It’s stunning, but around 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes every year. Yes, a diabetes diagnosis can certainly change your life, and half the battle is learning how to live with your diagnosis. Adjusting your diet can make all the difference when it comes to managing your diabetes. Certain foods have the power to reduce inflammation, lower blood sugar levels, and reduce insulin resistance to help your body fight back. (1)
Here are seven foods that fight back against diabetes:
1. Olive Oil
Olive Oil is considered one of the healthiest monounsaturated fats to include in your diet. For one thing, it’s rich in antioxidants that help protect the heart by fighting off free radicals. In addition, olive oil helps reduce fasting blood glucose levels. Olive oil may help with prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes, so don’t be afraid to add a little to your diet – but on salads or steamed veggies. Avoid cooking with it, as the valuable nutrients will be lost. (2)
Eat your spinach, Popeye! He had good reason to eat it, too. Spinach has a lot going for it. First, it contains alpha-lipoic acid, which has been studied for its effects on treating pain associated with diabetic neuropathy. Neuropathy is a form of nerve damage related to diabetes that can become pretty painful. (3) Spinach also helps to reduce blood sugar and fight inflammation in the body. The fiber content doesn’t hurt either. (4)
Yum, blueberries! Just take a look at that rich blue pigment, and you’ll see the phytonutrients that help protect against T2D. Blueberries are packed full of nutrients and fiber that have positive effects on blood glucose levels. A protein found in blueberries known as adiponectin can help the body maintain low blood sugar levels, as well, while increasing the body’s sensitivity to insulin. (5)
4. Dark Chocolate
Just in case you needed a reason to add a little bit of dark chocolate to your diet, it’s full of flavonoids that carry a myriad of benefits. Improving insulin sensitivity is probably the greatest benefit for a diabetic. Dark chocolate also helps with glucose metabolism and oxidative stress (thank you, antioxidants!). The flavonoids in dark chocolate also help to lower blood pressure levels.And remember, a little goes a long way! (6)
Not only does cinnamon add a sweet and spicy flavor to your meals, it also has anti-inflammatory properties that help decrease inflammation in the body related to diabetes. It also has the ability to lower blood sugar levels and improve the effectiveness of insulin.
Walnuts, like spinach, also contain alpha-linolenic acid, a fatty acid with potent anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have shown that walnuts may also help protect the body against arthritis, heart disease and even cancer.
7. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes have a lower glycemic index compared to other starches. Consuming sweet potatoes in moderation can help stabilize blood sugar levels. A flavonoid found in sweet potatoes known as anthocyanins has anti-inflammatory properties.
Watch the video below for more information about using raw, natural foods to manage and even reverse diabetes: