How A Diet Rich in Superfoods Can Help Manage Your Diabetes

It’s the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, but much of diabetes management comes from drug intake alone, with little focus placed on the specific nutrition needs of diabetic patients. Certainly, a nutritious diet is always recommended, but navigating the world of diet plans is difficult for any person, let alone one someone managing insulin resistance.

Superfoods, foods named after their ‘super’ nutrient-dense quality, are a diabetic’s best friend. By definition, they pack the right kind of nutrients into a small space and, therefore, tend to be fairly low on the glycemic index. They also provide plenty of overall benefits, such as satiety and digestive properties that make sticking to a nutritious diet easier.

The Breakdown
90% of all diabetes cases worldwide are Type 2 diabetes. The primary issue of Type 2 diabetes is insulin resistance. Food is broken down into energy-producing glucose, which travels to your cells to fuel your body. Insulin is created by the pancreas and secreted into your body; this occurs in particularly high amounts when there is too much glucose in the body. Insulin tells the body to convert the excess blood sugar into fat storage, which is where much of the arsenal for the war on sugar stems from. Over time, the pancreas loses its ability to keep producing high levels of insulin and drugs are required to help the body maintain a healthy and steady glucose level.

Risk management
While Type 1 diabetes is with you for life, the jury is still out on whether it’s medically possible to reverse Type 2 diabetes. There is certainly significant evidence that suggests that patients can slow the progress and stop symptoms through exercise and healthy eating, particularly in the early stages of the disease. Essentially, a healthy diet helps to control and restore your body’s blood sugar levels, which is a crucial part of managing the disease. So, what foods should you be incorporating that can help you to do this?

Nuts
We mentioned satiety, which is the feeling of fullness earlier. This is essential to any nutritious diet in order to make it work for your lifestyle. Hunger pangs, fatigue, and brain fog are all very real side effects of restrictive diets. While, for some, this can simply be the catalyst to binge eating and falling off the wagon, for those with diabetes, these side effects can be serious and need to be managed with care.

The right amount of good quality fat rests between 30-50 grams a day of unsaturated. Good fats help trigger leptin, a hormone in your body that lets you know you’re full. A handful of almonds can be eaten as a snack, chopped into a cooked meal, or added to a salad. At roughly 15 grams of unsaturated fat, they are a great way of helping you to hit that 30-50 gram goal.

Berries
You are probably already aware of the hype surrounding blueberries as being packed full of free radical fighting antioxidants. However, all berries serve as fantastic sources of fiber, as well as providers of some much-needed relief for a sweet tooth without causing a dramatic blood sugar increase.

So, what is it about fiber that is important for insulin resistance? Fiber slows the movement of food through the small intestine, preventing the sugar rush that you find in sweet foods low in fiber. Soluble fiber is particularly good at doing this and berries are a rich source of this. Furthermore, soluble fiber can also be found in high amounts in other foods, such as apples, bananas, collard greens, brussel sprouts, and oats.

Beans
This is one food that belongs on the soluble fiber list. Just half a cup of beans gives you one-third of your daily fiber requirements, as well as the same amount of protein as an ounce of meat minus the saturated fat. Basically, beans are the textbook definition of a superfood. Beans can easily be added to salads or cooked meals. Just make sure you rinse them well first to remove the excess starch coating that can prevent good digestion.

A healthy, nutrient-dense diet can go a long way in managing Type 2 diabetes, due to the combination of foods rich in healthy fats and fiber that work to restore healthy blood glucose levels in your body. Superfoods that have been sourced directly from the farmer are the most ideal for your diet, as the unhindered process of production and transport preserves the nutrients. Nowadays, it’s easy to obtain these nutrient-rich foods, with the likes of Zen Spirit Foods — organic food distributor that provides superfood supplements that can significantly assist with your overall nutritional health and wellbeing.

 

Image courtesy of [start08] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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