Dark Green Leafy Vegetables: Chard Spinach Baby Greens Kale
Leafy greens deliver a bonanza of health benefits and massive nutrition in the form of vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and phytonutrients.
Leafy greens are packed with magnesium and amino acids which lower blood sugar and control insulin. Magnesium is an essential nutrient for over 300 functions in the body, and leafy greens are one of the biggest sources of this vital nutrient. In addition to its blood sugar-controlling abilities, it assists in metabolism of carbohydrates, and reduces cravings for sugar.
Leafy vegetables are an ideal fat burning food, as they are typically very low in calories. They also ward off the risk of cancer and heart disease since they are low in fat, high in dietary fiber, and rich in folic acid, vitamins K, C, E, and many of the B vitamins, iron, calcium, potassium and magnesium, as well as containing a host of super-powered phytochemicals.
The rock star nutrient dark green leafy vegetables is vitamin K. A cup of cooked greens provides about nine times the minimum recommended amount of vitamin K. This overlooked vitamin is responsible for preventing atherosclerosis by reducing calcium buildup in arteries, preventing inflammation, and regulating blood clotting.
Greens have very few carbohydrateswhich makes them very low glycemicand lots of fiber, which make them slower to digest. So, greens themselves have very little impact on blood sugar.
How Can You Support Your Liver And Pancreas
If you have started getting out of breath every day including the Liver and Pancreas Squeeze Kick Start exercise, then you are well on your way to getting rid of diabetes.
Also, you have stopped putting the sugary and floury foods and drinks into your mouth. You have found other things to eat and drink. You are starting to feel so much better. You are almost on a high of health. Is there anything else you can do?
When I had diabetes my HbA1c was way over 100. I think it was about 140 150. No wonder I was ill. I decided to make things easier in myself by giving my liver and pancreas a gentle and yet powerful, uplifting remedy
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The 17 Best Foods To Lower Your Blood Sugar
For people with prediabetes, diabetes, or other conditions that affect blood sugar, diet is a major part of maintaining healthy blood sugar levels.
Although factors like body weight, activity, stress, and genetics also play a role in blood sugar maintenance, following a healthy diet is critical for blood sugar control .
While some foods, including items high in added sugar and refined carbs, can contribute to blood sugar fluctuations, others can optimize blood sugar control while promoting overall health (
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Get Trendy With Apple Cider Vinegar
If you do a quick Google search, youll see that apple cider vinegar is good for pretty much everything. You can use it to tone your skin, clean your pipes, and possibly lower your blood sugar!
A clinical review found that taking ACV daily could reduce blood glucose levels. Unfortunately, most of the trials were very small and some had mixed results.
But since youve probably got it in your house anyway, try taking a swig or two before meals, testing yourself, and seeing if a little ACV shot works for you .
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The Benefits Of Dietary Fiber
Dietary fiber can help your body in many ways:
- It slows down the rate of digestion which can help you better extract nutrients from the food you eat
- It can lessen the spike in your blood sugar after eating
- It helps move food through your entire digestive system more efficiently
- And of course: it helps prevent constipation!
The most obvious symptom youll experience if you arent getting enough fiber is constipation.
Ways To Add More Fiber To Your Diet
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 20202025 recommends that adults eat 22 to 34 grams of fiber each day, the specific amount will depend on your age and sex. You may ask yourself, So how much is 22 to 34 grams of fiber? Well, think about it this way, 30 grams of fiber would be like eating about six apples a day. And although apples are a great source of fiber, eating six a day is not recommended or necessary. Instead, spread your fiber intake among different foods throughout the day. You can:
- Have a fiber-friendly breakfast. Try avocado toast topped with chickpeas, or make a bowl of oatmeal with nuts and berries.
- Choose whole grains. Look for bread that lists whole grain flour as the first ingredient. Swap out white rice for brown rice or quinoa. Try whole wheat pasta instead of regular pasta.
- Focus on non-starchy vegetables. Start dinners with a salad. Or, add spinach, broccoli, or a bag of frozen mixed vegetables to your meals for a fiber boost.
- Add beans or other legumes. Try adding legumes such as lentils and peas or different kinds of beans to salads, soups, stews, or casseroles. Or you can puree legumes to make dips and spreads.
- Snack on fruit, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Choose fruits and vegetables such as apples, pears, bananas, or baby carrots to snack on. Keep almonds, sunflower seeds, and pistachios handy for a quick fiber-friendly snack.
Inulin And Insulin Secretion
Inulin, a type of fiber found in some plants, such as chicory, Jerusalem artichoke, asparagus and leeks, might reduce risk of Type 2 diabetes by decreasing levels of fatty acids, which impair insulin secretion, according to a study published in the February 2010 issue of “Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism.” Participants, all without diabetes, consumed beverages containing 56 grams of high-fructose corn syrup and 24 grams of inulin. Blood sugar and insulin levels rose to similar levels after the test beverage compared to a control group that consumed high-fructose corn syrup without inulin. However, levels of fatty acids in the bloodstream decreased more in the inulin group. Additionally, inulin increased levels of a hormone secreted by intestinal cells that promotes insulin production and secretion. These results indicate that inulin might promote improved blood sugar control when used regularly.
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Two Types Of Fiber Both Are Important
Fiber is the part of plant foods that is non-digestible and there are two types: soluble and insoluble, said Shelley Wood, MPH, RDN, clinical dietitian at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center.
Wood explained that both types of fiber are helpful for weight management and eating a high-fiber diet can reduce the risk for some cancers, such as colorectal cancer.
Soluble fiber is helpful in lowering unhealthy LDL cholesterol. It also helps slow down digestion and can assist with controlling blood glucose in diabetics. You can find soluble fiber in foods such as beans, oats, and peas, said Wood.
However, insoluble fiber can prevent constipation and helps remove waste from the body. It speeds up the transit of food through your system and promotes regularity. Wood said you can find insoluble fiber in foods such as wheat bran, vegetables, whole grains, and fruits eaten with their skin.
Studies have shown that diets higher in fiber often result in a healthier weight, which by itself is helpful in preventing many chronic diseases, said Wood. Fiber is also essential for good digestive health because it acts as a laxative and fermentative agent as well as providing necessary food for our gut microbiota.
How Does Fiber Help With Diabetes
If youâve been diagnosed with diabetes, maintaining a healthy weight and steady blood glucose levels are important to you. Incorporating fiber into every meal can significantly impact your health. Here are the top four ways:
1. Fiber helps stabilize blood glucose.
When you eat high-fiber food, two reactions take place that have a domino effect directly relating to glucose regulation and insulin resistance: fiber slows down the digestion process and it reacts in your gut to produce healthy microbes.
Fiber slows the rate at which your body breaks down food into glucose. Consuming a fiber-heavy food doesnât cause a spike in blood sugar the way low-fiber, or âsimpleâ carbohydrates do. When glucose is slowly released into your bloodstream, your body isnât pressured to release high amounts of insulin in response. The resulting prolonged energy release helps steady those peaks and dips in blood glucose, and also stabilizes your energy level. Learn more: What Is Glucose?
Prebiotic fibers, in particular, selectively stimulate the growth and metabolic activity of gut microbes, which produce beneficial molecules including the SCFAs â important not only for optimal blood glucose regulation, but also for appetite suppression, immunity enhancement, reduced intestinal inflammation and other beneficial effects. Learn more: Probiotics vs. Prebiotics: Whatâs the Difference?
2. Fiber plays a role in gut health.
3. Fiber has an anti-Inflammatory effect.
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More Evidence That The Higher The Dietary Fiber Intake The Greater The Health
The health benefits of dietary fiber continue to inform clinical recommendations. In a report by a team of Canadian researchers,¹ individuals who regularly consumed soluble fiber were found to have lower hemoglobin A1c levels, an important benchmark for people with diabetes.
In this meta-analysis, the researchers noticed that soluble fiber at a median dose of at least 13 grams a day the equivalent of one tablespoon of soluble fiberreduced HbA1c levels by about .60%.¹ That reduction was similar to that achieved by some antidiabetes medications, said Vladimir Vuksan, PhD, professor of clinical nutrition at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto and a faculty member at the University of Toronto, Canada.
For instance, a patient with a typical HbA1c of 8% may see the HbA1c 7.5% simply by increasing the amount of soluble fiber to their daily diet, if these results held true for them. This has the potential to offer a simple treatment strategy for any patient with diabetes who would benefit from a reduced HbA1c target for anyone with diabetes.
Take A Pass On The Bread Bowl
Its obvious that sugary stuff leads to an increase in blood sugar, but starchy foods can do the same thing. Your body processes simple carbs quickly and turns them into sugar, and it needs a lot of insulin to absorb them. That means a bag of Doritos is as likely as a candy bar to cause a spike.
If youre in the middle of a blood sugar spike, its best to curtail your carb intake. Check the glycemic index if youre not sure about a food.
Surprisingly, popcorn and white potatoes are worse than ice cream, according to the index. If you stick to low-carb/low-glycemic-index foods, your blood sugar will return to normal much more quickly.
Ultimately, its best to limit your carb intake. A 2004 study found that a diet of 20 percent carbs, 30 percent protein, and 50 percent fat lowered fasting blood sugar and kept blood sugar from spiking after meals.
This was a very small study, but the results suggest that lower carb intake can lead to generally lower blood glucose. In general, most people with diabetes eat 40 to 45 percent of their calories in the form of carbohydrates. Choosing nutrient-rich sources of carbs is best.
Another promising study found that after two years on a low-carb diet, many participants with type 2 diabetes were able to manage their condition without medication or resolve it entirely.
The occasional baked potato isnt a problem, but frequent trips to the drive-through are not a good idea. Find a few veggie-and-protein-heavy meals and make them your go-tos.
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Understanding Fiber Values On Food Labels
According to the Food and Drug Administration , foods labeled high in fiber must contain at least 20% of a persons daily recommended value of fiber, or at least 5 g in the defined serving.
For a product to advertise a good amount of fiber, it must contain at least 10% of the recommended daily value of fiber, or between 2.5 g and 5 g in the defined serving.
Some snacks can help a person increase their fiber intake. The following snacks have good amounts of fiber, along with other nutrients.
Ways To Get More Fiber
Increasing the amount of fiber in your diet can allow you to reap great benefits, but know that a sudden increase in fiber consumption can lead to uncomfortable digestive symptoms such as bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, or cramps.
Take it slowincrease the fiber in your diet gradually, adding a bit more every few days. Spread your fiber intake throughout the day rather than cramming a lot of fiber into single meals or snacks, and drink plenty of water.
Some simple ways to start:
- Aim to eat three to five servings of non-starchy vegetables each day .
- Consume two servings of high-fiber fruits such as berries, apples, or pears daily.
- Include plenty of whole grains, such as whole-grain bread, oatmeal, and ancient grains .
- Snack on unsalted nuts .
- Sprinkle ground flax, hemp, or chia seeds into your yogurt.
- Toss legumes, such as chickpeas, into your salad for a protein and fiber boost.
- Make dessert recipes with an added emphasis on fiber.
- Try low-fat and unbuttered popcorn as a snack.
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Why Is Fiber So Beneficial To Your Health
Dietary fiber â found in nutrient-dense foods like veggies, fruits, legumes and whole grains â is a non-digestible carbohydrate, so it doesnât break down into glucose. Instead, fiber travels through your gastrointestinal tract and becomes food for your gut microbiome. When you consume fiber, your gut bacteria ferment it and produce many byproducts that promote well-functioning systems. One of the main byproducts are short-chain fatty acids , important signaling molecules that interact with the intestinal microbiome to increase the production of a number of key bioactives that appear to help steady blood glucose, regulate hunger, and reduce inflammation â all important for diabetes management.
Fiber is classified into categories such as solubility, viscosity and fermentability, each providing its own set of health benefits. For example, soluble fiber forms a gel-like consistency when mixed with liquid and is known to reduce spikes in blood glucose levels, keep you feeling full and aid in nutrient absorption. Insoluble fiber, by contrast, travels through your digestive tract mostly intact, pushing out unwanted waste in your gut and helping you avoid constipation. Learn more: What Is Fiber? Everything You Need To Know.
Only You Can Prevent Blood Sugar Spikes
Its annoying but true: The best way to lower your blood sugar is to avoid a spike in the first place.
Eating whole foods that are low in sugar and exercising regularly will help keep your blood sugar in check. This can be beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes, but medications may also be necessary to keep blood sugar in a healthy range.
To avoid food-based spikes, try to steer clear of added sugars in your diet. The FDA recommends consuming less than 200 calories a day from added sugars.
That sounds pretty simple, but when you realize that 16 ounces of orange juice has 240 calories , its easy to see how sugar consumption gets out of hand.
Its best to avoid all sugary drinks and check the labels. There are hidden sugars in everything from bread to turkey slices, so double-check your favorite foods to make sure you arent getting any unnecessary sweetness.
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Soluble Fiber May Improve Diabetes Control
4 Min Read
– People with diabetes who take soluble fiber supplements have slightly lower blood sugar than diabetics who dont add this type of fiber to their diets, a research review finds.
Researchers focused on supplements containing viscous fiber, a type of soluble fiber that forms a thick gel when mixed with water. Foods like legumes, asparagus, oats, and flax contain viscous fiber supplements with this type of fiber include guar gum, psyllium and pectin.
To examine the connection between viscous fiber supplements and blood sugar, researchers examined data from 28 clinical trials with a total of 1,394 participants with diabetes. People were randomly chosen to take viscous fiber supplements or to use other types of supplements without viscous fiber or no supplements at all.
Among the people taking viscous fiber supplements, half consumed doses above 13 grams daily, for periods ranging from three weeks to a year. Compared to participants who didnt take viscous fiber, those who did had better blood sugar control. They had lower levels of hemoglobin A1c, which reflects average blood sugar over about three months. They also had lower blood sugar levels on an empty stomach, known as fasting glucose levels.
In addition to HbA1c, other markers of diabetes including fasting glucose and insulin sensitivity were also improved.
SOURCE: bit.ly/2TenDoP Diabetes Care, online January 7, 2019.
What Foods Contain Fiber
There are two types of dietary fiber, and one can have more impact on your blood sugar than the other. Many foods contain both types of fiber, which is why you can never assume that the total grams of dietary fiber in food wont raise your blood sugar.
Soluble fiber: This type of fiber dissolves in water to form a thick gel-like substance in the stomach, explains the FDA. It is broken down by bacteria in the large intestine and provides some calories.
Insoluble fiber: This type of fiber does not dissolve in water. Instead, it passes through your digestive system and isnt broken down, which means it doesnt supply your body with additional calories.
- Whole-grain foods
There are no good or bad fibers. Both types of fiber are beneficial to your health and you should aim to eat a variety of high-fiber food. Just be aware that soluble fibers will impact your blood sugar.
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