Whether you have had diabetes all your life or like me have just been recently diagnosed, i’m sure you have put in a lot of thought about your diet and the food you eat – I know I have. It is scary being told you have developed this condition. Maybe it runs in your family, like mine, or perhaps you have developed it for other reasons. Either way it is something new you have t deal with. Maybe you already eat a wide range of healthy superfoods, full of whole grains and antioxidants or perhaps you need help taking time to adjust to what will be a new lifestyle. Either way, knowing which are the best foods for you to eat is an important eye opener and can be surely be inspiration for some new, delicious, healthy meals.
Asparagus is not only a lovely, delicate, green fresh tasting vegetable but a super, nutritious one too. Asparagus is packed full of fibre but is amazingly low in carbohydrates and calories. The reason why asparagus is great for those of us with diabetes, is that it is high in something called glutathione – a special disease fighting antioxidant (something that apparently we should be eating a lot more of.) It is also fab for fighting heart disease and cancer.
I’m sure that we all know that blueberries are one hell of a nutritiously, packed super food but I for one was surprised to hear how good they are for those of us with diabetes. Blueberries are high in flavonoids, which are great for heart health and for diabetes. Like asparagus, they have a high content of fibre, which help keeps blood sugar levels stable. Recent research says that the antioxidants in them can inhibit the growth of cancerous tumors – wow! I add them to my yogurt each morning at breakfast.
I don’t suppose avocadoes are everyone’s cup of tea – if i’m honest I don’t particularly like them unless its guacamole! They are incredibly high in monounsaturated fat – the healthy, good stuff. This specific fat is good at decreasing the risk of heart attack, lowering bad cholesterol and reducing the chance of developing type -2 diabetes. Even though they are known as a fruit, avocados are technically a fat as they contain such as high percentage of the stuff – who knew?
New research has suggested that cranberries are not only good for urinary tract infections, but also good for diabetes – they have a high content of phytonutrients apparently. The antioxidants in the cranberries have also been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and lower the bad cholesterol in the blood. The fresh version of the berry are best as they hold the most nutrients but dried and frozen are a good substitute. I must say, I prefer the slight sweetness in the dried ones.
For centuries, this wonderful bulb, that is garlic, has been used in medicines as well as cooking. Garlic has been proven to lower cholesterol in the blood, decrease risk of heart attack or stroke, lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of some cancers and also help keep blood sugar levels balanced – wow, definitely one hell of a super food.
There well maybe some truth in the saying, ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away.’ Research has shown that those of us who eat an apple a day have much lower cholesterol. Apples are also shown to greatly help those with diabetes and prevent the onset of it in some cases. Fab news to me, seeing as I have just harvested our two trees in the garden.
I’m sure we all know that beans are full of fibre and protein, both key in a diabetic diet, but new information suggests that they are amazing at keeping control over your blood sugar levels and lowering blood pressure. I don’t just mean baked beans mind, there are lots of different varieties of bean to enjoy, kidney, black, white, lima and pinto, to name but a few.
Fish is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, while being low in fats and cholesterol. The oily types of fish are even better for you – salmon, mackerel and sardines are some examples. Fish is great for those on special diets for diabetes, heart disease and for those with high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels. Gotta love a fish finger sandwich!
There are so many different types of melon out there and they all contain a fantastic range of nutrients which are beneficial for your health. Honeydew melons contain a huge amount of vitamin C and give you a feeling of fullness for very few calories. The watermelon contains a specific antioxidant called lycopene. This nutrient is particularly good at protecting us against heart disease, cancers and diabetes.
Oats are a fantastic way to start your day. Porridge is so much healthier for you than starchy breakfast products like bagels and of course they have very little sugar and sweeteners in them, unlike cereals. The high fibre content of oats help slow down the increase of blood sugar levels, as well as lowering cholesterol and the risk of heart disease – oat-tastic!
Along with oats, nuts are one of the healthiest food choices you can make. Nuts contain, omega -3 fatty acids, unsaturated fats, fibre and vitamin E. Nuts are great for decreasing the chance of blood clots and can improve blood sugar levels in those of us who suffer from type-2 diabetes. Nuts are a fab snack because they require no refrigeration and can be easily transported.
Raspberries contain a massive amount of vitamin C per portion as well as powerful antioxidants. As well of these great properties, it has recently been found that raspberries contain a substance called ellagic acid which naturally lowers the blood sugar levels in your body as well as helping in the reduction of inflammation – sounds all good to me!
A good old cuppa tea is surprisingly good for you and don’t worry, you don’t have to just drink fruit or green teas, black teas offer the exact same health benefits. Tea contains flavonoids, which are great at reducing high blood pressure and great for those of us with diabetes. Tea is also good for de-stressing and reducing your cholesterol levels, so put that kettle on!
I’m sure we all know that spinach is good for you. Whether you prefer this succulent green leaf raw or cooked, a small portion of it contains over half of your recommended intake of vitamin C and folate alone. As well as other health benefits, eating spinach reduces your chance of type-2 diabetes.
I know that this is quite a comprehensive review, but all these power foods are on The American Diabetic Association’s list of top foods, along with others. In Fact, if you know how, a good way of either decreasing your chance of getting diabetes or controlling your blood sugar levels, is easily done by improving your diet.