Yesterday was World Diabetes Day. Help your shoppers keep their blood sugar balanced.
Diabetes is caused by an imbalance in blood sugar and impairment of insulin use, often called insulin resistance. Insulin is similar to a key that opens the door to let much needed fuel (glucose) into our cells. When we have too much blood sugar, due to diet and stress, insulin does not respond as well, and can lead to increased blood sugar readings and type 2 diabetes. High blood sugar is very inflammatory, and people with diabetes may develop serious complications such as heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, blindness, and premature death.
Here are eight foods that help balance blood sugar.
Apples. An apple a day may not only keep the doctor away but may also keep insulin balanced. Apples are also loaded with quercetin, known for it’s ability to reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease.
Beans. They may just be the ideal plant based food: protein, fiber, vitamins, and healthy fats. In addition, the fiber in beans helps you balance blood sugar levels while providing steady, slow-burning energy. Studies of high fiber diets and blood sugar levels have shown the dramatic benefits.
Berries. One of the most blood sugar friendly fruits, berries are an excellent source of quercetin, a flavonoid, which has been shown to reduce blood sugar levels. Berries are also rich in fiber.
Chocolate. Yes, you read that right! Cacao, raw unsweetened chocolate, improves insulin sensitivity. It’s loaded with vitamins, minerals, and powerful antioxidants. When shopping, look for raw cacao beans, nibs or powder. You can use it in a smoothie, or instead of coco powder in recipes. Get creative!
Cinnamon. Real cinnamon called Ceylon cinnamon has been clinically proven to stabilize blood sugar and to have a healing effect on the pancreas. Studies have shown that eating just a ½ teaspoon of cinnamon a day can make cells more sensitive to insulin and convert blood sugar into energy more easily.
Oatmeal. A breakfast favorite, and for good reason. The fiber in oatmeal helps curb appetite, decreases risk for both colon cancer and high cholesterol, can help balance blood sugar.
Sweet potatoes. These spuds are deceivingly sweet, but are a rich source in complex carbs. Complex carbs help to slow the release of glucose in your blood stream to even out the spikes and dips that cause mood and energy imbalances and ultimately more sugar cravings.
Vinegar. This pungent liquid is not just for salad dressing (or cleaning the house), it actually does appear to help with blood sugar control. Arizona State University’s Nutrition Program Director, Carol Johnston PhD has been studying apple cider vinegar for years and believes it can have pronounced affects on blood sugar. Johnston says that the vinegar prevents at least some dietary starches from being digested and thus raising blood sugar.
Keep in mind that having a diet rich in all fruits and vegetables will help contribute to a healthy blood sugar balance!