Diabetes mellitus is a chronic condition whereby the body does not produce enough insulin, or the cells of the body are not responding properly to the insulin that is produced. Some people believe that once diagnosed, they will need to be medicated for a lifetime.
However, many people that are type 2 diabetic, with rigorous diet control, are able to stay away from medication. An intake of the correct micronutrients such as chromium, magnesium and zinc, along with a balanced intake of carbohydrates, fats and proteins can often provide enough support to regulate your blood sugar levels.
Here are 18 of the best foods to help support diabetes!
High in both fats and protein, nuts are a great food to snack on and include in your breakfast, smoothies or salads.
Fish is rich in omega-3 fats, which are vital for reducing the inflammation that can come with diabetes. Fish is also a great source of lean protein.
3. Coconut Oil
Rich in medium-chain triglycerides, coconut oil may help to slow down the absorption of sugars in the blood and improve insulin sensitivity.
Algae is a superfood that supports diabetes by providing alkalization to the body tissue. Plus, it contains little to no carbohydrate so shouldn’t affect blood sugar levels!
5. Hemp seeds
Just 3 tablespoons of hemp seeds provide you with 10 grams of protein and around 3000mg of omega-3 fats. As protein supports blood sugar levels and omega-3 fats reduce inflammation, this is one food to include.
Avocados are loaded with healthy fats and a little bit of protein, helping to regulate your blood sugar levels.
Fiber-rich beans are a great food to be consuming if diabetic. Beans slow down the release of sugar and also help to detoxify the liver due to their high sulfur content. After all, liver function is important to help with healthy blood sugar regulation.
Rich in chromium, magnesium and manganese, eating spinach is a great way to nourish your cells with the nutrients required for healthy insulin metabolism.
9. Sweet potato drizzled with coconut oil
The American Diabetes Association has recognized sweet potato as a great food choice for diabetes. Sweet potato helps to lower insulin resistance and by drizzling some coconut oil over roasted sweet potatoes, you further decrease the glycemic index of your meal.
Made into a dahll or a veggie patty, lentils are rich in fiber and offer a great source of protein.
11. Fiber-rich fruits and vegetables
Fiber helps to slow down the release of sugar into the blood. So by consuming foods that are rich in fiber, you will stop your pancreas from needing to make so much insulin.
A complete protein, with almost no carbohydrates, eggs are a great diabetic food!
13. Flax seeds
Flax seeds (sometimes also called ‘linseeds’) contain vitally important omega-3 fats and are also a great source of fiber. Flax seeds are best consumed freshly ground and should be stored in the fridge.
14. Bitter Melon
Looking like a curly cucumber, the bitter melon contains a phytonutrient called Charantin, which helps to increase glucose uptake and assists with the synthesis of glycogen. Glycogen is a form of sugar that is stored mostly in our liver and muscle tissue.
The wide range of mushrooms – from rishi to shitake - all contain high amounts of the mineral chromium. Chromium helps to stabilize blood sugar levels and help make cells more receptive to insulin again.
More so a spice, but a very powerful one when it comes to diabetes! Cinnamon is great for helping to lower insulin resistance.
You might be noticing a pattern in these foods, in that there are lots of healthy fats, minerals like chromium, magnesium and manganese, along with protein. With diabetes, we recommend working closely with a health practitioner and monitoring your blood sugar levels while changing any diet.