI or glycemic index of orange juice is 50 in comparison to the average size of an orange, which is 40. This is because when you convert the fruit into liquid form, it loses all its fiber. Among all the citrus fruits, grapefruit has the lowest GI of 25.
5. Chia Seeds
Another superfood that can help in managing sugar levels is chia seeds. Due to their richness in antioxidants, Omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and magnesium, they may help reduce the risk of diabetes or any diabetes-related complications.
Quinoa has more protein, antioxidants, minerals, and fiber than many grains. Moreover, it’s also gluten-free and therefore makes a healthy alternative for people who are sensitive to gluten found in wheat. Also, research suggests that eating more quinoa can help people with diabetes manage their blood sugar levels and possibly prevent other conditions.
Packed with antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese, potassium, and fiber, berries can be a great option to satisfy your sweet tooth. Be it strawberries, blueberries, or any other berries, they are excellent for diabetes management.
Tomatoes are fully loaded with lycopene, whether eaten raw or cooked. Lycopene is a powerful substance that has a vital role in reducing the risk of prostate cancer, heart disease, and macular degeneration. Just like other non-starchy fruits, tomatoes also have a low GI ranking.
Although beans contain carbohydrates, they are a great source of fiber and provide protein equivalent to an ounce of meat without the saturated fat. Whether kidney, pinto, navy, or black, all types of beans are packed with vitamins and minerals.
10. Foods High in Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Fish, fish oil, and other protein foods don’t contain carbohydrates and are rich protein sources. Therefore, they are really effective in diabetes management.
In fact, adding salmon or any fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids to your plate can balance the carbohydrate in your meal. This is because the carbohydrate rich meal is slowly digested and hence the sugar is slowly released to the blood veins.
Maintaining a healthy diet is not the only requisite for diabetes management. Measuring and monitoring blood glucose levels with the right kind of glucometer is also essential to control them. This will not only help you determine whether you need to make adjustments in meals or medications.
It is advisable to check your sugar levels twice a day and record them in a log. Also, download the BeatO App and get in touch with BeatO health coaches to get your own personalized meal plan.