Diabetes is a lifelong condition which can only be managed using medications and making the required lifestyle changed. Understanding what you should or should not have in diabetes is tricky. You need to calculate the glycemic index of your food intake and an index measure of less than 55 and more than 70 is not a good measure. While it is a commonly held belief that green, leafy vegetables are good for health, in diabetes, this is not the case as not all the greens have the same nutrients. Vegetables you expect to be healthy could be a wrong choice due to them contributing to a high GI. Foods that are naturally low in glycemic index are a good choice for diabetes patients for a better chance at managing the condition. Let us look at six superfoods that are best choices for diabetes patients.
- Berries: Blueberries are antioxidant filled powerhouses and are rich in vitamin C. Berries like raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries are all excellent superfood for diabetes patients. The intake of berries reduces the risk of heart diseases and cancer. Blueberries, if had in the right amount, have anti-inflammatory properties as well.
- Tomatoes: Tomatoes contain lycopene, and whether eaten raw or cooked, have powerful anti-inflammatory properties and reduce chances of cancer, degeneration, and other health problems. Tomatoes have a very low GI, and studies have found that 1.5 tomatoes a day help reduce blood pressure in type 2 diabetes patients.
- Non-starchy foods: Lesser the carbs, lesser the GI. Vegetables like broccoli, beetroot, asparagus, celery, unsweetened peanut butter, cashew or almond milk or even the unsweetened Greek yogurt are all low GI superfoods. Vitamins, fiber, minerals, phytochemicals are all hunger satisfying ingredients. These low calories and low carbs superfoods can be enjoyed by people suffering from diabetes without any guilt. Daily yogurt consumption is essential since it is a great probiotic. A diet containing higher levels of proteins and lower levels of carbs leads to a lower GI. You should avoid things like fruit preservatives, added sugar, and syrup additives. To add to the list of healthy, and filling food, you can try artisanal curd with almonds, pistachios, and berries for better taste.
- Citrus fruits: Grapefruit, oranges, lemons are a great source of vitamin C. Eating these fruits in their raw form reduces the risk of diabetes in women. Grapefruit, being as low in GI as 25, will have an increase of 10 or 15 when converted to an unsweetened fruit juice, which is why it is always better to have the fruit itself rather than a fruit juice.
- Omega 3: Fishes like salmon, mackerel are helpful in avoiding heart diseases. They contain vitamin D and selenium that are amazing for skin, hair, bone strength and filled with nutrients. Add salmon oil into your daily meal as it slows the digestion process, increases the metabolism and keeps you feeling full. Supplements of omega 3 as supplements are a great way to improve your health.
- Nuts and seeds: Walnuts, flax seeds, chia seeds, etc. are all essential alpha-linolenic acids that contain magnesium, fiber, zinc, potassium, vitamin E, and protein. Nuts can reduce hunger and the urge to eat other fatty foods. These diet options are an excellent choice for diabetes patients and you can add them to your daily cereal, smoothies, or sandwiches.