Diabetes affects more than 20 million people in the United States, and more people are diagnose with this disease every year. The good news is that type 2 diabetes, which is the most common form of the disease, can be prevented or reversed with proper diet and exercise. If you take good care of yourself and add the foods in this gallery to your diet, your risk of diabetes will be extremely low!
Vitamin C is an extremely important nutrient for heart health, and oranges are a great natural source of this vitamin. It has also been linked to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes and improved blood flow in people with type 1 diabetes. While you might be tempted to just drink orange juice, eating the fruit is healthierbecause its fiber content reduces the amount of sugar absorbed by the body. The guava and kiwi are two other fruits that contain even higher levels of vitamin C!
The best thing you can drink for diabetes is green tea. This popular tea is made from the leaves of the Chinese tea plant, and it retains a large number of nutrients thanks to its low level of oxidation. This healthy drink contains expecially high levels of polyphenols and flavonoids. Green tea also helps to regulate blood sugar, which is the main symptom of diabetes. Green tea has been linked to reduced risk of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer as well!
Garlic has been used in medicine for some time, but it was only recently proven to lower blood sugar levels in animals and humans. Garlic apparently stimulates the body to release higher levels of insulin in the blood. For the maximum health benefits of eating garlic, crush fresh cloves and allow the pieces to sit for about 15 minutes before cooking.
Beans are one of the easiest and cheapest foods to eat to fight diabetes. They are loaded with fiber, antioxidants, protein, and other helpful nutrients. A few of these key nutrients are potassium, calcium, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E. Beans also help to maintain healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels.A few of the healthiest beans include:
- Black beans
- Kidney beans
Just remember that beans are high in calories and carbohydrates, so limit yourself to one or two servings per day.
Make that bland heath food taste better and fight diabetes with a spoonful of cinnamon! Studies have shown that cinnamon can help to lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin resistance. This delicious spice has also been linked to improved memory and focus. Cinnamon is still a somewhat unproven treatment method, so limit your intake of this substance to about a teaspoon each day.
While olive oil does contain fat, it mostly contains monounsaturated fatty acids, which are considered healthy. These healthy fats have been linked to lower cholesterol levels, normalized blood clotting, and improved blood sugar control. However, these health benefits are only assured when the olive oil is fresh, as the benefits slowly degrade over time.
Nuts are a snack food that you don't have to feel guilty about eating. Most nuts have been linked to reduced rates of heart disease thanks to high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Nuts also help to curb your appetite so that you won't overindulge on other less-healthy foods. Some of the healthiest nuts you can eat include:
You probably wouldn't have thought of vinegar as part of a healthy diet, but this flavorful food additive has the ability to lower blood sugar levels. A study found that diabetics lowered their blood sugar by 25% by taking two tablespoons of vinegar before a meal! Two tablespoons is quite a bit, so try splashing it over a salad instead of taking it directly.
Leafy green vegetables are really good for you, and that's especially true of spinach. This veggie helps to fight dietary problems and helps to improve eyesight (poor eyesight is a symptom of type 2 diabetes). Spinach also has high levels of fiber, vitamin C, iron, and calcium.
While apples aren't necessarily viewed as one of the healthiest fruits, they do contain high levels of quercetin. This chemical is also found in onions, tomatoes, berries, and other plants. Quercetin has been directly linked to a lower risk of diabetes, so an apple a day really does keep the doctor away!