If you or someone you know has diabetes, then you probably understand just how important it is to keep one’s blood sugar at appropriate levels. While diabetes is the most commonly mentioned ailment that stems from high blood pressure, there are other medical complications that can result from it as well. These include blindness, strokes, and even heart attacks. The foods we eat can have massive effects on our blood sugar; some foods raise it, while others lower it. If you’re concerned about high blood sugar, please talk to your doctor and consider stepping up your intake of these foods:
While in the past, many health professionals have given avocados a bad reputation because of their fat content, new research reveals that avocados are one of the healthiest foods. For diabetics, in particular, this particular fruit offers a number of benefits. As a fatty fruit, avocados offer very little sugar, which means they do not upset the delicate blood sugar balance of diabetics. The fat in avocados, monounsaturated fat, is actually good for heart health, contrary to previous belief. It can actually lower blood sugar levels in the body, which in turn, reduces the need for large doses of insulin.
Olive Oil is among the most healthy oils and therefore is a solid option for use in cooking or as a dressing for sandwiches, salads and other foods eaten cold. Similar to the avocado, olive oil contains significant levels of monounsaturated fat. Because of this, olive oil is thought to be helpful to diabetes patients as a means to prevent the hardening of the arteries. Diabetes and heart health are closely linked, so anything that supports heart health will likewise significantly benefit diabetics. Olive oil is also thought to help with insulin resistance, and may even reduce belly fat growth.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Vinegar, the apple cider type particularly, is thought of as a sort of miracle, and not just in the culinary or health fields. That being said, it’s thought that vinegar can help you to feel less full after heavy meals. Furthermore, there is some evidence to suggest that apple cider vinegar can cause a drop in blood sugar levels after eating, which helps diabetics stay in control. It doesn’t take a large amount of it, either; it’s best not to use more than a teaspoon, or a tablespoon with a full glass of water after meals three times daily.
One might think that fruits are a bad choice for diabetics because of their sugar, but this is not the case. Blueberries, for example, not only contain sugar in the form or fructose(which doesn’t need insulin to be metabolized) but they also contain antioxidants and Vitamin C, which benefit cell repair and immune system strength respectively. Not only that, but there is some early research that suggests that blueberry leaf extract, known as Blueberin, can lower the blood sugar levels of people who have type 2 diabetes. Combined with sea buckthorn, it’s thought that blueberries help type 1 diabetic children.
It might surprise you to see cinnamon on a list like this, however, there is some evidence to suggest it has benefits for diabetics. Some studies have revealed a potential interaction between cinnamon and blood sugar levels, where regular cinnamon intake has decreased blood sugar. Information as recent as 2012 has indicated cinnamon’s potential. The general consensus is that cinnamon preps the body for blood sugar by stimulating insulin production and activity. Because cinnamon mileage varies based on the type of cinnamon, it may be best to think of cinnamon primarily as a supplement to regular diabetes medication and treatment.
There is some evidence that suggests the merits of chia seed as a beneficial food for diabetics on account of its heart help. This is because of the links between diabetes and heart disease. Chia seeds can reduce blood clots that lead to strokes and other serious heart complications. Furthermore, there are studies that suggest chia seeds can help to control blood sugar levels, and even reduce the odds of developing diabetes if you do not already have it. More information is needed to fully understand the relationship between chia seeds, heart health, and diabetes, but the research shows promise.
Aside from cinnamon, there are a variety of herbs and spices that are thought to contribute to diabetes management. Some are believed to do this through blood sugar control, while others reduce sugar cravings, regulate insulin production, or increase insulin sensitivity. One plant, gymnema sylvestre, is thought to reduce sugar cravings. Cloves are proven to protect organ health in diabetic animals, which prevents diabetes complications like heart disease and blindness. Some tests indicate that rosemary extract can lower blood sugar by up to 20% and even promote weight loss. Ginger, another popular spice, has been proven to lower blood sugar.