Ah, fall. The leaves are turning color, the air is cooling, and some seriously delicious foods are now in season. Let’s review a few of these super-foods and how they can benefit blood sugar. And check out a few recipe ideas perfect for making the most of these fall flavors!
While it’s true you can have cinnamon year-round, its scent is guaranteed to plunge you straight into a fall state of mind! It is such an amazing super-food, it’s first on our list. Diabetics in particular can benefit from cinnamon.
Research has found that cinnamon lowers blood sugar levels and improves insulin sensitivity. Cinnamon does this by slowing the absorption of glucose into the blood stream. This contributes not only to lower blood sugar, but also helps to keep sugar levels steady over longer periods of time.
Bonus benefit – cinnamon is also jam-packed with antioxidants (41 to be precise.) Cinnamon comes in at number seven in a list of the world’s most antioxidant-rich foods.
Full of fiber, water and antioxidants, the cauliflower is vastly underrated from both a nutrition and flavor standpoint. Forget boring steamed cauliflower – we’re talking flavor here people! Open your eyes (and your mouth) to cauliflower’s potential.
Cauliflower is a diamond in the rough when it comes to hacking your favorite indulgent foods. What would you give to enjoy some fried rice, pizza, or macaroni and cheese right now? No lies… just cauliflower.
The next time you get a craving for Chinese take-out, put down the phone and try this recipe for Cauliflower Fried Rice instead. It has bacon. Who doesn’t want to eat fried rice with bacon? And shrimp!
To make cauliflower pizza crust use your food processor to get the cauliflower very fine, then mix with cheese, eggs and spices. Top with your favorite sauce, meats and veggies, for a pizza that is high in fiber, low in carbs, and out of this world! It’s so fast and easy, you’ll be chowing down long before the pizza delivery driver could even make it to your house.
Now for the big guns. Macaroni and cheese – the quintessential food of childhood, am I right? This recipe for Almost Mac-N-Cheese will be a family favorite for generations! (No kidding, it’s seriously that good.)
Believe it or not, Brussels sprouts are a super-food! They are full of fiber, making them an excellent veggie choice for diabetics. Brussels sprouts also contain alpha-lipoic acid, an antioxidant that’s been researched extensively for its potential effects on blood sugar and insulin levels. Simply roasted with garlic or baked into a casserole with cheese and bacon, veggies don’t get much better. Even if you consider yourself scarred for life after being forced to eat them as a child, give Brussels sprouts another chance.
Many diabetics may think that due to high blood sugar, they can’t enjoy the delicious fall flavor of pumpkin. It’s true that the now-infamous Pumpkin Spice Latte is out of the question (with a whopping 50 grams of sugar in a medium-sized serving!)
Pumpkin itself is actually quite good for your health. One cup of cooked pumpkin contains double your daily minimum intake of vitamin A. Vitamin A is crucial not only for healthy eyes, but also for skin, hair, and bone growth. In close relation to vitamin A is the beta-carotene that gives the pumpkin its beautiful orange color. New research is revealing that beta-carotene may give the pumpkin possible cancer-fighting properties!
Pumpkin is also an excellent source of fiber. This makes it an especially ideal ingredient for diabetics, as fiber helps to maintain lower blood sugar. Having trouble envisioning a diabetic-friendly use for the pumpkin?
Not all pumpkins have to become pies! With just 4 net carbs, every member of the family can enjoy these Pumpkin Bars at Thanksgiving dinner. Or this recipe for flavorful Turkey Pumpkin Chili ; it’ll warm you from the inside out on those cool fall nights. If you are in the mood for pancakes … here is a recipe for Pumpkin Souffled Pancakes.
With this next fall favorite, it turns out diabetics don’t have to say goodbye to pasta after all! Spaghetti squash is a great low-carb alternative to traditional spaghetti. Not only does it contain plenty of fiber, but omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins A, B and C, folic acid, potassium, and beta carotene.
While spaghetti squash is delicious simply roasted in the oven and pulled with a fork, don’t miss out on this indulgent low-carb Million Dollar Spaghetti Squash Casserole.
Now, let’s talk about an amazing replacement for potatoes. The turnip is quite the nutritious root. Recent studies have shown that dietary fiber may play a role in regulating the immune system and inflammation. This may decrease the risk of inflammation-related conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and obesity.
While fall may be fleeting, your new-found love for these super-foods is sure to warm your heart until next year. Isn’t it amazing that we can lower blood sugar and heal diabetes by eating delicious foods like these? Happy Fall y’all!