When you have diabetes, consuming certain foods can help keep your blood glucose stable, along with any necessary medication and healthy lifestyle habits. If you’ve paid close attention to nutrition over the last few years, you’ve likely heard of the term “superfoods.” These are foods that are incredibly nutrient-dense, serving more functions than just filling up your stomach. In addition, there are specific superfoods for people with diabetes that aid in regulating your blood glucose so that symptoms less impact you.
Most superfoods for diabetes can be found at your local grocery store and won’t require driving all around town to hunt them down.
Why Superfoods for People with Diabetes are a Great Option
For people with type II diabetes, what you eat daily plays a big part in ensuring you feel your best day-to-day. Also, following a proper diet can reduce the long-term complications and risks that come with type II diabetes. To gain adequate nutrition as someone with diabetes, it’s easiest to prepare meals ahead, ensuring each meal contains one or two superfoods.
Along with stabilizing your blood sugar, many superfoods can improve cognitive function, lower cholesterol and blood pressure, reduce inflammation, support the immune system, and more. When combined with other whole foods, superfoods will improve your overall health in many ways.
Several studies show that fried and processed foods and sugary beverages can put you at risk of developing diabetes or worsening diabetic symptoms. Because of this, it’s best to stick with a diet filled with whole grains, fruits, veggies, low-fat dairy products, nuts, legumes, and meat that isn’t processed. Therefore, the cherry on top of your diet should be superfoods.
Top 7 Superfoods for Diabetics
Unfortunately, as delicious as they are, cookies and chips don’t serve our bodies in the ways we wish they did. Instead, here are seven superfoods for diabetics that should be added to your weekly meal plan rotation:
1. Leafy Greens
Dark, leafy greens like swiss chard, spinach, and kale are packed with essential nutrients like vitamins A and C, iron, and calcium. Some studies suggest that eating plenty of leafy greens can reduce one’s risk of developing type II diabetes. In particular, spinach is high in other nutrients like vitamin K, magnesium, folate, zinc, phosphorus, and potassium.
However, eating a giant bowl of salad every day can feel like a task, especially if you don’t enjoy the taste of spinach and kale. Instead of choking down bites of salad, many people turn to a greens powder that can be blended into smoothies or mixed into juice. A high-quality greens powder, like Ensõ Supergreens, can allow you to gain all the benefits of leafy greens in an easier, more delicious way.
In addition to kale and spinach, this supergreens powder also contains monk fruit, whole-leaf wheat grass, peppermint leaf, alfalfa leaf, broccoli, nopal cactus powder, ginger root, nettle leaf, oat grass juice, dandelion leaf, burdock root, horsetail, parsley leaf, kelp, dulse, and spirulina. Plus, it is made with locally grown and organic ingredients.
- Greens, like spinach and kale, in a greens powder taste delicious
- Can reduce the risk of type II diabetes
- Greens can lower blood pressure and the chance of obesity
- Greens in powder form are convenient for those who have busy lives
- Salads can be boring and unenjoyable
- Spinach and kale don’t have a long shelf life, so people must consume them within a few days
- People who are prone to kidney stones should limit their intake of kale and spinach
Bottom Line: Getting your greens through a supergreens powder is an easy way to reap the benefits of kale, spinach, and dozens of other superfoods.
Even if you’re a meat eater, legumes should be a part of your usual diet. Studies have proven that legumes can lower your risk of heart disease and help people with diabetes gain control of their blood glucose levels. Within the broad category of legumes are all types of beans and lentils.
- Legumes are inexpensive and can be tossed into salads, soups, and pasta
- Legumes are a great source of plant-based protein
- Legumes are high in fiber, vitamin B, magnesium, iron, copper, zinc, and phosphorus
- They may help people with type II diabetes control blood sugars
- They are high in dietary fiber, which bothers some peoples’ stomachs
- They can sometimes interfere with the absorption of vitamins like vitamin D, B12, and E
Bottom Line: Because of their ample health benefits, legumes should be included in everyone’s diet.
3. Dark Chocolate
Pure dark chocolate, not chocolate milkshakes or chocolate bars, is rich in flavonoids. These nutrients can reduce insulin resistance, lower insulin levels and fasting blood sugars, and improve insulin sensitivity. However, it’s important to remember that not all chocolate is created equal, so you must opt for dark chocolate that doesn’t contain added sugar. Along with potentially improving several aspects of diabetes, flavonoids may lower stroke risk and blood pressure and reduce your chance of heart attack.
- Dark chocolate is an excellent treat for those who have a sweet tooth
- Dark chocolate has also been linked to boosting moods
- It contains several antioxidants
- Dark chocolate can be higher in calories, so it should be enjoyed in moderation
- If excessively consumed, dark chocolate can raise caffeine levels in the blood
Bottom Line: Move over, ice cream! A few squares of dark chocolate are a much better option for your evening snack, as it contains antioxidants and flavonoids.
Despite being calorie-dense, nuts are considered a powerful superfood for people with and without diabetes. Nuts like walnuts, pistachios, almonds, and peanuts are suitable choices for people with diabetes. They are a source of protein, will keep blood sugars controlled, can aid in managing a healthy weight, and can reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Easy, grab-and-go snack
- High in healthy fats
- Can keep blood sugars stable
- Source of protein, so you’ll feel full after snacking on a handful
- It may lower blood pressure
- Nuts can be expensive
- Some nuts are high in sodium, which is not healthy
- Nuts are calorie-dense, so they should be enjoyed in moderation
Bottom Line: Like dark chocolate, nuts should be consumed in moderation. But they should always be considered excellent snacks as they are high in protein and nutrients that can benefit your body.
For those with diabetes, broccoli is a real hero. It is part of the cruciferous vegetable family with kale and cauliflower and also contains a unique compound known as sulforaphane. This compound has anti-inflammatory powers that protect blood vessels from damage and improve blood sugar. For people with diabetes, heart disease is a real risk, so it’s great that broccoli adds some protection.
- Broccoli is known to support hormones and aid in blood sugar control
- Has anti-inflammatory properties
- It can be steamed, baked, roasted, or boiled
- Broccoli can be served as a side or tossed into soups, plates of pasta and even salads
- Rich in many vitamins, nutrients, and minerals
- Broccoli is an acquired taste
- It can cause bloating and gastrointestinal distress in some people
Bottom Line: Even though it isn’t one of the tastiest vegetables, broccoli can help stabilize blood sugars and support hormones.
Even though avocados don’t impact one’s blood sugar, they are high in fiber and low in carbs, making them a great option, as most high-fiber foods aren’t suitable for people with diabetes. The beautiful green fruit (yes, fruit) is an excellent source of vitamins B6, E, C, and K, folate, magnesium, potassium, healthy fats, and more. Regarding fats, avocados contain beta-carotene, omega-3 fatty acids, and lutein. Avocados can keep you feeling fuller for longer and make an easy addition to almost any meal.
- Great source of omega-3 fatty acids and other essential fats and vitamins
- High in fiber
- Avocados are delicious
- It can be made into a tasty avocado chocolate mousse for dessert enthusiasts
- They take a while to ripen and can go bad quite quickly
- Avocados can be expensive
- Because they are high in good fats, they are also high in calories
Bottom Line: Avocados are chock full of healthy fats, fiber, and other nutrients, which is why they should be consumed on at least a weekly basis.
Whether you’re eating it in overnight oats, homemade granola, or oat bars, the grain is high in fiber and has a low glycemic index. Other beneficial compounds in oats may help those with diabetes better manage their blood glucose levels. Oatmeal contains vitamins and nutrients that can promote gut health, ease constipation, aid in weight management, and even lower your chance of developing colon cancer. But because oatmeal is a carbohydrate, it should be consumed in moderation. For example, one serving of oats with berries and nut butter in the morning is enough to gain its benefits.
- High in fiber, which promotes regular bowel movements
- Oatmeal contains antioxidants
- It can help people with diabetes manage their blood sugars
- Oatmeal is easy to prepare and is delicious in many different recipes
- It is very affordable
- Oatmeal is a carb, so it should be eaten in moderation
- Some people do not love its texture
- Because it can be bland on its own, people often have to add sugar to add flavor
Bottom Line: Eating oatmeal for breakfast, without spoonfuls of added sugar, can help one manage blood glucose levels, keep their digestion regular, and more.
Diabetes can be frustrating, but luckily, these superfoods can ease the symptoms and assist in managing blood sugar levels. When incorporating superfoods into your diet, a convenient and straightforward way to start is using greens powder. In every container, you’ll find more than 15 superfoods, including broccoli, kale, and spinach.
Supergreens powder can be blended into a protein shake or smoothie or mixed into a glass of freshly squeezed juice. The optimal time to consume greens is on an empty stomach in the morning.
FAQs About Superfoods for Diabetics
Need more information about superfoods to manage diabetes? Here are some of the popular inquiries we’ve received, all answered in one place for you.
What are some superfoods for people with diabetes?
Legumes and beans, avocados, leafy vegetables like spinach and kale, tomatoes, berries, nuts, cherries, sweet potatoes, and fatty fish are all considered essential foods to eat when you have diabetes. Consuming several foods each week may help lower and regulate your blood glucose levels. If you don’t have diabetes, these superfoods can keep you healthy and may reduce your chance of developing diabetes later in life.
Do superfoods help with diabetes?
Foods that are bright in color, like tomatoes, cherries, leafy green vegetables, and citrus fruits, can support the health of people with diabetes. These superfoods may help lower blood sugar levels and even the “bad” type of cholesterol, reducing your heart disease risk.
What foods help lower blood sugar for people with diabetes?
Foods like apples, almonds, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, greens, chia seeds, berries, oatmeal, beans, lentils, and avocado may effectively lower your blood sugar levels. When you have diabetes, type I, or type II, you should prioritize eating whole foods and avoid sugary beverages, fried food, or items that have been processed.
What is a super fruit for diabetes?
Citrus fruits like grapefruits, lemons, limes, tangerines, and oranges are known to be diabetes superfruits. These delicious, juicy fruits are full of potassium, folate, fiber, and vitamin C, which makes them healthy for everyone. Fruits that are high in vitamin C can also support and strengthen your immune system. However, grapefruit can interfere with certain medications, so check with your doctor before consuming them regularly.
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