Almost seventy percent of people who suffer a heart attack have type 2 diabetes or prediabetes. That’s because high blood sugar damages the arteries, and makes them targets for hardening or atherosclerosis.
This can cause high blood pressure, which, if not treated, can lead to trouble, including blood vessel damage, heart attack, and kidney failure.
In today’s video, we look at the top 17 foods that reduce blood sugar levels, and help your body use insulin.
Number 17. Okra.
Okra is naturally rich in blood-sugar-lowering compounds like polysaccharides and flavonoid antioxidants.
Rhamnogalacturonan is a natural compound found in okra that has powerful antidiabetic properties.
On top of that, okra also contains the flavonoids like quercetin, which helps regulate key signalling pathways involved in glucose metabolism. Quercetin has been shown to help reduce blood sugar levels and boost insulin sensitivity.
Number 16. Avocados.
Avocados are a wonderful source of healthy fats and contain other key nutrients that can help keep your blood sugar and insulin levels steady throughout the day.
The majority of healthy fats found in avocados are monounsaturated fats. Several studies have found that this type of fat can make you feel full longer and help reduce hunger by controlling the release of appetite hormones.
Number 15. Coffee.
According to a study from the University of California, Los Angeles, participants who drank four cups of caffeinated coffee daily were found to be 56% less likely to develop type 2 diabetes.
And if you’re trying to avoid caffeine, decaf coffee can also help. A 2006 study of 28,812 women found that those who drank six cups of decaffeinated coffee a day had a 22% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes when compared to those who didn’t drink any coffee.
Number 14. Apple Cider Vinegar.
Taking a spoonful of vinegar before meals and at bedtime has been shown in one study to lower post-meal glucose by 34%. In the study, participants were asked to consume 20 ml of apple cider vinegar with 40 ml of water.
Not only did vinegar slow down the absorption of carbohydrates into the blood, the study also found that it helped improve insulin sensitivity.
In addition, many other studies have shown consuming vinegar before going to bed can help reduce fasting blood glucose levels in the morning.
Number 13. Nuts and Seeds.
All varieties of nuts, except cashews, are extremely low on the glycemic index and have little to no impact on your blood sugar levels.
Nuts are also rich in minerals. Two of particular interest when it comes to managing blood sugar levels are selenium and magnesium.
Selenium is a powerful cancer-fighting mineral that also helps keep the thyroid gland healthy. The thyroid gland regulates your metabolism, and turns fat into energy.
According to a systematic review and meta-analysis in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, magnesium has been found to reduce fasting blood glucose levels and insulin resistance in people with type 2 diabetes or who are at risk of developing it.
Number 12. Seaweed.
An eight-week study of 60 Japanese people found that fucoxanthin, a compound naturally present in brown seaweed, may help improve blood sugar control.
Study participants who consumed 2 mg of fucoxanthin had improved blood sugar levels, compared to the group who didn’t receive any.
The study also noted additional improvements in blood sugar levels in those with a genetic disposition to insulin resistance.
Another compound in seaweed called alginate has been found to prevent blood sugar spikes in animals after they were fed a high-sugar meal.
Number 11. Olive Oil.
Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fat, a type of fat that researchers believe has many health benefits.
A Spanish study published in the scientific journal Diabetes Care found that a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil helped reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by almost 50% compared to a low-fat diet.
Other similar studies have shown that a Mediterranean-style diet rich in olive oil may prevent type 2 diabetes by improving blood sugar levels, insulin resistance and blood lipid levels.
In addition, consuming olive oil has also been shown to improve levels of adiponectin, which is a hormone your fat tissue produces, to help with insulin sensitivity and inflammation.
Individuals with low levels of adiponectin have been associated with several conditions, including obesity, type 2 diabetes and atherosclerosis.
Number 10. Grass-Fed Butter.
Butter is low glycemic and helps keep blood sugar levels stable, while also reducing appetite and sugar cravings.
Some studies suggest that consuming butyric acid, which can be found in butter, can help boost energy use and improve insulin sensitivity.
In addition, eating healthy fats can help our bodies absorb vital nutrients like calcium and fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.
Number 9. Green Tea.
A 2013 study published in the Diabetes and Metabolism Journal found that people who drank 6 cups of tea a day were 33% less likely to gain weight, develop insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes.
Green tea consumption has also been associated with decreased fasting glucose levels and A1C levels, as well as reduced fasting insulin levels. Researchers believe that the antioxidant activity of polyphenols and polysaccharides within green tea is responsible for these benefits.
Number 8. Coconut Oil.
A 2010 study published in the Indian Journal of Pharmacology found that a diet supplemented with coconut oil led to improved glucose tolerance levels, as well as a lowering of total cholesterol levels. Researchers attributed this effect to lauric acid, a medium chain triglyceride found in coconut oil.
Another 2009 study found that mice fed coconut oil for four weeks experienced lower insulin resistance and less body fat buildup. These effects were seen even without making any other changes in the rodent’s diets.
Number 7. Fermented Foods.
Kimchi and sauerkraut are packed with nutrients like probiotics, minerals, and antioxidants. Eating them regularly has been associated with improved blood sugar and insulin sensitivity.
Number 6. Beans.
Beans are a significant source of slow-burning carbohydrates, fiber, and protein, which can help you feel satiated and stabilize blood sugar levels.
Research studies have shown that bean, lentil, chickpea and soybean consumption can reduce insulin resistance and improve blood glucose control in patients with type 2 diabetes.
One thing to remember is that beans and other legumes contain more lectins and other digestive-irritants than most other types of foods. For individuals with sensitive digestive systems, beans can make digestive problems worse.
Number 5. Dark Leafy Green Vegetables.
According to a study published in the British Medical Journal, adding more green leafy vegetables to your diet can significantly reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Leafy greens are packed with magnesium, fiber, and phytonutrients, which can help lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin control.
In addition, the high concentrations of polyphenols and vitamin C, both of which have antioxidant properties, are also believed to play a role in regulating blood sugar levels.
Number 4. Cruciferous Vegetables.
Test-tube, animal, and human studies have found that sulforaphane-rich foods like broccoli exert powerful antidiabetic effects, helping enhance insulin sensitivity and reduce blood sugar levels.
Cruciferous vegetables also contain a natural compound called glucoraphanin, which has been found to help promote insulin sensitivity and reduce blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
Number 3. Garlic and Onion.
Allicin, which is responsible for the pungent smell of onion and garlic, is one of the main active components that’s been found to have several therapeutic effects in the body, like promoting insulin sensitivity, reducing blood sugar levels, regulating lipid metabolism and limiting inflammation.
Number 2. Berries and Cherries.
Many studies have linked the consumption of berries with improved blood sugar control. A 2019 study found that eating 2 cups of red raspberries with a high-carb meal significantly reduced post-meal insulin and blood sugar levels in adults with prediabetes, compared with a control group.
Other studies have shown that a compound called anthocyanin, which is commonly found in berries, can benefit blood sugar management by enhancing insulin sensitivity and improving glucose clearance from the blood.
Number 1. Dark Chocolate.
This delicious treat contains several antioxidants which are effective at curbing your appetite as well as improving glucose tolerance.
In addition, dark chocolate is also rich in magnesium, a mineral that helps control blood sugar and helps you feel calm and relaxed, while lowering your blood pressure.
There you have it! 17 amazing superfoods that can help you lower your blood sugar levels and improve your overall health for the better.
To learn about a “10-Second-Trick” that resets your blood sugar, click the link below.
As always, this video is educational and does not constitute medical advice. We are not doctors.
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And now over to you! What are you doing daily to prevent your blood sugar levels from spiking?
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