Several factors play a role in regulating blood sugar levels. These include genetics, level of physical activity, stress, and any underlying health disorders. In addition, one’s nutrition choices significantly impact blood sugar levels. Some foods with a high content of refined carbs and added sugar can cause fluctuations in blood sugar levels, while others can optimize blood sugar regulation and improve one’s overall health. Here are some superfoods that may help lower blood sugar.
Blueberries are among the most popular superfoods that help control blood sugar. They contain a high amount of healthy fibers, antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins. All of these help regulate the sugar levels in the blood. In addition, blueberries are known to increase insulin sensitivity, which helps in maintaining glucose levels. One can eat a handful of blueberries or add them to cereals, oatmeal, smoothies, and sugar-free desserts to get the best health benefits.
Enriched with omega-3 fatty acids, salmon is one of the healthiest foods that can be added to meals. It is also a rich source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and healthy fats, which help blood sugar levels. Further, salmon contains a high amount of protein, slowing down digestion and preventing blood sugar spikes after a meal. This also helps one feel full and prevents overeating.
Green leafy veggies such as spinach are among the richest sources of B vitamins. Moreover, they have low calories and a high amount of magnesium, potassium, iron, and calcium. These nutrients help in managing blood sugar levels. Also, the significant proportion of fiber in spinach controls the blood sugar level. Spinach can be added to a wide variety of meal preps, including soups, salads, stir-fries, and pasta. However, make sure to wash it properly to prevent any risk of infection.
Adding broccoli to meals is an excellent way to regulate blood sugar levels. This cruciferous vegetable contains tons of essential nutrients. In addition, it is rich in sulforaphane, a compound that helps manage glucose levels in the blood. It also improves insulin sensitivity and prevents oxidative stress. Along with broccoli, one can also eat broccoli sprouts. These are microgreens packed with all essential nutrients. Steamed broccoli can be added to stir-fries, pasta, and wraps. Both broccoli and broccoli sprouts can be added to salads as well.
Whole-grain foods such as oats are popular superfoods that help lower blood sugar. They are rich in magnesium, folate, calcium, and vitamin B. In addition, oats are packed with soluble fiber, which helps control cholesterol as well as glucose levels. One of the best ways to have this superfood is by preparing overnight oats for a quick and easy breakfast. Alternatively, raw oats can be added to yogurt and smoothies.
Nuts such as pistachios contain a high level of healthy fats and good cholesterol, which help improve overall health. In addition, regularly munching on a few pistachios can help lower blood sugar levels. A good way to add pistachios to one’s food regime is simply having them as snacks between meals. One can also add them to cereals, overnight oats, and salads. Further, if pistachios are not preferred, almonds and walnuts are also good alternatives. One can have these nuts in butter form as well.
This citrus fruit contains naringenin, a type of polyphenol known to help regulate sugar levels in the blood. In addition, oranges are rich in vitamin C, fiber, potassium, and folate absorbed by the body. Oranges also have a low glycemic index, which means they do not allow blood sugar to spike after eating. Along with oranges, one can also have other citrus fruits such as limes, grapefruits, pomelos, clementines, and key limes.
Pumpkin and pumpkin seeds
With its vibrant color, pumpkin makes a great addition to meals. It can be easily blended to make a hearty pumpkin soup during colder months. One can also add it to stir-fries, pies, hummus, and lasagna. Moreover, pumpkin seeds can be added to salads and trail mixes or used as toppings for various meal preps. High in proteins and healthy fats, pumpkin and its seeds have several health benefits, including regularizing blood sugar levels.
Okra contains a high amount of polysaccharides, quercetin, and flavonoid antioxidants. All of these work to lower blood sugar. In addition, okra is packed with insoluble and soluble fibers. So, it takes time to break down and go through the process of digestion. This slows down the rate at which sugar is released into the blood after a meal. As a result, the blood sugar does not spike and remains stable.
Flaxseeds are packed with lignan, a compound that has powerful antioxidant properties. Moreover, flaxseeds and the oil extracted from them contain healthy fats and fiber, which help in improving insulin sensitivity. This helps prevent the level of glucose in the blood from rising. One can have roasted flaxseeds sprinkled on oatmeal, salads, and soups. They can also be added to trail mixes and homemade sugar-free granola bars.
Beans and legumes
Beans and legumes are the top superfoods that must be added to meals to control blood sugar levels. Kidney beans, white beans, pinto beans, lima beans, black beans, soybeans, fava beans, chickpeas, pigeon peas, split peas, and black-eyed peas are all packed with essential vitamins and minerals. These include magnesium, potassium, iron, as well as fiber. All of these help in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels over time. In addition, beans and legumes contain polyphenol phytonutrients and resistant starch. These are used by the gut bacteria to release compounds that improve insulin sensitivity.
Unflavored yogurt without any added sugar or other additives is another superfood that helps lower blood sugar. It is a rich source of magnesium, calcium, and protein. Furthermore, it is packed with probiotics, which are good bacteria. Adding yogurt to one’s food regime can help improve gut health, which, in turn, can boost insulin sensitivity. One can have fat-free plain yogurt with toppings of favorite fruits for the best health benefits.