Maintaining a healthy diet is often a struggle for those with diabetes – you never know how a certain food may affect your blood sugar levels. But that doesn’t mean that you need to go on a special diet – all you have to do is make more conscious meal choices and stick to smaller portions. Since your body needs a combination of vitamins, minerals and proteins to remain healthy, a healthy diet helps to keep your body running efficiently.
If you’re looking for ideas for your next meal or snack, don’t worry – we’ve got you covered with a list of 12 foods to eat more of in 2017.
Fenugreek Seeds (Methi Dana)
Fenugreek seeds contain high amounts of soluble fibres which add slow down the consumption of carbohydrates in the body thus avoiding blood glucose spikes. A study in India showed that adding 100 grams of fenugreek seeds to the diet of an insulin dependent diabetic resulted in lowered blood sugar and improved glucose tolerance.
Sulforaphanes in broccoli help to prevent damage caused to the blood vessels by diabetes. It also helps remove toxins from the body and is high in vitamin C. Broccoli can also help to reduce your risk of cancer.
Turmeric is a commonly used spice in the Indian diet but over the years it has become known for its medicinal properties. Curcumin the active ingredient in turmeric helps to lower blood sugar and keep your body free of inflammation.
Cumin Seeds (Jeera)
Cumin seeds can help to control blood glucose levels by increasing the body’s insulin sensitivity as well as increasing the glucose uptake of the body. Cumin also aids your body in digestion and contains vitamins and minerals like vitamin b, zinc and copper.
Psyllium husk (Ispaghol)
Psyllium husk is the outer layer of psyllium seeds which swells on contact with water and acts as soluble fiber in the digestive tract. A 1991 study in the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,” showed that psyllium husk helped to reduce glucose levels in non-insulin-dependent diabetics.
Indian Blackberry (Jamun)
Many studies have shown that Jamun can reduce blood sugar by up to 30%. It’s seeds are rich in alkaloids which have the hypoglycemic effect.It is also a good source of vitamin A and C.
One of the most ancient grains, barley is loaded with nutrients like iron, magnesium and fibre. Barley contains beta-glucan which is a soluble fibre. Fibre is important for digestive health and also curbs weight gain. It also promotes heart health and lowers cholesterol.
Amongst its many healthy benefits, ragi flakes is also good for diabetics. The coating of the grain is abundant in polyphenols and dietary fibres when compared to rice, maize or wheat. It is also low in the glycemic index which reduces food cravings and keeps the blood glucose in a normal range.
Bulgur is a low in fat grain which is high in minerals like magnesium and iron and a great source of protien.Bulgur wheat is also high in fiber which promotes digestive and heart health. For those with diabetes, each meal should ideally contain 45-60 g of carbohydrates and bulgur helps to contribute to that goal with one cup of cooked bulgur containing around 23g of carbs.
Colored Bell Peppers
Anthocyanins present in bell peppers slow down the digestion of carbs and lipids in the body thus lowering the possibility of high blood sugar (hyperglycemia). It is also low in calories and full of antioxidants which help help keep you trim and lower the risk of any other diseases which occur as a result of diabetes.
Although chickpeas are made up of around 27% carbohydrates, they are low in the glycemic index because half of those carbs come from soluble fibre. Chickpeas help lower blood sugar and are high in protein.
According to a 2002 article in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the glycemic index of sweet potatoes is a lot lower than regular potatoes, making them a better choice for controlling diabetes. Sweet potatoes, in a moderate amount, can help keep blood sugar levels in a healthy range and reduce the overall HbA1c as well.
If you suffer from Type 1 diabetes, it may be worth considering organising yourself type 1 diabetes meal plans. This will allow you to always carefully manage your diet to cater for your diabetes, whilst still eating food you like.