Diabetes is one of the biggest killers in America, with new patients diagnosed every day. With so many Americans addicted to a processed diet, filled with oils, sugars, salts, and other toxins, it’s not a surprise. The heavier you are, the more at risk you are for developing type 2 diabetes. Diabetes forms when the body’s cells no longer respond to insulin, resulting in unnaturally high blood glucose. Because most Americans are used to an unhealthy, fattening diet, statistics of diabetes and obesity continue to climb. According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetes was the leading cause of death in the United Stated in 2010, with 69,071 people succumbing to complications.
But premature death from this disease can be avoided with proper nutrition and daily exercise! If you take care of your body and fuel it with the nutrients it needs, you’ll be able to better control and even reverse your diabetes. Don’t believe us? Check out Chef Joseph Shilling’s amazing recovery story here.
What are the best foods for diabetics and prediabetics? We combined research from nutrition expert Dr. Fuhrman and the American Diabetes Association to give you the top five diabetes superfoods:
Greens: Leafy greens such as kale, spinach, arugula, collards, and cabbage promote satiety and are an amazing source of antioxidants, phytochemicals, and fiber. They are very low in calories and help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress. The more delicious leafy greens you consume, the better.
Beans: The most nutrient-rich carbohydrate source, beans can help you lower cholesterol and lose weight. They are high in fiber and are digested slowly, which stabilizes blood sugar. They are also a good source of magnesium and potassium and provide as much protein as an ounce of meat, but without the saturated fat.
Berries: Naturally sweet and delicious, berries can help you steer clear of sugar cravings. Blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries are low in sugar, high in nutrients, and full of antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber. Berries can help reduce blood pressure and inflammation, and they prevent DNA damage.
Nuts & Seeds: Rich in plant-based proteins, healthy fats, and antioxidants, nuts and seeds help maintain a stable, healthy weight by promoting hunger management. They help prevent diabetes, cancer, and heart disease, and are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, iron, calcium, and zinc.
Whole Grains: The best way to incorporate grains into your diet is through whole grains such as wild rice, barley, quinoa, and steel cut oats. Processed, refined grains, such as white flour or white rice, have been stripped of fiber and micronutrients. Intact whole grains are a good source of magnesium, potassium, omega-3 fatty acids, and folate. While whole grains contain beneficial nutrients, consuming too many grains isn’t the best option for your diet. Starting your day with steel cut oatmeal and then consuming more greens, beans, berries, nuts and seeds throughout the day is optimal.
Don’t let diabetes control your life! By making good food choices, you can regain your health.
What other superfoods do you use to help manage diabetes? Would you make any amendments to the top 5?