Fresh fruits and vegetables, grass-fed meat, and whole grains form the basis of a healthy diet. If your current eating habits revolve around such standards then you are well on your way towards controlling your weight, blood sugar, and diabetes. You are probably already consuming a bunch of foods on this list.
If you are just getting started towards reprogramming your eating habits, then this list is even more helpful for you. All the foods on this list are high in fiber, vitamins and minerals, and antioxidants. As a bonus, the foods are also familiar and easy to find.
Include these 15 foods in your diet to improve blood sugar, heart health, and kickstart your efforts against type 2 diabetes.
The American Diabetes Association refers to blueberries as a “diabetic superfood.” Blueberries are loaded with fiber and antioxidants that help stabilize blood sugar levels and lower the risk of developing diabetes.
- Researchers at the University of Michigan studied the effects of feeding blueberries, (as a crushed powder), to lab rats. They fed the rats three different diets: low-fat with blueberries, high-fat with blueberries, and low-fat with no blueberries.
- At the end of 90 days the rats that consumed blueberries, (as 2 percent of their caloric intake), had lower body fat, lower cholesterol, and improved fasting glucose and insulin sensitivity.
- Furthermore, the rats put on the low-fat diet with blueberries had even lower body fat and reduced liver mass, (an enlarged liver is associated with obesity and insulin resistance, a hallmark of diabetes).
- Blueberries contain anthocyanins, an antioxidant. Research has shown the list of benefits that anthocyanins have on overall human health and well-being.
- A recent study reports that some of the effects include anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-proliferative, anti-mutagenic, anti-microbial, anti-carcinogenic, protection from cardiovascular damage and allergy, microcirculation improvement, peripheral capillary fragility prevention, diabetes prevention, and vision improvement.
TOP 5 RECIPES
I love blueberries to the extent that if they are in the fridge, I will finish them up. I also like to sprinkle them on top of my morning cereal or add them to a smoothie.
If you are looking to spice things up a bit, listed below are my favorite blueberry recipes from around the web:
- Blueberry Breakfast Cookies
- Blueberry Zucchini Muffins
- Blueberry Sunflower Energy Bites
- Grilled Chicken With Blueberry Guacamole
- Grilled Salmon With Blueberry Sauce
Avocados are among the best sources of oleic fatty acids. These fatty acids, also known as omega-9 fats, are shown to exhibit properties that lower LDL cholesterol levels without affecting the levels of the beneficial HDL cholesterol. This aspect is especially important for diabetics considering they are at a higher risk of developing heart disease. Furthermore, the American Diabetes Association highly recommends avocados as a rich source of monounsaturated fat.
- A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports that the women in their test group who ate the highest amount of healthy fats, i.e. unsaturated fats, had a 25% less chance of developing diabetes than the women who ate the least amount of healthy fats.
TOP 5 RECIPES
Avocados are an extremely underrated food given the nutritional value they deliver. A lot of people fail to include them in their diet at all, I have certainly been one of them. After realizing the true strength of this nutritional powerhouse, these are the best recipes that I have found:
- Avocado And Egg Breakfast Pizza
- Avocado Buckwheat Pancake
- Tuna Avocado Salad
- Grilled Salmon With Avocado Salsa
- Chicken With Avocado Cream Sauce
One serving of asparacus delivers almost 2 grams of dietary fiber. Also, it is very high in a particular antioxidant called glutathione. Glutathione is known to play an important role in the effects of aging, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.
- A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition reports that the consumption of asparagus can help improve insulin sensitivity as well as stabilize blood sugar levels.
TOP 5 RECIPES
Just one cup of kale delivers over 200% of the daily requirement for vitamin A, over 100% of the requirement of vitamin C, and close to 700% of the recommended intake for vitamin K (a critical component for blood clotting and bone health). One cup of cooked kale also provides about 3 grams of dietary fiber.
- Kale contains an antioxidant called alpha lipoic acid. This study reports that alpha lipoic supplementation lowers blood sugar levels, improves insulin sensitivity, and prevents oxidative stress induced changes in type-2-diabetics.
TOP 5 RECIPES
Kale has picked up the reputation of being a nutritional powerhouse. It truly is a superfood.
Below are my 5 favorite kale recipes:
- Sautéed Kale
- Roasted Pork Chops And Butternut Squash With Kale
- Kale, Apple, and Pancetta Salad
- Farro Salad with Roasted Kale and Beets
- Kale Chips
Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3’s lower triglycerides, making them extremely useful to boost heart health. In fact, the American Heart Association recommends eating omega-3-rich fish a minimum of 2 times a week.
- Diabetics often have a high triglyceride count and low HDL cholesterol levels. Research has shown that omega-3 supplementation can lower tricglycerides, increase HDL, and lower apoproteins (markers of diabetes).
TOP 5 RECIPES
I like the taste of salmon so much that I usually just eat it fresh with a fork. However, that does get repetitive after a while. Below are listed my favorite salmon recipes from around the web:
- Salmon with Spring Vegetables
- Grilled Salmon with Balsamic Onion Glaze
- Teriyaki Salmon With Zucchini
- Alder Plank Smoked Salmon
- Marinated Salmon with Mango-Kiwi Relish
There are 3 key ingredients in flaxseed which makes it a superfood, especially for diabetics. First off, flaxseed contains alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Upon consumption, ALA is converted into omega-3’s, therefore providing similar benefits as fish. Secondly, flaxseed contains lignans, an antioxidant that works to prevent heart disease and cancer. Finally, flaxseed delivers about 3 grams of dietary fiber in just one tablespoon.
- According to this study published in Nutrition Research, daily flaxseed intake lowered glucose and insulin while improving insulin sensitivity for the test subjects who were overweight with pre-diabetes.
- In a study published in the Journal of Dietary Supplements, researchers reported that type-2-diabetics supplementing with flaxseed saw their blood glucose levels drop by 20 percent, total cholesterol drop by 15 percent, tryglicerides drop by almost 2 percent, and LDL cholesterol drop by almost 22 percent.
TOP 5 RECIPES
- Flaxseed Crackers
- Flax And Sunflower Seed Bread
- Protein Powder Cashew And Flaxseed Truffles
- Flaxseed Pancakes
- Banana Flaxseed Muffins
Nuts are dense in calories, but these calories are well-spent. Most of the macronutrients in nuts are made up of monounsaturated fats, protein, and fiber. This combination is extremely effective at stabilizing blood sugar levels.
- A study in Diabetes Care found that people with type 2 diabetes who ate 2 ounces of mixed nuts daily realized a decrease in both blood sugar levels and LDL cholesterol.
TOP 5 RECIPES
- Roasted Pecan Halves
- Maple Chipotle Spiced Nuts
- Rosemary Roasted Walnuts
- Chai Spiced Roasted Almonds
- Cinnamon Pecans
8. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Olive oil is another great source of monounsaturated fats. Extra virgin means that it has been minimally processed and more than 30 antioxidant and anti-inflammatory plant compounds remain in the mix.
- This analysis of the most popular studies on olive oil and diabetes reports that the properties of extra virgin olive oil can work to improve some of the key mechanisms that are involved in the development of type 2 diabetes.
TOP 5 RECIPES
I try and opt for olive oil instead of vegetable oil in most cases. If you want to step things up a notch, take a shot at one of the recipes listed bel0w:
- Pickled Feta With Cerignola Olives And Strawberries
- Warm Garbanzo Bean Salad
- Sweet Gem Lettuce Salad With Buffalo Mozzarella
- Roasted Cauliflower With Anchovy Bread Crumbs
- Green Beans With Pistachio Pesto
Raspberries are another superfood highly recommended by the American Diabetic Association. A one-cup serving delivers the daily recommendation for vitamin C as well as 7 grams of dietary fiber.
- Like blueberries, raspberries also contain anthocyanins. This powerful oxidant has been demonstrated to improve insulin sensitivity as well as anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties that reduce the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
TOP 5 RECIPES
Berries truly are nature’s candy and I love to eat them fresh. Nonetheless, I tend to try out a raspberry recipe when I get the chance. Below are my favorite ones:
- Raspberry & White Cherry Yogurt Pops
- Raspberry Crush Tonic
- Raspberry Clafoutis
- Raspberry And Fig Cake
- Raspberry Limeade
10. Red Peppers
Red peppers are loaded with antioxidants, vitamin C and beta-carotene. Also, they contain a high dose of lycopene. The combination of vitamins C, A, and lycopene work well together to promote overall health and reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers according to the National Institute of Health. (Red peppers are listed as one of four vegetables with the highest content of antioxidants).
- Published in the Journal of Food Science is a study that reports that red peppers slow down the digestion of carbohydrates and lipids which results in a lower concentration of glucose and lipids in the blood.
- Tea-Smoked Tofu With Pepper And Pork
- Baked Eggs In Stuffed Peppers
- Stuffed Pepper Soup
- Homemade Harissa (Spicy Red Pepper Sauce)
- Roasted Red Peppers
As the old adage advises, try and eat at least one apple a day. Apples deliver a range of antioxidants, dietary fiber and flavanoids. All these ingredients work to promote overall health and well being.
- The Harvard School of Public Health took a look and analyzed the diets of close to 200,000 people and reported that the people that ate five or more apples a week had a 23 percent lower chance of developing diabetes compared with subjects who did not eat any apples.
- A study published in the Journal of Functional Foods found that eating just one apple a day for 4 weeks lowered LDL (read: bad) cholesterol by up to 40%.
TOP 5 RECIPES
You can go ahead and munch on that apple lying in front of you or you could try your hand at one of my favorite recipes:
- Apple Muffins
- Homemade Yogurt With Apple Compote
- Apple-and-Ham Salad
- Whole-Wheat Apple Pancakes
- Pork Chops With Apples and Garlic Smashed Potatoes
Both green and black tea contain antioxidants called catechins. Catechins work to lower the risk of heart disease as well as help with the dilation of blood vessels, according the American Diabetes Associated. Furthermore, tea has been demonstrated to lower cholesterol levels, reduce stress, and lower the risk of cancer.
A 2013 research review published in the Diabetes and Metabolism Journal outlined the potential benefits of tea when it comes to diabetes as well as obesity, which is a risk factor for diabetes. It highlighted a Japanese study that found that people who drank 6 or more cups of green tea a day were 33 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than were people who drank less than a cup of green tea a week. It also reported on Taiwanese research that found that people who drank green tea regularly for more than a decade had smaller waists and a lower body fat composition than those who weren’t regular consumers of green tea.
Suzanne Steinbaum, DO, a cardiologist, director of women’s heart health at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, and author of Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum’s Heart Book. “Insulin comes along to decrease sugar, but with type 2 diabetes, the body isn’t so sensitive to insulin, so blood sugar levels go up. Through a complex biochemical reaction, tea — especially green tea — helps sensitize cells so they are better able to metabolize sugar. Green tea is good for people with diabetes because it helps the metabolic system function better.”
TOP 5 TEAS
- Ginger Tumeric Tea
- Elderberry Tea
- Power-packed Teas for Winter
- Vitamin C Herbal Infusion
- Peppermint Tea Recipe
Tomatoes deliver a good quantity of vitamin C and A. Also, they contain an oxidant called lycopene. A lot of research shows that lycopene-rich tomatoes protect against certain cancers and is associated with a lower risk of heart disease.
- In this study published in the International Journal of Food Sciences And Nutrition, it was concluded that a consumption of 200g raw tomatoes daily was positively correlated with blood pressure and a decreased risk of cardiovascular risk.
- Another study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that tomato juice is an extremely effective blood thinner for people with type 2 diabetes.
TOP TOMATO RECIPES
Fresh tomatoes are a good choice, but canned tomato products can contain up to seven times more lycopene. The downside of canned products is the high salt content. So before buying take a look at the sodium content and opt for a product that does not contain that much.
- Tomato Salad with Edamame Succotash
- Caprese Stacks
- Roasted Tomato Basil Pesto
- Crispy Eggplant, Tomato, and Provolone Stacks with Basil
Yogurt delivers a range of quality carbohydrates and protein. This aspect makes it an excellent contributor towards slowing down or even completely stopping an unwanted rise in blood sugar.
- In a study led by the Harvard School of Public Health, researchers report that eating a serving of yoghurt daily can contribute to a decreased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
TOP YOGURT RECIPES
Stick with yogurt that contains probiotics. This bacteria aids digestive health and supports a healthy immune function. Greek yoghurt is what I usually opt for due to its high protein content.
- Greek Yogurt Pancakes
- Yogurt Breakfast Bowl
- Skinny Greek Yogurt Chicken
- Cheesy Chicken Quesadillas
- Yogurt-Marinated Chicken Kebabs with Aleppo Pepper
Beans are an excellent source of fiber and protein. The American Heart Association reports that consuming a diet high in fiber can significantly decrease the chances of a first time stroke. The researchers at AHA reported that every 7-gram increase in fiber intake is associated with a 7 percent lower risk of a first-time stroke. AHA recommends getting a minimum of 25 grams of dietary fiber per day.
- In a 2012 study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine researchers found that eating 1 cup of legumes (beans, chickpeas, and lentils) daily had subjects resulting with significanlt better blood sugar control and a reduced risk of cardiovascular risk in diabetes.
HOW TO ADD TO YOUR DIET
- Black Bean Breakfast Burritos
- Slow-Cooked Tomato and Herb White Beans
- Braised Chicken with Black Bean Sauce
- Vegan Lentil, Pumpkin and Coconut Breakfast Bars
- Red Lentil Porridge
To Sum Up
There you have it, the 15 most powerful diabetic foods to treat your condition. If you have read this far, then you are serious about changing your life and reprogramming your eating habits. Use this free 3 day system to kickstart your efforts against type 2 diabetes and get started towards reclaiming your health and vitality: