Best of the Best — 9 Superfoods for Managing Your Blood Sugar
If you’re a diabetic or having metabolic issues that call for you managing your blood sugar, NDTV is offering a list of five low-carb plant-based “superfoods” that can help you with that. They include sweet potatoes, spinach, chia seeds, bitter gourd and oranges.
Each has its own attributes that help stabilize blood sugars, but here’s an even better list of 9 superfoods if you’re also watching your fructose consumption:
1. Fatty fish low in mercury — One of the most important foods for diabetes is seafood, as it provides the essential animal-based omega-3 fat docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) from a food source. Choose fatty fish from cold-water locations such as wild-caught Alaskan salmon, sardines, anchovies, herring and fish roe. Avoid farm-raised fish, as they can actually be more hazardous of their toxic content.
2. Avocado — This fruit is a great source of healthy fat, fiber and about 20 different vitamins and minerals, including magnesium, all of which can help manage your blood sugar.
3. Seeds — Along with those chia seeds, try a little sunflower, black sesame, black cumin and pumpkin seeds, which contain magnesium, an important element in managing insulin resistance and glucose metabolism.
4. Fiber in the form of fresh fruits and vegetables — Higher fiber intake has been shown to improve glycemia, leptin and insulin sensitivity in non-diabetic and diabetic individuals alike. Some of the best sources of fiber in your diet include cauliflower, broccoli and other cruciferous foods, root vegetables and artichokes, to name a few.
5. Walnuts — Research shows higher nut consumption is associated with lower body weight, which is helpful for maintaining normal blood sugar levels. Walnuts, in particular, are a healthy choice for diabetics as they’re high in fiber and healthy fats.
6. Spinach — Besides magnesium, spinach is also a superb source of potassium, low levels of which have been linked to an increased risk of diabetes and diabetes complications.
7. Strawberries — Fisetin, a substance found in strawberries, has been shown to prevent kidney and brain complications in diabetic mice. Human studies have also demonstrated that people who eat plenty of berries, such as strawberries and blueberries, have a lower risk of both diabetes, heart attacks and dementia. Be sure to choose organic strawberries, though, as conventionally grown ones can be heavily contaminated with pesticides.
8. Ginger — Research suggests ginger may help reduce fasting blood sugar in diabetics.27 Part of this effect relates to its anti-inflammatory capacity. Indeed, anti-inflammatory diets in general are helpful for the prevention of diabetes.
9. Cinnamon — One study showed that participants who took a high dose of cinnamon reduced their average blood sugar levels from 8.9 percent to 8 percent. Even those taking a lower dose experienced a mild reduction.
In general, consuming digestive-resistant starches can also help control blood sugar. This refers to low-viscous dietary fibers that resist digestion in the small intestine and slowly ferment in your large intestine, which then help maintain a steady blood sugar level.
Foods high in digestive-resistant starch include certain underripe fruits, specifically banana, papaya and mango, as well as white beans, lentils, seeds and products like potato starch, tapioca starch and brown rice flour.
Interestingly, cooking a normally digestible starch such as potato or pasta and then cooling it in the refrigerator will alter the chemistry of the food, transforming more of it into resistant-type starch.