When it comes to having diabetes you probably already know that you need to watch what you eat.
However, some foods are better for you — and healthier as well.
In this article we’re going to examine the health benefits of 7 foods to consider adding to your diet, whether you live with diabetes… or not.
The good news?
By eating well balanced meals, staying fit and active, and taking any required medications (if necessary) you can keep your blood sugar levels in check.
Seven “super” foods
In no particular order they are:
Do you notice some commonalities here?
Green vegetables and fruits dominate the list. And when it comes to “meat” fish is clearly the healthier alternative.
Now let’s take a closer look at each one…
Asparagus is a non-starchy vegetable that is low in carbohydrates and high in dietary fiber.
It is also a good source of:
- B vitamin folate
- vitamin C
Glutathione is an antioxidant may help boost your immune system and is thought to promote lung health.
The American Heart Association recommends adding or including foods in your diet that contain folate and other forms of B vitamins, since these help lower homocysteine levels (an amino acid in the blood that has been linked to a higher risk of coronary heart disease).
Blueberries are a great fruit to add to your diet because they are healthy… and versatile.
You can enjoy them on their own, blended in your favorite smoothie or when found in baked goods such as pancakes and muffins.
They are a great source of:
- dietary fiber
- vitamin C
- antioxidants such as anthocyanins and flavonoids
What’s a flavonoid?
Flavonoids are a type of phytonutrient that offer you antioxidant protection. Antioxidants are known to boost your immune system and help to fight inflammation, and anthocyanins may promote heart health.
Blueberries may also help decrease LDL (the “bad” cholesterol).
Vegetarians have long known the benefits of adding beans to your diet as a substitute for meat.
They are high in fiber and protein and are a good source of vitamins and minerals, such as:
Potassium is especially important in your diet since it helps to balance your electrolyte levels.
Protein is an essential part of your diet since it helps the body repair and produce cells as well as building muscle and bone.
What’s more, according to the American Heart Association we should be eating about 25 to 30 grams a day of both soluble and insoluble fiber. This amounts to roughly twice the amount the average American consumes daily.
Growing up my mom insisted that we have broccoli at least 3 times a week for dinner. To her, broccoli was a “super” food — along with all other green vegetables.
Turns out she was right.
Broccoli (another non-starchy vegetable) is a better source of vitamin C than oranges.
It’s also a good source of:
- vitamin C
- the antioxidant beta-carotene
Our bodies use beta-carotene to make vitamin A, and this vitamin helps to promote healthy vision, teeth, bones, and skin.
And vitamin C, as you may know, is essential for helping your body heal, especially wounds or injuries. It is also considered a disease-fighting antioxidant.
A growing number of doctors are now proposing adding vitamin C to your diet before, and immediately after, any planned surgical procedure.
Carrots are a great addition to any diet.
They are can eaten cooked or raw, and offer you a wide variety of options for adding them to any meal.
For example, eat them raw with a sandwich in place of fries or chips, include them in your favorite juice recipe, or have them steamed as a side dish with your meal.
What’s more, carrots are a good source of:
- vitamin A from beta-carotene
It is believed that beta-carotene may help prevent cancer and heart disease, and carotenoids found in yellow and orange produce may also help reduce insulin resistance according to Healing Gourmet: Eat to Beat Diabetes.
The health benefits of fish are well known, as they are a great source of omega-3s.
Omega-3s help to reduce inflammation, help to lower blood pressure and help to reduce the risk of blood clots.
And though fish have long been considered a healthy alternative to meat, recently concerns have been raised about the levels of mercury and other toxins found in fish because of pollution to their environment. Clearly, eating fish from polluted waters raises the risk of consuming contaminated fish.
The American Heart Association has identified fish with lower mercury levels, which are:
- wild salmon
- canned light tuna
Does an apple a day keep the doctor away?
Try one and find out for yourself…
Apples are an excellent source of soluble and insoluble fiber. And diets that are high in fiber are believed to help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. What’s more, the soluble fiber found in apples may also slow digestion, which may help to regulate your cholesterol levels and blood glucose levels.
The good news?
One medium sized apple contains roughly 3 grams of fiber.
Apples (skin on) are also a good source of:
- vitamin C
So what is the one common thread that connects all the various foods listed here?
They are low in carbs, high in fiber, and good sources of antioxidants. They also help to promote healing and your immune system, something that is especially important for people with diabetes.
Would you like more information?
Perhaps it’s time for…
Holistic nutrition counseling
The Fit MD program combines healthy nutrition, physical fitness goals, and addresses any accompanying emotional problems that may be holding you back.
If you live in Westchester, NY you can find out more information about The FitMD program and nutrition counseling by clicking the link, or if you prefer give us a call at 914-721-0071 today.
You can review our staff of personal trainers in Westchester by clicking the link to review their profiles.
And if you have any questions regarding nutrition in general or keeping a food diary in particular give us a call, or leave a comment.
After all, it’s your health and well-being…