Taking positive steps to manage type 2 diabetes need not mean living a life of deprivation. Type 2 diabetes is caused by excess glucose in the blood as a result of the pancreas not making insulin, together with insulin resistance (body responds poorly to insulin). Research shows that there are a lot of healthy, nutritious foods out there that can improve blood sugar levels and help those living with diabetes to manage the disease more effectively.
Here are five foods great at helping to regulate blood sugar levels for those people living with type 2 diabetes.
They are very rich in magnesium, which plays a significant role in improving insulin response and reducing blood sugar levels. Almonds also reduce inflammation and oxidative stress caused by diabetes, thus decreasing the risk of diabetes-related complications such as heart disease.
How To Take It: Eat two to three almonds after meals to have better control over your blood sugar levels.
2) Dark Chocolate
Cocoa in dark chocolate has been found to improve insulin sensitivity, particularly for diabetes. Your chocolate however must typically show 85 percent cocoa or more. Steve Atkins, Professor of Diabetes and Endocrinology, who led a study published in Diabetic Medicine, says, “Chocolate with a high cocoa content should be included in the diet of individuals with type 2 diabetes as part of a sensible, balanced approach to diet and lifestyle. This study demonstrates that it can offer a potential reduction in cardiovascular risk without detrimental risks on weight, insulin resistance or glycemic control.”
How To Take It: Bite into a piece of dark chocolate once every day to improve insulin sensitivity and manage your blood sugar levels.
Several studies have shown that Cinnamaldehyde compounds present in cinnamon interfere with digestive enzymes, which slows glucose absorption and lowers blood sugar. Another laboratory study found that cinnamon improves the effectiveness of insulin by more than 20-fold.
How To Take It: Take ¼tsp of cinnamon powder with a cup of warm water before meals to manage the fluctuation in blood sugar levels.
4) Green Tea
Polyphenol compounds present in green tea are thought to influence glucose metabolism. A review of large studies confirmed that people who drank green tea stood at an 18 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
How To Take It: Sip a cup of green tea twice daily to improve your blood sugar levels.
What is fenugreek? Is a plant that produces edible seeds and leaves. It is high in soluble fiber, which helps lower blood sugar by slowing down digestion and absorption of carbohydrates. A study done on 25 type 2 diabetic people found that consuming fenugreek extract daily increased insulin sensitivity by 53 percent.
How To Take It: Add six leaves of fenugreek to three cups of water. Simmer for 30 minutes, strain and cool. Drink this twice daily to help manage your blood sugar levels.