A healthy diet is extremely important for everyone, but it’s especially important for diabetics. Many foods we consume are turned into glucose (sugar), which the body uses for energy during the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
When the pancreas fails to produce the hormone insulin, blood sugar cannot get into the body’s cells. (Fortunately, you can help to prevent and even reverse this condition with the diabetes-fighting foods listed below!
According to the annual National Diabetes Statistics Report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 9.3% of Americans suffer from type 1 or type 2 diabetes—that’s more than 29 million people!
In fact, it is the seventh most common cause of death in the U.S. The disease can also snowball, and lead to many other serious health conditions, including blindness, nerve disorders, stroke, kidney disease, and heart disease.
Natural Foods That Reverse Diabetes
Luckily, diabetics can help reverse the condition with simple dietary changes. Food is definitely an important medicine for people with diabetes. What you eat can make all the difference between reversing the disease or making the condition even worse.
What foods should diabetics avoid?
They are likely some former favorites, such as bacon, French fries, and dairy products. A person with diabetes should stay away from processed foods, especially refined carbohydrates. For instance, pizza night should likely be canceled.
Other high-glycemic-index foods diabetics should avoid include many wheat flour products, white potatoes, white rice, candy, sodas, many cereal products, and especially sugar itself. Alcohol and caffeine consumption should also be limited. Fruits high in natural sugar, such as bananas, peaches, and nectarines, should also be avoided.
Instead, you should focus on low-glycemic-load foods that reverse diabetes and control your blood sugar levels. The best anti-diabetes diet should mainly include whole, nutrient-dense, and natural foods that contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, and also help to detoxify the body.
So what foods are appropriate for a natural diabetes treatment?
9 Leafy Greens: Superheroes of the Diabetic’s Plate
Leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables are loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals. They are also foods that rank low on the glycemic index, which means that they help to stabilize blood sugar levels. Researchers believe that a deficiency in magnesium reduces insulin production and increases insulin resistance.
Broccoli, spinach, collard greens, and other leafy green vegetables are high sources of magnesium, and can help combat magnesium deficiency complications. These green vegetables are also good sources of dietary fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants, such as vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, and zinc.
Evidence also shows leafy greens are among the top foods that reverse diabetes. In a 2014 meta-analysis published in the journal BMJ Open, researchers found that the consumption of green leafy vegetables can drastically lower type 2 diabetes risk.
Broccoli, in particular, contains specific chemicals that may help prevent damaged blood vessels in diabetics. In a study published in the journal Diabetes in 2008, researchers found that the sulforaphanes in broccoli promote the production of the protective enzymes that limit diabetes-induced cell damage.
Heart disease is the number one cause of death for diabetics, and conditions such as strokes and heart attacks are largely associated with blood vessel damage. The increased consumption of cruciferous vegetables therefore reduces cardiovascular disease risk in diabetics.
Broccoli sprouts are also important foods that reverse diabetes. The sulforaphanes in broccoli sprouts are actually 20-times more potent than broccoli. In a 2012 randomized double-blind study published in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, broccoli sprout powder significantly improved insulin resistance in type 2 diabetic patients. The study observed 63 diabetics during the month-long trial. Another four-week trial from 2011 found that broccoli sprout powder reduced oxidative stress in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Sulforaphanes also play an important role in the body’s natural detoxification processes. The phytochemicals help enzymes transform destructive cancerous chemicals into easy-to-eliminate substances.
Swiss chard, kale, green cabbage, arugula, and romaine lettuce are other nutrient-dense leafy greens that can help you reverse diabetes naturally.