Raised blood sugar levels slowly damage the systems of our body and leads to diabetes and other related cardio-vascular diseases. Although, diabetes can be congenital too but most of it depends upon the eating habits and lifestyle that leads to slow destruction of the body’s glucose management mechanism which leads to diabetes and post diabetes impairment of multiple organ or failure.
Generally, when we take meals the food is broken into carbohydrates, fats and proteins which are further broken into smaller units like glucose/sugar, lipids and amino acids respectively, that gets absorbed in the blood stream for active transport to reach cells as energy and raw material for maintenance. High blood sugar level occurs when the insulin guided mechanism fails to effectively transport the sugar from blood stream to body cells.
Diet high in carbs and sugary foods can lead to a state where body stops to respond to insulin effectively and a subsequent slow decrease in the production of insulin in pancreas as a negative feedback mechanism of hormones in the body.
A prevalent myth about diabetes is that it’s incurable, though that is correct technically but a healthy balanced diet and being active is all it needs to prevent and reverse pre-diabetes. There are foods, if we add in our daily diet helps in keeping the blood sugar below the line as well as prevent sudden spikes in the blood sugar.
1. Green Leafy Vegetables Spinach, turnip greens, kale, romaine, lettuces, dandelion greens, broccoli¬, these are some of the green leafy vegetables which are rich in micronutrients like vitamins B6, vitamin C, vitamin A and vitamin K, as well as the super nutrient Magnesium considered necessary for the proper metabolism of nutrients in the body. Green leafy’s are also low at carbohydrates and cholesterol, prevents sudden spikes of sugar in the blood stream.
2. SeedsFlax, chia, sunflower, sesame, pumpkin , all these seeds are the mines of vitamins, magnesium, copper, manganese, iron and other essential micronutrients which play key role in the metabolism of sugar. These are also rich in fiber which helps in lowering the blood sugar.
3. Citrus FruitsCitrus fruits like oranges are high in vitamin C, which have a rejuvenating action and have a lower sugar content; plus are rich in various micronutrients, antioxidants and fiber, which adds up to the metabolism and lower blood glucose levels.
4. Almonds, Nuts and Nut ButtersNuts like almonds, cashew nut, walnut, and peanuts are healthy source of poly unsaturated fat, mono saturated fats, and omega-3 fatty acids, which helps in reduction of insulin resistance and have an anti-inflammatory effect. Nuts are also highly rich in magnesium, chromium, and dietary fiber which further help in regulating the blood sugar levels
5. Strawberries, Blueberries, and CherriesStrawberries and blueberries are low in calories and high in fibers. These are also rich in antioxidants and multiple micronutrients which not only improve insulin activity, also help with skin, cognitive function and heart health. Cherries are rich in anthocyanins which lower blood sugar, reduces insulin resistance, and protects against heart disease and cancer.
6. Whole Grains, Legumes and High Fiber DietWhole grains like Oatmeal, wheat germ, barley, quinoa, teff contain carbs but are high in soluble fiber beta-glucan so eating them feels full for longer time and reduce overall dietary intake. Legumes like chick pea, kidney beans and lentils are low in fat and rich in dietary fiber and proteins. Soluble dietary fiber slows down the glucose release in blood so prevents sudden sugar spikes. These are also rich source of magnesium which regulates blood sugar.
7. CinnamonCinnamon is a spice that works the blood sugar just as natural insulin does; it makes muscle and liver cells more sensitive to insulin and easy to absorb sugar from blood. Many of studies have successfully demonstrated considerable drop in blood sugar after regular use of cinnamon extracts. It also helps in heart health and weight loss.
8. Green TeaGreen tea just like fresh fruit juices, contains flavonoids which is highly anti inflammatory and adds up to body’s ability to absorb blood sugar and have rejuvenating effects.
9. SpicesSpices very effectively regulates metabolism and have medicinal effects which is supported by many of the studies worldwide. Spices like turmeric, fenugreek seeds, garlic and onion considerably lowers blood sugar and insulin levels, cuts bad cholesterol, acts as natural antibiotics, and shrinks one’s stomach.
10. Avocados and Olive Oil Avocados and olive oil are rich in monosaturated fats which slow the release of sugar in blood, improve insulin activity and sensitivity and induce release of appetite suppressing hormone leptin.
11. VinegarVinegar like apple cidar vinegar, if taken before a meal can reduce blood sugar and prevent sudden sugar release. Vinegar over salad toppings helps with digestion, metabolism, and weight loss as they lower blood sugar, insulin levels, and increases the sensation of fullness.
12. Egg and Lean MeatEggs, cold water fishes like salmon, tuna, sardines, and lean meat like chicken are highly rich in proteins, Omega-3 fatty acids and HDL. They help by lowering the overall uptake and reducing the post meal insulin response and controls appetite by regulating steady blood sugar and insulin levels. Eggs and lean meat are also rich in chromium and conjugated linoleic acid which helps in improving the impaired blood sugar metabolism and also possess anti carcinogenic properties.