KEEP YOUR BLOOD SUGARS IN CHECK THIS HOLIDAY SEASON
The holidays are finally here and while we are nearing the end of diabetes awareness month, we wanted to share some holiday inspired superfoods you can include in your diabetes diet. But first, let’s explain what superfoods are. Superfoods are nutrition powerhouses that pack large amounts of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that provide health benefits. There are many kinds of superfoods, some include some fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains and more. This holiday season, include these 6 super foods in your diet, to better regulate your blood sugars while also enjoying the great taste and amazing health benefits.
Cranberries are in season and we are loving them. There are so many great reasons to enjoy this power packed fruit. Cranberries are great for its antioxidant power, which help to protect cells against diseases including cancer and heart disease. With its low sugar and high fiber content, glucose absorbs more slowly which helps to regulate blood sugar. Tip: Make an easy cranberry sauce and use it as a topping for desserts, oatmeal, salads and sandwiches!
Oh the wonderful flavor of cinnamon. A great addition to pies, cakes, hot chocolates and teas! You must know that the latest research suggests that this delicious spice can help reduce blood sugar. Here’s why. Cinnamon is rich in a mineral called chromium, which enhances the effects of insulin (a hormone produced by the pancreas to help regulate your blood sugar). Chromium is also loaded with antioxidants to protect you from cancer while lowering inflammation in the body, further guarding you from diabetes and heart disease. These reasons make it a superfood in our eyes! Tip: Sprinkle some cinnamon in your favorite smoothie, coffee or hot chocolate this holiday season!
3. COLLARD GREENS
Collard greens are a holiday favorite and the great thing about them is that they are very nutrient dense. Rich in vitamins A, C, K, B, calcium, magnesium, protein, fiber and iron, these dark leafy greens are perfect for a diabetic diet. Collard greens are also a good source of alpha-lipic acid (ALA), a micronutrient that helps reduces blood sugar by helping to improve insulin resistance. Tip: Steam some greens for five minutes to lock in all the nutrients and add some lean meat for an extra dose of protein!
According to the American Diabetes Association and the National Peanut Board, nuts can improve blood sugar control in type 2 diabetes. They have a low glycemic index (a measure of how quickly the blood sugar rises after eating a specific amount of food) causing it to have a lower impact on blood glucose. Not only can they be apart of a healthy diabetes diet, they can add flavor, variety and substance to meals. Tip: Portion them out before eating and consume in moderation. Avoid salted, sugared and chocolate covered varieties as they can add more calories, salt and carbohydrates.
Beans are an amazing combination of high quality carbohydrates, lean protein and cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber, which will help control blood sugar levels and keep you feeling fuller, much longer. There are so many varieties of beans including kidney, black, white, lima and pinto. The American Diabetes Association advises people with diabetes to add beans (either cooked dried beans or reduced sodium canned beans) to several meals each week. Tip: Add beans in salads, soups or even rice mixed dishes!
With its very strong, delicate and nutty flavor, there’s something to love about cooking with garlic, especially in holiday inspired dishes. Research suggests that consuming moderate amounts of garlic can help regulate blood glucose and potentially stop or lower the effects of some diabetes complications. Garlic is also a very good source of vitamin C, calcium, iron and phosphorus aiding in bone health, immune health and heart health. Tip: Add garlic to your pasta dishes, salads, soups and vegetables for more flavor and more nutrition!
For more information on how you can better manage your diabetes during the holidays, visit the American Diabetes Association.