Fight diabetes with these 18 foods

They help control diabetes and prevent its complications


Today, diabetes has become as prevalent as the common cold. Around 69 million Indians suffer from this serious condition. Called the silent killer, uncontrolled diabetes can damage several organ systems in the long term. A controlled diet, regular exercise and maintaining an ideal weight are all necessary to keep sugar levels in check and prevent complications.

There’s more. Certain foods are packed with nutrients that help stabilize blood sugar levels, protect the heart and even save the vision from the damaging effects of diabetes. From oats and apples to dark chocolate and red wine, there are several diabetes friendly foods.  They contain specific nutrients that help control blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity. Read on to find out which foods are good for diabetics.

Oats: Oatmeal is rich in magnesium which helps the body use glucose and secrete insulin properly. It also contains high amounts of fibre. A study at the University of Texas found that people who increased their fibre intake from 24 to 50 gm daily had dramatic improvements in blood sugar levels.

Barley: Barley is rich in soluble fibre that forms a gel when it mixes with liquids in the stomach. This slows down the emptying of the stomach, which prevents carbohydrates from being absorbed too quickly.

Legumes: The fibre in legumes like chickpeas, kidney beans and lentils slows the release of glucose into your bloodstream which prevents blood sugar spikes. Eating legumes also makes you feel less hungry.

Broccoli: Broccoli contains a compound called sulforaphane, which triggers several anti-inflammatory processes that improve blood sugar control. These processes also protect blood vessels from cardiovascular damage caused by diabetes.

Spinach:Spinach is an excellent source of many antioxidants such as vitamin C, beta-carotene and manganese, which help keep in check oxidative stress — a known, key contributor to diabetes. Spinach is also a good source of lutein, a carotenoid that’s good for the eyes.

Garlic: Several studies have shown it can reduce inflammation, blood sugar and LDL (bad cholesterol).

Fish: They are great sources of omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA, which keep the heart healthy. This is especially important for diabetics, who have an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.

Eggs: Eggs decrease inflammation, improve insulin sensitivity, increase HDL (good cholesterol) levels.

Olive oil: It contains the antioxidant tyrosol which helps improve blood sugar control. Following a Mediterranean-style diet rich in olive oil helps reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes by as much as 50%, according to a recent Spanish study.

Apples: Apples are rich in quercetin, a plant pigment that helps the body secrete insulin more efficiently and wards off insulin resistance.

Citrus fruits: Studies show that increasing vitamin C intake reduces fasting blood sugar levels for people with Type 2 diabetes.

Walnuts: Walnuts contain alpha-linolenic acid, a type of omega 3 fat that helps lower inflammation. The phytochemicals in this nut also make it a potent diabetes preventer.

Food and health - 2

Seeds: Pumpkin seeds are rich in plant chemicals known as lignans, as well as magnesium, both of which help the body use insulin more efficiently. Besides omega 3 and lignans, flaxseeds are a very rich source of soluble fibre and help prevent insulin resistance. The viscous fibre in chia seeds lowers blood sugar levels by slowing down the rate at which food moves through the gut and is absorbed.

Cinnamon: Cinnamon is rich in chromium that has the ability to lower blood sugar. This spice also activates essential enzymes in the body which stimulate the cells to respond more efficiently to insulin.

Turmeric: Its active ingredient, curcumin, can lower inflammation and blood sugar levels, while reducing heart disease risk. Curcumin also improves kidney health in diabetics.

Berries: Blueberries and strawberries contain anthocyanins, a natural chemical that shrinks fat cells and also stimulates the release of adiponectin, a hormone that regulates blood glucose levels.

Dark chocolate: Researchers at Tufts University discovered that dark chocolate improves insulin sensitivity. It also lowers blood pressure, reduces LDL and improves blood vessel function.

Red wine: Resveratrol, a compound present in red wine, helps improve the function of blood sugar by regulating the hormone insulin.

Sources: www.dailyo.in,www.rd.com, www.menshealth.com, www.healthline.com

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