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13 foods that are easily available to help diabetics lower their blood sugar

KONTAN.CO.ID – Jakarta. Diabetes is one of the most common diseases in Indonesia. In addition to taking medication from a doctor, diabetics can consume a number of foods that can lower blood sugar levels in the body.

Launching various sources, here are the types of blood sugar-lowering foods that are good for consumption:

1. Broccoli

Launching the Health Line, sulforaphane compounds are a type of isothiocyanate that has blood sugar-lowering properties. This plant chemical is produced when broccoli is chopped or chewed due to a reaction between a glucosinolate compound called glucoraphanin and the enzyme myrosinase.

Animal and human studies have shown that broccoli extract rich in sulforaphane has a strong antidiabetic effect, helping to increase insulin sensitivity and reduce blood sugar and markers of oxidative stress. Broccoli sprouts are also vegetables that can lower blood sugar

Broccoli sprouts are a great source of glucosinolates, such as glucorafanine, which have been shown to help improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes, especially when made as a powder or extract. Keep in mind that the best way to increase sulforaphane availability is to enjoy broccoli and broccoli sprouts raw or lightly steamed.

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2. Seafood

Seafood, including fish and shellfish, offers a valuable source of protein, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that can help regulate blood sugar levels. Protein is very important for controlling blood sugar.

This helps slow digestion and prevents post-meal blood sugar spikes, as well as increasing feelings of fullness. Protein can also help prevent overeating and increase excess body fat loss, two effects that are important for healthy blood sugar levels.

High intake of fatty fish such as salmon and sardines has been shown to help improve blood sugar regulation. For example, a study in 68 overweight or obese adults who consumed 26 ounces (750 grams) of fatty fish per week had a significant increase in post-meal blood sugar levels, compared with those who ate lean fish.

3. Good

Brightly colored and packed with fiber and antioxidants, pumpkin is a great choice for blood sugar regulation. In fact, pumpkin is reported to have been widely used as a traditional diabetes medicine in many countries such as Mexico and Iran.

Apart from containing fiber and antioxidants, pumpkin is also rich in carbohydrates called polysaccharides. Polysaccharides have been studied for their blood sugar regulatory potential. Treatment with pumpkin extract and powder alone has been shown to significantly reduce blood sugar levels in both human and animal studies.

However, more research is needed to determine how whole squash, such as when eaten roasted or steamed, can benefit blood sugar. Apart from the meat, pumpkin seeds can also be consumed and are useful as a vegetable to lower blood sugar.

Pumpkin seeds contain healthy fats and protein, making them an excellent choice for controlling blood sugar as well. A 2018 study of 40 people found that consuming 2 ounces (65 grams) of pumpkin seeds reduced post-meal blood sugar by 35 percent, compared with a control group.

4. Nuts

Research has shown that eating nuts can be an effective way to help regulate blood sugar levels. A study in 25 people with type 2 diabetes showed that eating nuts and almonds throughout the day as part of a low-carb diet can reduce fasting and post-meal blood sugar levels.

Additionally, a review found that a diet that emphasized nuts at an average daily intake of 2 ounces (56 grams) significantly reduced fasting blood sugar and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), a marker of long-term blood sugar control, compared with a control diet at people with type 2 diabetes.

5. Lentil beans

Lentils can be used as blood sugar-lowering foods because they are rich in nutrients, such as magnesium, fiber, and protein. The content of these nutrients is reported to help lower blood sugar levels.

Lentils are very high in soluble fiber and resistant starch, which help slow digestion and can improve blood sugar response after meals. For example, a study in 12 women showed that adding black beans or green beans to a rice meal significantly lowered blood sugar levels after meals, compared to eating only rice. Many other studies have shown that eating lentils not only benefits blood sugar, it may also help protect against the development of diabetes.

6. Berries

A number of studies have linked berry intake to improved blood sugar control. Because the berries are loaded with fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, they are an excellent choice for people with blood sugar management problems.

A 2019 study found that eating 2 cups (250 grams) of red raspberries on a high-carbohydrate diet significantly reduced post-meal insulin and blood sugar in adults with prediabetes, compared to a control group. Apart from raspberries, research has shown that strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries can also be beneficial in the management of blood sugar levels by increasing insulin sensitivity and increasing the clearance of glucose from the blood.

7. Avocado

Apart from being soft and delicious, avocado can offer tremendous benefits as a blood sugar lowering fruit. Avocados are a fruit that is rich in healthy fats, fiber, vitamins and minerals, so adding them to your diet can control or even lower blood sugar levels.

Numerous studies have revealed that avocado can help lower blood sugar levels and protect the body from developing metabolic syndrome, a group of conditions, including high blood pressure and high blood sugar.

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8. Oats or bran

Including oats and bran in your diet can help control blood sugar levels because these two foods are high in soluble fiber, which has been shown to have blood sugar-reducing properties. An analysis of 16 studies found that oat intake could significantly reduce HbA1c and fasting blood sugar levels, compared to a control diet.

Meanwhile, a small study in 10 people found that drinking 7 ounces (200 mL) of water mixed with 1 ounce (27.3 grams) of bran before eating white bread significantly reduced post-meal blood sugar, compared to drinking plain water.

9. Citrus fruits

Although many citrus fruits are sweet, research shows that citrus fruits can help lower blood sugar levels. Citrus fruits are considered low glycemic fruits because they don’t affect blood sugar as much as other types of fruit such as watermelon and pineapple. Many types of citrus fruits are packed with fiber and contain plant compounds such as naringenin, a polyphenol that has strong antidiabetic properties. Eating whole citrus fruits can help improve insulin sensitivity, reduce HbA1c, and protect against developing diabetes.

10. Kefir and yogurt

Kefir and yogurt are fermented milk products that can help regulate blood sugar. Research has linked kefir and yogurt intake with better blood sugar control. For example, an 8-week study in 60 people with type 2 diabetes showed that drinking 20 ounces (600 mL) of probiotic-rich kefir per day significantly reduced fasting blood sugar and HbA1c, compared to drinking kefir that does not contain probiotics.

A 4-week study in 32 adults showed that consuming 5 ounces (150 grams) of yogurt daily decreased blood sugar levels appreciably.

11. Eggs

Eggs are a very nutritious food because they provide many nutrients, ranging from protein, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Several studies have linked egg consumption with better blood sugar control.

A study of 42 adults who were overweight or obese and either prediabetes or type 2 diabetes showed that eating one large egg per day led to a 4.4 percent reduction in fasting blood sugar levels, as well as increased insulin sensitivity, compared to an egg replacement meal.

12. Call

Apples contain soluble fiber and plant compounds, including quercetin, chlorogenic acid, and gallic acid, all of which can help reduce blood sugar and protect against diabetes.

A study that included data from more than 187,000 people found that a higher intake of certain fruits, especially blueberries, grapes, and apples, was associated with a significantly lower risk of type 2 diabetes. Additionally, a study in 18 women found that eating apples 30 minutes before eating rice significantly reduced post-meal blood sugar, compared to eating only rice.

13. Garlic

Launching Medical News Today, garlic is a popular ingredient in traditional medicine for diabetes and various other conditions. The compounds in garlic can help lower blood sugar by increasing insulin sensitivity and secretion.

In a 2013 study, 60 people with type 2 diabetes and obesity were asked to take metformin alone or a combination of metformin and garlic twice daily after meals for 12 weeks. People can eat raw garlic, add it to salads, or use it in cooked food.

This article has been published on Kompas.com with the title “18 Blood Sugar Lowering Foods to Overcome Diabetes“,
Author: Irawan Sapto Adhi
Editor: Irawan Sapto Adhi

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