Two words come to mind when talking about type 2 diabetes: insulin resistance. Insulin resistance occurs when your cells stop responding to a hormone called insulin, which signals cells to take glucose out of the bloodstream and use it as fuel for energy.
Having high insulin resistance increases your risk for prediabetes, type 2 diabetes and a host of other serious health problems, including heart attacks, strokes and cancer.
In today’s video, we’re going to explore the top 13 foods to reverse insulin resistance. Be sure to watch until the end to learn about the variety of foods you can eat to help improve insulin sensitivity. So if you’re ready, let’s get into it.
As always, this video is educational and does not construe medical advice; we are not doctors.
Number 1 – Avocados
Being a rich source of monounsaturated fat and fiber, avocado contains a fat molecule called Avocatin B (AvoB). This molecule helps regulate blood glucose levels and reduce insulin resistance in the pancreas.
Numb 2 – Apple Cider Vinegar
This amazing fermented food can help prevent blood sugar spikes by slowing down the digestion and absorption of carbs.
In one study, participants who drank the equivalent of 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar before a meal reported a 34% increase in insulin sensitivity.
According to researchers, the presence of acetic acid, which is commonly found in vinegar products, is responsible for its efficacy as an antidiabetic food.
Number 3 – Black and Green Tea
Tea is rich in polyphenols, which are natural compounds that have health benefits, such as reducing inflammation and helping to fight cancer.
Many studies have found that polyphenols in black and green tea encourage healthy insulin secretion, while also reducing blood sugar levels.
This is because these teas contain a natural compound called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which has been found to improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar levels.
Drink a cup of tea after your meal to help prevent your blood sugar from spiking.
Number 4 – Nuts
Nuts contain very little to no carbohydrates, which helps prevent high blood sugar levels. These energy dense foods have been found to be effective in reducing insulin resistance and lowering fasting blood sugar levels. The next time you’re hungry, snack on some nuts instead of cookies or potato chips.
Number 5 – Broccoli Sprouts
This nutritious green vegetable is rich in antioxidants, fiber, and important nutrients that do wonders for managing your blood sugar levels.
A study published in the International Journal of Food Science Nutrition found that broccoli sprouts were able to improve insulin sensitivity in individuals with type 2 diabetes.
On top of that, a team of researchers found that sulforaphanes, which is a naturally occurring compound found in broccoli sprouts, can help protect blood vessels from damage caused by high blood sugar levels.
Number 6 – Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are a great addition to many healthy recipes because of their low glycemic index. Chia seeds are packed with fiber, calcium, and essential fatty acids that help keep your blood sugar levels balanced. Many studies have found that consuming chia seeds can help reduce insulin resistance.
Number 7 – Garlic
This kitchen staple comes with a lot of intriguing benefits for health. Garlic contains allicin, which is a natural anti-inflammatory.
Reports show adding garlic to your diet can lower fasting blood glucose, which is your blood sugar level when you haven’t eaten. Other studies have found that garlic can help improve insulin sensitivity.
Number 8 – Spinach
Similar to other leafy green vegetables, spinach is high in fiber and nutrients like magnesium and vitamin A. These nutrients have been found to help lower blood sugar levels. Eating at least one serving of leafy greens per day lowers your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Number 9 – Blueberries
These berries contain plenty of dietary fiber and have one the highest concentrations of anthocyanins. Anthocyanins have antioxidant properties and can also help slow down digestion. One study found that adding 22.5g of blueberries to smoothies can help improve insulin sensitivity and prevent blood sugar spikes.
Number 10 – Turmeric
Curcumin is an active compound in turmeric that’s credited with many health benefits. Many studies have found that curcumin can improve insulin sensitivity, which leads to lower blood sugar levels.
Number 11 – Cinnamon
Cinnamon has been touted for its amazing health benefits since ancient times. Cinnamon lowers insulin resistance by helping receptors for glucose on muscle cells become more available.
A meta-analysis of 10 studies found that consuming cinnamon produced a significant decrease in glucose, total cholesterol, LDL and triglycerides (fat in the blood).
The best type of cinnamon to add to your diet is ceylon, because it offers all of the health-promoting properties of cinnamon but without the coumarin, which is toxic to humans.
Number 12 – Omega-3s
Omega-3 fatty acids present in fatty fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel have been found to improve insulin sensitivity among individuals with metabolic disorders such as obesity or type 2 diabetes.
Number 13 – Fenugreek seeds
The use of fenugreek seeds, either baked into bread or eaten as a whole, has been linked with decreased insulin resistance and improved glycemic control.
There you have it! The top 13 foods you can eat to reverse insulin resistance.
To get the most from these foods, try intermittent fasting every now and then and make sure to engage in some form of physical exercise that you enjoy on a daily basis.
While insulin sensitivity decreases with age, the driving forces behind insulin resistance include excess belly fat, a lack of exercise, smoking, skimping on sleep, and pesticide exposure.
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And now over to you: What foods do you take, or plan to take, to improve your insulin sensitivity?
Leave your comment below. We’d love to hear from you!
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