With Halloween just around the corner, it’s nearly impossible to keep the little ones (and their parents) away from sweets. So if they must eat candy, try to keep it in moderation – like a piece or two a day for the next couple months. But is there something more we can do to help lower blood sugar levels even at this sweet time of year? Everyone knows that in order to balance your blood sugar levels you must cut down your sugar intake. However, not everyone knows there are some foods that are amazing at reducing blood sugar levels. So instead of focusing only on the “Do not’s” let’s also focus on the “Do’s”! Here are some rock-stars that have many health benefits:
Here are my 12 favorite foods for reducing blood sugar levels
Black Chickpeas - Kala Chana
The carbohydrates in black chickpeas are digested slowly, therefore reducing blood sugar levels. This is useful not only for those suffering from high blood sugar levels, but also as a preventative measure in building insulin resistance and reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. Some other health benefits: lowers cholesterol, reducing risk of heart disease, good source of iron and protein, weight loss and more.
Matcha Green Tea
Amongst Matcha’s many health benefits, it improves insulin sensitivity for those who suffer from type 2 diabetes and plays a role in reducing the risk of developing diabetes. It is also used to speed up metabolism to aid in weight loss. Other benefits include aiding in oral health, gums and teeth, which is super important during the consumption of Halloween candy. As a powerful antioxidant Matcha improves skin health, and boosts immunity.
Cacao is a bean, like many other legumes beans contain a viable, non-animal, source of protein, as well as iron, magnesium, vitamin C and zinc. It contains a high content of Chromium which is a mineral that has been shown to improve insulin functions and also works to reduce the cravings of sugar. Cacao’s high Zinc content is helpful in metabolizing sugars effectively. Some other health benefits of cacao include improvement of mood, increased energy to fight fatigue, protects cardiovascular function, lowers blood pressure, improve cognitive function, weight loss and more. And yes, it’s also the bean that chocolate is made from, yet there are many tasty low sugar treats that can be made using the raw form.
This super food brought to us from Peru is known for its ability to stabilize blood sugar levels but also for some other important benefits: it’s famous for its ability to increase fertility and libido both in men and women. Maca has also been shown to improve symptoms of PMS, enhance energy, boost immunity, stabilize mood and more.
Another tasty superfood that can contribute both to reducing blood sugar levels and to weight loss is the Goji Berry also known as the Wolf Berry. These dried berries aid in reducing blood pressure, arthritic pain, improving energy, fighting cold and flu and more.
Most of you are probably familiar with this food but maybe unaware of its ability to lower blood sugar. It also improves metabolism, lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease, and helps with appetite control. There are many great ways to add it to your diet – without the indulgence of beerJ.
Nutritional Yeast Flakes
These nutty, parmesan-like flakes offer a variety of components that can contribute to a healthier blood sugar level. The amino acids in the flakes support the metabolism of the carbohydrates we eat. The fiber content helps regulate the absorption of sugars into the bloodstream.
Nutritional yeast flakes are made up of a plethora of B vitamins, which aid the body in the transformation of carbohydrates into energy and prevent blood sugar swings. Magnesium is an important mineral in controlling blood sugar, while Zinc, another mineral, plays an important role in turning carbohydrates into fuel. These flakes are great for your immune system and also add a yummy flavor to so many dishes.
Can eating fats actually help you lose weight? Avocados have a high fiber content that can assist in lowering blood sugar and also in weight loss control! The fats in avocado are a healthy form of fat that lower LDL “ bad cholesterol” and increase HDL “good cholesterol. So this food is not only yummy but also diet friendly. In addition avocado is not only high in potassium which is helpful in reducing blood pressure, but also contains both Vitamin C, E and A which is known to contribute to healthier skin and immune system.
Nuts such as almonds, cashews, walnuts, pistachios, and chestnuts were shown to control blood sugar and triglycerides.
Some other benefits in a “nutshell” include high fiber content, rich in omega-3 fatty acids, proteins, vitamins, antioxidants and minerals.
These tiny seeds are packed with lots of nutrients that your body is going to love! High fiber content works in regulating the body’s process sugar metabolism, which again helps control blood sugar levels. It is not only rich in nutrients that contribute to your heart health, and your bone health, but it also contributes to a sensation of being full, and some actually report it reduced cravings!
Quinoa is a whole grain with a low glycemic index and high fiber content. Unlike some other grains, heart healthy quinoa does not cause a spike in blood sugar. Another unique reason why this grain is such a powerful ally in your kitchen is, that it has enough amino acids to form a whole protein all by itself. Quinoa therefore is a no brainer addition to any meal vegetarian or otherwise.
Since these plant based foods are rich in magnesium and fiber they help in lowering blood sugar levels similar to other high fiber foods discussed above. Leafy greens are by far the most underappreciated and under utilized core ingredient in every meal. Greens, among its vast amount of vitamins, antioxidants and minerals contain folate. Folate prevents specific birth defects in pregnant mommies (Spina Bifida), and along with magnesium is important in cardiovascular health, and GI health, not to mention it keeps you “regular”. In addition Folate is shown to prevent early stage growth of cancer cells in breast, skin, cervix and lungs. The Vitamin K in dark leafy greens is important in bone health and prevents osteoporosis.
With such a great variety to choose from and recipes to prepare, green veggies are sure to please: kale, spinach, chard, mustard, rapini, arugula, broccoli and other brassicas, even beet greens which are higher in nutrients than beets and taste similar to chard.
Now you can still enjoy some of that Halloween candy and feel better about it :-)
Diclaimer: Information and statements made here are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. The views and nutritional advice expressed in this blog are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. If you pregnant or have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.