Diabetes is one of the most prevalent health problems in today’s world. The ugly truth about this disease is that recently, it has begun to prey on both adults and children. The biggest culprit for the vigorous spread of diabetes is a poor lifestyle. Bad food choices like more junk foods, canned and sugary or starchy foods, sedentary lifestyle, lack of exercise, and stress majorly contribute to the occurrence of this disease.
Diabetes is mainly of two types, Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 has predominantly been observed to affect juveniles and happens due to low or almost no production of insulin due to the self-destruction of pancreas cells. Type 1 is very rare and comparatively more complicated to treat.
The Type 2 diabetes, however, is quite common. In this case, the insulin production continues but our body develops a resistance towards insulin. For this reason, the glucose remains in the blood and cannot be processed or transferred into the cells. Research proves that Type 2 diabetes is mainly a result of unhealthy lifestyle choices along with many other factors responsible for this chronic health problem. This means that there are fair chances to control and treat Type 2 diabetes by making natural and healthy changes in our lifestyle.
We spend a huge portion of our lives eating. Changing what we eat can bring drastic improvements in our health. But that does not mean we have to compromise on flavors and variety and just end up with a few restricted boring dishes. There are plenty of healthy options that you can enjoy and have fun with.
These are certain foods which are quite effective in curbing the maleficence of diabetes and in long run can also help us get rid of this illness completely.
1. Bitter Gourd:
Also known as Bitter Melon, it is the most effective vegetable to be included in the diet in order to control diabetes. First of all, it is rich in fibers, calcium, and magnesium. Apart from that, the carotenoids present in bitter gourd act as antioxidants and help in regulating the hormones and alleviating the insulin resistance. Bitter gourd can be fried as chips, squeezed into juice, or baked.
Prefer more of dark and red beans, like kidney beans, chickpeas, legumes, and lentils. Canned beans are very high in sodium content. So, it is better to use freshly soaked and boiled beans instead of the canned ones. Beans are a great source of proteins and fibers and a healthy replacement of meat. They are also very satiating and make you feel full for hours.
3. Green Leafy Vegetables:
Think of everything that is fresh, green, and leafy. That being said, include lots of spinach, kale, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflowers, artichokes, turnips, asparagus, mustard greens, bok choy, and lettuce in your diet. Bake them, chop them and throw into a big salad bowl, use them in soups, or whatever form you like. You can play with all the greens and enjoy the benefits of lowering the bad cholesterol and inflammation from the body, along with increasing lots of fiber and magnesium intake.
Opt for healthier nuts and seeds. Almonds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, chia seeds, and flax seeds are some of the healthiest options. They are called superfoods for a reason. Nuts and seeds are packed with high-quality proteins, fibers, vitamins, and minerals, like magnesium, potassium, and even calcium. They are full of antioxidants and help in lowering the bad cholesterol, i.e. LDL in the body.
5. Proteins And Omega-3 Fatty Acids:
Sticking to foods that are abundant in proteins and omega-3 fatty acids is a smart and healthy strategy. Proteins help in building and strengthening the body cells and make the sugar-absorption process slow. Omega-3 fatty acids control the inflammation, stabilize the blood sugar, and also reduce the chances of heart problems which is often the result of diabetes. Some of the rich sources of proteins and omega-3 fatty acids are fishes like salmon, tuna, nuts, seeds, eggs, flax seeds, walnuts, and sea vegetables.
6. Non-starchy Vegetables:
As the name suggests, they have a very low carb content, so eat them as much as you like, because they also come with high fibers, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. Some of the most common and popular non-starchy veggies that you can gorge on are artichokes, asparagus, mushrooms, celery, eggplants, cucumber, onions, radishes, okra, broccoli, brussels sprouts. You can enjoy them as salads, smoothies, or bake them.
Cinnamon is an awesome and flavorful spice to go with, and is gifted with strong medicinal properties. A cinnamon stick can be dipped in warm water and sipped as tea. Roasted and ground cinnamon can be sprinkled on various dishes. The spice is known to lower the blood sugar level, decrease LDL and increase the HDL in our body.
8. Healthy Fats:
The healthy fats are good options to satiate your hungry belly without risking or disturbing your blood sugar level. Some of the examples of healthy fats are avocados, virgin coconut oil, nuts and seeds, eggs, some fishes, and olives etc. The reason these fats are good is that they have a very low GI (Glycemic Index). Stick to foods with a low GI, as fats with high GI can spike the blood sugar and could be quite harmful to the body.
9. Whole Fibers:
Instead of refined flours prefer whole grains like brown rice, millets, oatmeals, barley, quinoa, and rye etc. They are coarse and soluble in water with high content of proteins, fibers, vitamins, fats, and minerals.
10. Green Tea:
Most of the time, our hunger is false. The body is usually dehydrated and we mistake it for hunger. At such times, try using a glass or two of warm water. You could also use some herbal tea to give flavor to the day. Green tea, in that case, is a very beneficial beverage. It contains catechins, antioxidants, and is helpful in reducing bad cholesterol and keeping blood sugar level in check.