You would be hard-pressed to find a health or medical expert that did not agree: Good nutrition is a foundation for optimal health and disease prevention. But if you are diabetic, choosing the right food is even more important. Your body is not only managing everyday pressures like stress, pollution, metabolism, and restoration, it is always in a heightened state of repair. That is because having high blood sugar causes the production of free radicals that injure cells and tissues throughout your body, often referred to as oxidative stress. Extra damage means extra repair, so you need to fuel up on food that provides building blocks for healing while avoiding foods that cause harm. Adding these six superfoods to your diet will boost your power to mend and cool the inflammation that is driving your diabetes.
Given processed foods’ already low nutrient content, consuming many foods in the SAD give way to malnourishment, despite the high calorie count.
1. The Beneficial Berry
Berries are a perfect fruit for diabetics because they’re low in sugar, high in nutrients and antioxidants, and packed with fiber. The benefits of berries are especially helpful for diabetics because antioxidants scavenge for and neutralize free radicals that cause tissue damage.
Rich in vitamins and minerals, vibrant berries increase your body’s ability to balance blood sugar and maintain overall health.
Fiber-filled berries slow down digestion, stabilize glucose levels, and help you feel you full longer.
2. Fill Up on Fish
Filling up on the right type of fish and shellfish is a big plus for diabetics. Fish are rich in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats that help balance your immune system while providing protein and countless essential vitamins and minerals. Always choose wild fish and low-toxin options like salmon, mussels, rainbow trout, sardines, and Atlantic mackerel. Avoid fish with high levels of mercury and pesticides like farmed fish, king mackerel, marlin, orange roughy, tuna, shark, swordfish, and tilefish. The larger and older the fish, the longer they have had to collect toxins that are passed onto you.
3. Get Nutty
For most diabetics, nuts and seeds are a perfect snack or addition to salads and meals. Nuts and seeds have a lot going for them; they’re high in fiber, filling, and a great source of protein, unsaturated fats, and carbs. This means you are staving off hunger while filling up on vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats that help fight diabetes and balance blood sugar. Almonds, walnuts, pistachios, and cashews are especially good for diabetics. Remember that peanuts are legumes, not nuts, and for many people, they can cause extra inflammation.
4. Load up on Leafy Greens
Greens like spinach, swiss chard, kale, and salad greens are packed with the nutrients that you need.
Vitamins K, A, C, and E work hard to keep your blood and immune systems on the right track while minerals like magnesium, iron, potassium, and choline are powerful for blood sugar regulation and insulin sensitivity.
Even better, greens are an awesome source of fiber that keeps you full, feeds your healthy gut bugs, and pulls toxins from your body.
5. Crack Open a Coconut
Coconut milk and oil are rich sources of a specific fat called medium-chain triglycerides or MCTs. These specialized fats are easy to digest, and they improve metabolism and brain function. The benefit that really sticks for diabetics is coconut’s ability to improve their glucose metabolism, meaning better blood sugar control and more energy.
6. Pop a Pepper
Orange, yellow, and red sweet peppers are powerful sources of vitamins A, B6, and C, and choosing organic peppers gives you about 10% more. These nutrients have far-reaching benefits for diabetics ranging from antioxidant strength to blood sugar-lowering functions. All brightly colored veggies will give you a boost, but peppers are especially dense in benefits, so shoot for adding them to a dish or snacking on raw peppers a few times each week.
Remember, experts suggest 9-13 servings of fruits and veggies per week and at least 2 servings of fish. These six superfoods will take your healthy diet to the next level. If you need more support for reversing diabetes, a functional medicine doctor is trained to help you heal, not just manage your disease.