There’s no ifs, ands or buts about it; diabetes is an epidemic. In the western world alone, a huge percentage of the population has surpassed being overweight and ventured into the category of obese. Unfortunately, where obesity lurks, diabetes is almost certain to follow. The good news is that there’s a way to make your meals work in your favor when you’re struggling with diabetes. It goes without saying that you’ll need to stick to a well-rounded and health-focused meal plan that revolves around whole unprocessed foods if you’re living with diabetes. But did you know that there are actually particular foods that you can eat to really boost your health and prevent a lot of the pesky symptoms and illnesses that are heavily associated with diabetes? Check out these power foods that you should be incorporating into your diet.
The Humble Apple
We’re sure that you’ve heard of that age old adage about the apple keeping the doctor away. It couldn’t be any truer, especially if you’re trying to keep the cardiologist away and keep your diabetes in check. Research shows that eating just one apple a day for four weeks can lower the levels of LDL cholesterol in your body by an amazing 40%. Not only that, but apples also offer protection against diabetes in that it can lower risk of type 2 diabetes for at least 23%. Let’s not forget the fact that apples are a great source of both insoluble and soluble fiber, which is fantastic for people who just want to eat healthier overall. What are you waiting for? Go grab a bunch of apples asap.
Eat More Garlic
Garlic isn’t just for chasing vampires away. For thousands of years, civilizations have been using garlic to cook while others have also harnessed its power when it comes to healthcare. In the case of diabetes, garlic has known to be a great contributor to the improvement of health. In fact, it’s known to be effective when it comes to treating heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Some research has also shown that garlic consumption can help to lower blood cholesterol levels in the short term. So remember, try not to skip out on the garlic next time. Besides, it’s delicious!
Munch on Some Asparagus
With just 20 calories, 5 grams of carbohydrates and 2 grams of dietary fiber in every serving, asparagus is particularly great choice of produce to include in your regular diet if you’re diabetic or pre-diabetic. What makes asparagus especially good for you is that it’s high in glutathione, an antioxidant that actually has a huge part to play when slowing down the effects of several diseases in the body, diabetes included. Studies also show that asparagus can aid in keeping your blood sugar controlled and even increase insulin production, which is absolutely crucial for diabetics. Whip up some asparagus soup or grill them up with your favorite protein for your next meal!
Pick Up Some Flaxseed
It may not be the first thing to come to mind when we’re talking about a diet suitable for diabetics, but flaxseed is actually one of the most recommended food items to add to your diet if you’ve got the illness. Just one tablespoon of flaxseed has a whopping 3 grams of fiber and contains alpha-linolenic acid, which converts to omega-3 fatty acids. It’s also a fantastic source of antioxidants, which is crucial for people trying to prevent heart disease. Hundreds of studies have been done on flaxseed to see if it’s really worth all the hype and science obviously concurs. Research shows that individuals who consume at least 30 grams of ground flaxseed regularly in their diet experienced decreases in their systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels.
Go Loco Over Avocados
You might not think of avocado as the first thing you should eat when you’ve got diabetes, but this superfood is especially known for being a heart-healthy source of mono saturated fat. Most people tend to shudder at the thought of consuming fat, but the fat you get from avocados can actually help to improve your cholesterol levels and, at the same time, lower your overall risk for heart disease. Whip up a low sodium guacamole, throw half an avocado on some toast for a heart-healthy and energizing breakfast or make a tangy salad dressing out of it. Whatever how you decide to use it, make sure to add it to your diet.
In general, it’s a good idea to incorporate more fish into your diet. In fact, dietary institutions across the world recommend making fish your choice of protein at least twice a week. There’s a very simple reason behind this: it’s good for you. Seafood, and fish in particular, is a tremendous source of omega-3 fatty acids and is very low in both cholesterol and saturated fat. Moreover, the omega-3 you get from the fish lowers triglyceride levels, blood pressure and can even lower the risk of arrhythmias. We understand that fish, especially salmon, can get pretty pricey. The best thing to do in this case is to buy it in bulk and portion it out yourself. The perfect serving size is the same as any other protein source out there: 3 ounces.
Snag Some Kale
Delicious, nutritious and fantastic for a diabetic diet, kale is a leafy green that has enjoyed a rise in popularity over the last few years due to its high nutritional density. In terms of cooking, this green is also incredibly versatile. Use it in a salad, soups, meat stews or stir fries to add tons of nutrients to your dish. Just like spinach, kale has been shown to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. Meanwhile, they’re great for those who need to lose weight as a half cup of this resilient leafy green only has 18 calories and 4 grams of carbohydrates. Let’s not forget the fact that kale comes with a huge punch of vitamin A and zinc.