Foods that help balance blood sugar

Published On: Jun 05 2012 03:21:50 PM CDT   Updated On: Jul 10 2011 08:44:55 AM CDT


Blood sugar is your body's primary source of fuel and plays a vital role in physical and mental well-being. But when it rises above normal, your health, your energy levels, and your weight-loss efforts are jeopardized.

Even before blood sugar levels reach the point of a type 2 diabetes diagnosis, the health problems can be serious. More and more research links even slightly high blood sugar to food cravings, mood swings, and excess weight, as well as pregnancy and fertility problems, heart attacks, stroke, and even some forms of cancer, early evidence suggests.

Good nutrition in general can help keep type 2 diabetes and high blood sugar at bay. But some specific foods and spices have been found to lower or help control blood sugar. Give these a taste.

Avocado. This fruit is rich in a particular kind of monounsaturated fat called oleic acid, which has been found to improve fat levels in the body and help control diabetes. Help yourself to another serving of avocado!

Beans. Many studies have shown that eating foods high in soluble fiber, particularly beans, reduces the rise in blood sugar after meals and delays the drop in blood sugar later on.

Cinnamon. Some alternative practitioners think that cinnamon may be helpful in making insulin receptors work better. Stir 1 teaspoon daily into a food or beverage. Other spices found to help the body use insulin more efficiently include bay leaf, clove, and turmeric.

Coffee. Regular drinkers may be less likely to develop diabetes, reveals a study from the University of Minnesota. Diabetes experts suspect that compounds and minerals in coffee beans may improve the sensitivity of insulin receptors and help the body process blood sugar more efficiently.

Orange. Studies indicate the soluble fiber and pectin in oranges can help control changes in blood sugar as well as help lower cholesterol.

Sweet potato. Despite its name -- and a flavor so luscious it makes a good dessert -- the sweet potato doesn't raise your blood sugar as high, or as fast, as a white potato.

Tea. Studies have shown that extracts of black tea may significantly reduce blood sugar levels. And enjoying a cup of chamomile tea may be more than a restful nighttime ritual -- the herb may help reduce blood sugar fluctuations.

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Source: Pure Matters