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Five Superfoods for Diabetes

Individuals choosing a diet that fights against diabetes are also eating food that helps avoid other health issues. The most common health issue that is avoided with this type of diet is cardiovascular disease. Heart disease is on the rise for adults over 65—7 out of 10 people with diabetes are in this age range. Because of these statistics, we can see that a diabetes-friendly diet is also a heart-friendly diet. 

Those who have diabetes also are more likely to have a heart attack and other health risks, which are increased. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) doesn’t suggest one single diet—they more so suggest diets that are well portioned with nutrient-dense foods—these suggestions will promote weight loss and/or help maintain a healthy weight. These diets also will keep blood pressure and glucose, and cholesterol in a healthy zone while keeping diabetes complications at a minimum. Below are five superfoods that fall into these diet categories.

Superfood No. 1: Legumes/beans

Beans are nutrient-rich, high in fiber, and packed with minerals such as iron, magnesium, and potassium—no wonder they are considered a superfood! Over time studies have shown that diets filled with legumes lead to healthier blood sugar levels in the long and short term. According to nutritionist Jill Weisenberger, these superfoods are good for gut health, leaving you with good bacteria that help “produce compounds beneficial to insulin sensitivity.” It’s even been shown that eating beans or legumes versus potatoes or rice can lower your blood glucose by more than 20%. 

If you are not a fan of eating beans, chickpeas, or anything else of the sort, get creative! You can blend up some white beans with your marinara sauce and balsamic vinegar to create a creamier pasta sauce. If you need other ideas, see below: 

  • Smash or blend chickpeas with avocado and lemon juice to make a spread for toast 
  • Chop up pinto or black beans to add to ground meat. Cook into burger patties or taco meat. 

Superfood No. 2: Dark green leafy veggies

Dark, leafy greens have been shown to lower the risk of type 1 diabetes—for example, ingesting spinach, kale, broccoli, collard greens regularly. This food also plays a role in managing this condition; first off, they are low in calories, and because of this, those who have diabetes can eat a lot of them and not have their blood sugar levels skyrocket or lead to them gaining extra weight.

It is suggested to eat leafy greens with every meal to get the most benefits. You could toss some spinach or kale into your scrambled eggs in the morning. For lunch, you can add greens to a sandwich or salad. At dinner, you can serve steamed leafy greens alongside a main dish, such as grilled fish. 

Superfood No. 3: Nuts

There was a study published in Circulation Research, with more than 16,000 adult participants that had diabetes— it showed that those who had type 2 and ate at least five 1-oz servings of peanut or tree nuts a week were 17% less likely to develop cardiovascular disease. As an added benefit, these types of nuts are high in protein and good fats and low in carbs—leaving their keeping your blood sugar low. 

**Remember that nuts are high in calories. The ideal serving size is about 1-1.5 oz (about ¼ cup).

Superfood No. 4: Fatty fish

When you take the time to add more omega-3 fatty acid to your diet—with supplements or foods— it doesn’t reduce the risk of diabetes or improve blood sugar control. It does, however, lessen the chance of heart disease and dementia, according to Weisenberger. 

The ADA recommends eating fish in its many forms—fresh, frozen, and/or canned twice a week. The ADA also suggests eating fatty fish, like salmon, tuna, mackerel, and sardines.

Superfood No. 5: Berries

Weisenberger shared that berries are loaded with nutrients and phytonutrients, and these phytonutrients have been shown to decrease glucose absorption in the intestines. Scientists haven’t quite figured out what exactly makes these berries so super for people with diabetes, but they are an excellent food option for those individuals. There was a study that showed that regularly indulging in berries, like blueberries, cranberries, strawberries, and raspberries, can be a tool to help manage diabetes in whatever form—frozen, fresh, or dried. 

There are many ways to get your berry fix. You can add some berries to Greek yogurt, make a fresh smoothie, or you can even add some to a bowl of cereal. 

When thinking of ways to add superfoods to your diet, think of them as the overachievers on your weekly grocery list. Replace the sugary foods that spike blood sugar levels with these options to help manage diabetes and prevent other health conditions. 

If you would like more information on senior health and how Visiting Angels East Central Indiana is working to combat this in seniors, give us a call at 765-703-4194.

Serving Pendleton, Muncie, Anderson, Greenfield, McCordsville, Fortville, IN and Surrounding Communities

110 E Hartman Rd
Anderson, IN 46012
Phone: 765-703-4194
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Serving Pendleton, Muncie, Anderson, Greenfield, McCordsville, Fortville, IN and Surrounding Communities

110 E Hartman Rd
Anderson, IN 46012
Phone: 765-703-4194