04 Jun Top 10 Diabetes Superfoods, Part 2
Not all healthy foods are created equal.
Last week, we explored 5 superfoods that are especially helpful for those with diabetes, or at risk of developing diabetes. And now, here’s Part 2 of 2! (If you missed it, here’s Part 1)
6 Wild Salmon (and other fish with omega-3 fatty acids)
Wild salmon is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which may lower your risk of heart disease. It’s also full of vitamin D and selenium for healthy hair, skin, nails, and bones. Other nutrient-dense fish include herring, sardines, and mackerel.
Since fish and other protein foods don’t contain carbs, they won’t increase blood sugar levels. Adding salmon to a meal can help slow digestion of other foods eaten at that meal and help increase fullness.
Protip: Fish oil is another source of omega-3 fatty acids. Ask your doctor before taking any supplements to see which, if any, are best for your condition.
7 Walnuts, Flax Seeds (and other nuts and seeds)
Walnuts and flax seeds contain magnesium, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Walnuts also contain alpha-linolenic acid, an essential fatty acid that boosts heart health and lowers cholesterol. They’re full of vitamin E, folic acid, zinc, and protein. Many other nuts provide healthy fats and can curb hunger, but these two are particularly powerful.
Substituting nuts and other healthy fats for carbs can help lower blood sugar. Nuts generally have very low GI scores.
Protip: Add toppings to enhance the flavor! Top unsweetened Greek yogurt with nuts and low GI fruits such as blackberries, blueberries, or raspberries.
Beans are among nature’s most nutritious foods. They’re high in fiber and protein, making them a great option for vegetarians and vegans. They also deliver essential minerals like magnesium and potassium.
They’re low on the GI, too. Soya beans rank in around 16, while kidney beans come in at 24, and chickpeas around 28.
According to a study from 2012, beans may be a good way to control glycemic levels in people with type 2 diabetes. They can also reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.
9 Kale (and other leafy green vegetables)
Kale is the king of super healthy greens. It provides more than 100 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin A and K.
Kale contains chemicals called glucosinolates that help neutralize cancer-causing substances. It’s also full of potassium and has been shown to help manage blood pressure.
Collard greens are another leafy green that packs a ton of nutrients into a small package.
10 Barley, lentils (and other whole grains)
Whole grains are full of antioxidants and soluble and insoluble fiber. These help to metabolize fats and keep the digestive track healthy.
People who regularly eat hulled barley typically have lower blood cholesterol. The grain also keeps blood sugar levels stable.
Lentils are another good option since they provide B vitamins, iron, complex carbohydrates, and protein.
While 100 percent stone-ground whole wheat bread is considered a low GI food, other types of whole wheat bread may have medium GI rankings, with scores between 56 and 69.
Eating whole grains may help decrease the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, if you choose the right type.