“An apple a day keeps the doctor away!” Apples can lower blood sugar, and reduce the risk of heart disease. Researchers believe these effects are due to the high concentrations of quercetin (an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory enzyme.)
In fact, one research study revealed that men who ate more apples and other foods high in quercetin had a 20 percent lower risk of diabetes and heart disease.
Also, the skin of the apple contains fiber which also helps the body process glucose and regulate blood sugar.
Researchers have found that avocados promote stable blood sugar and triglyceride levels and improve the body’s absorption of soluble vitamins and antioxidants. A 2013 study found that Hass avocados (the most widely available supermarket variety) also help to support heart health.
Check out this Diabetic Kitchen recipe for Creamy Avocado Dip.
Blueberries are a great source of vitamins and soluble fiber. Fiber helps the gut stay on track and process food more efficiently. The gut has a huge effect on stabilizing blood sugar. Studies have found that glucose levels reduce over time when blueberries are included in one’s diet.
Cinnamon acts as a natural sweetener, which prevents the need for additional sugar or artificial sweeteners to be added. Cinnamon also lowers blood glucose levels in the body.
A 2005 study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology found that cinnamon extract helps to regulate blood glucose. It may also improve insulin sensitivity by slowing absorption of carbohydrates in the small intestine.
Click here for more information about the positive effects of cinnamon on blood sugar.
The health benefits of cocoa include relief from high blood pressure, cholesterol, constipation, chronic fatigue syndrome and various other illnesses.
Cocoa can quicken wound healing, and help to improve cardiovascular function and brain health.
It also possesses mood-enhancing properties and is rich in minerals such as iron, magnesium, calcium, zinc, and potassium.
Cocoa has also been shown to improve insulin resistance and help the body metabolize glucose. The antioxidant component of cocoa has been found to battle free radicals, reducing cell and tissue damage.
The high omega-3 fatty acid content in cold-water fish like salmon, sardines and mackerel can help to lower LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. This, in turn, can help to balance your blood sugar levels.
Garlic has been extensively studied for its many health-giving abilities. Research is starting to suggest that it may even show promise for lowering blood sugar. A 2005 study which administered garlic orally to diabetic rats recorded significant decreases in blood glucose. Researchers also found that garlic can lower total cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and increase insulin production.
Ginger is commonly found in Asian cuisine, and has been used for cooking and medicinal purposes for thousands of years. According to livestrong.com, ginger has been shown to lower blood sugar levels. Ginger also has the ability to relieve an upset stomach and help to fight against the symptoms of a cold.
Chickpeas, kidney beans and lentils are a great source of nutrients. They are also typically very high in protein and fiber, which helps to slow down the release of glucose into the bloodstream.
Green tea is loaded with “flavonoids” which dramatically lower inflammation. Because chronic inflammation increases the risk of heart attack and diabetes complications, unsweetened green tea is a great beverage choice for diabetics.
Nuts are great for your health. Just be sure to choose as many raw, unsalted varieties as possible. The high levels of protein, healthy fats and fiber in nuts all contribute to lower, more stable blood sugar.
Have you ever heard someone say “Red wine is good for your heart?” Red wine contains an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory ingredient called resveratrol. Resveratrol helps improve the release of insulin which has a direct impact on blood sugar. Flavanoids, also present in red wine, fight cardiovascular diseases, and procyanidins help to keep blood vessels healthy. When consumed in moderation, red wine raises levels of good cholesterol and lowers risk of heart diseases and stroke.
Go check out your fridge, pantry, or local supermarket and make the most of these delicious, blood sugar-friendly foods!