Proper nutrition and the essential foods to lower blood sugar levels are crucial to controlling diabetes.
Fifteen years ago, diabetes made its appearance to my mother, and I looked online for the right foods to lower her blood sugar.
Diet BEFORE diabetes does not play such an important role because the problem of its occurrence is elsewhere.
I do not mean to constantly eat sweets, have a generally poor diet, or avoid exercise, because you will have burdened your health!
The most important thing is whether you are stressed and sad.
In other words, there are times when sadness concerns remarkable, difficult to forget events. Such as a death, a serious illness to a loved one, a dismissal, a divorce, or even immigration.
These cases can easily lead to depression, diabetes, or much worse situations.
I consider sadness and grief the biggest problem and the most basic source that nourishes all health problems.
The doctor’s diet suggested to my mother consisted of the foods I will mention to you below.
In today’s article, I will not present the reasons and causes for this insidious disease.
I will talk about this in a future article because, today, I will write about the 20 most important foods to naturally lower blood sugar levels.
I hope you find foods that you already like, and they will help you in the difficult journey of dealing with diabetes.
The 20 Best Foods to Lower Blood Sugar Levels
We are fortunate to live on a blessed planet with endless choices for our diet.
You may prefer the fruits and vegetables I mention below as organic, but you may choose conventional foods if it is not economically feasible.
What interests you most is choosing the right foods to lower blood sugar levels before moving on to another diet.
#1 Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is one of the most important foods to lower blood sugar levels. (1)
It has been unquestionably proven to control diabetes and reduce carbohydrate intake. It also helps you lose weight naturally when taken half an hour before a meal. (2)
Its effect is like some diabetes medicines.
However, it should not be taken directly, as it is very acidic and can cause problems in the stomach and teeth.
One tablespoon of apple cider vinegar should be diluted in a glass of water and drank only with a straw.
#2 Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate rich in cocoa contains high amounts of flavonoids.
Flavonoids have been shown to improve insulin sensitivity, reduce resistance and blood glucose production while reducing the desire for sweets. (3)
For best results, try to include dark chocolate as a dessert after your meals, making sure they contain 85% cocoa or higher!
You may drink a cup of cocoa, which I drink every other day, to get excellent health benefits and blood sugar natural reduction effects.
Blueberries have been shown to reduce the risk of diabetes, mental retardation in the elderly, and help with certain types of cancer. (4)
In addition, they contain high amounts of flavonoids and fiber to improve insulin sensitivity. (5)
It is best to eat a handful a day as an excellent and tasty choice to improve your overall health.
Raspberries are in the same category as blueberries, with small differences.
Raspberries are on the American Diabetes Association’s list as one of the 10 superfoods worldwide. (6)
This is due to the high levels of vitamin C, antioxidants, many other crucial vitamins, and fiber, all contained in raspberries.
Try to include them in your daily diet to control diabetes and boost your general health.
It is an excellent snack idea that will satisfy your need for something sweet while adding vitamin K, magnesium, and potassium to the body.
#5 Red onions
Whether you prefer them raw or cooked, red onions contain large amounts of powerful nutrients that help reduce diabetes.
It is one of the most important foods to lower blood sugar levels. (7)
The combination of potassium, folic acid, flavonoids, and fiber makes them excellent for diabetics and good heart health.
Glucose levels can be easily reduced with high consumption of onions while increasing free insulin in the body.
*Free insulin = is not attached to other proteins as bound insulin is.
A study on essential onion oil has been published in the International Journal of Clinical Chemistry. The study showed that onion oil lowered blood glucose levels while increasing insulin levels naturally. (8)
By adding ½ cup a day to your meals, red onions will offer you all their benefits.
Whether you prefer them cooked or raw, carrots are very effective against diabetes. (9)
The high levels of vitamin A they contain make them ideal for immune function and better eyesight.
A study from the Stanford University School of Medicine shows how carrots help prevent type II diabetes. (10)
Enjoy 2-3 carrots every day as an ideal snack, whether you have a diabetes problem or not.
#7 Green tea
What can we say about the benefits of green tea?
It is one of the most beneficial foods for lower blood sugar levels naturally, even if it is not technically a food but a beverage. (11)
It is undoubtedly a superfood, not only for treating diabetes but also for improving our bodies’ general health. (12)
Green tea contains plenty of antioxidants that are very important in the treatment of diabetes while boosting metabolism. The catechins it contains inhibit the absorption of lipids and glucose in the intestine. (13)
Also, the flavonoids in green tea block an enzyme called amylase, helping to prevent diabetes. (14)
Additionally, a type of green tea called Matcha tea has even more powerful power and 10 times more healing properties than ordinary green tea. (15)
Just put green tea in your daily routine and enjoy its multiple health benefits.
#8 Fish (especially salmon)
Fish, especially salmon, is a great choice for the diabetic diet and one of the best foods to lower blood sugar levels. (16)
However, the most beneficial fishes for diabetes are the so-called “fatty” fish.
They contain large amounts of omega-3 healthy fats, making them the ideal food for those suffering from diabetes. (17)
Especially salmon contains the highest amounts of omega-3 fats.
The other fishes high in Omega-3 are herring, sardines, mackerel, trout, and tuna.
Omega-3 fats have been shown to regulate blood pressure and reduce inflammation. They are also very important as they help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. (18)
Choose grilled or generally cooked fish to avoid adding carbs and extra calories of fried fish.
It is best to eat fish (mainly fatty fish) twice a week.
However, in people with diabetes, fatty fish consumption should be on an -almost- daily basis.
A study published in 2012 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that eating yogurt helps prevent type II diabetes. (19)
This is due to the high probiotics, vitamin D, calcium, and magnesium levels found in yogurt.
Greek yogurt -known worldwide- has a high protein content while it is low in sugar (less than 7g).
Besides calcium, many yogurt products are excellent sources of vitamin D.
Yogurt also contains carbohydrates, which are an important factor in planning your meals when you have diabetes. However, it is best to buy yogurt products low in fat and sugar. (20)
If you do not like its taste as it may be a little sour, add cinnamon or oats, which maximize the results as you will read below.
Oats are very rich in antioxidants and fiber.
It has incredible beneficial properties as it is also rich in vitamin E and K.
In addition, it contains large amounts of fiber, selenium, phosphorus, manganese, magnesium, zinc, and important antioxidants.
In some population groups, such as people with diabetes or prediabetes, it is necessary to consume it frequently. (21)
Oats are high in Beta-glucan.
These are a group of fibers that, according to recent studies, seem to reduce the postprandial response of glucose and insulin. (22)
Oats improve glycemic control and help better regulate glucose levels. (23)
However, it is imperative to pay special attention to the oats products you choose.
Many kinds of cereal or pastries contain oats; they are likely to have high levels of sugar, saturated fat, and salt.
Because oats can be a boring everyday choice, you can combine them with yogurt and cinnamon, as I mentioned above.
#11 Ceylon cinnamon
Ceylon cinnamon (Cinnamomum Verum) is the real cinnamon.
The usual cinnamon in the market is called cassia and is essentially a clone of Ceylon cinnamon.
Both varieties have almost the same benefits and nutritional value. They contain large amounts of antioxidants and help control blood sugar levels.
Especially after eating, cinnamon can slow down the rate of digestion by reducing the sugar in the blood. In addition, it improves the ability of our cells to respond to insulin. (24)
Many studies have shown this spice is an influential factor in lowering blood sugar. (25)
Ceylon cinnamon has also been shown to improve insulin sensitivity as it contains significant powerful antioxidants. (26)
Add Ceylon cinnamon to all your dietary choices.
It is excellent when added to tea, coffee, oats, yogurt, and almost anything you cook.
Turmeric (the yellow root) is not one of the well-known foods to lower blood sugar levels.
It is not used as a beneficial dietary option, especially for people with diabetes.
However, it is a spice shown to improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar levels. It helps regulate insulin, triglyceride levels, and reduce body fat. (27)
A study that lasted 9 months and was published in the journal Diabetes Care, states that adding turmeric to the daily diet prevented pre-diabetic patients from becoming diabetics. (28)
It is easy to add turmeric to your daily diet because it can be added to tea, salads, coffee, and any meal you cook (vegetables, fish, etc.).
Add it to your meals or even to a glass of water with apple cider vinegar to boost your body and health with powerful benefits!
#13 Dark green leafy vegetables
Spinach, lettuce, collard greens, watercress, broccoli, and Swiss chard have the highest amounts of nutrients.
Dark green leafy vegetables are also sources of vital vitamins such as A, C, E, and K, iron, calcium, potassium, and minerals, significantly benefiting our body and health, and are best for people with diabetes.
Whatever we say about this superfood, it will be a little since it is considered an effective therapy for most diseases.
Garlic has been used to treat high blood pressure, various types of cancer, and heart diseases for many years.
It has been shown that garlic is one of the best foods to lower blood sugar levels and high cholesterol. It also helps prevent injuries through high levels of antioxidants it contains. (29)
Garlic is a food that provides strong protection against degenerative vascular diseases caused by diabetes. (30)
Such degenerative diseases are diabetic nephropathy and retinopathy.
Add garlic to your diet daily for extra benefits to your health and to treat diabetes and its ailments.
Flaxseed is an excellent source of omega-3 fats, fiber, and plenty of antioxidants.
The flax seeds are very rich in fiber, have a laxative effect, and help lower cholesterol. They also have a very important effect against breast cancer as they contain many phytoestrogens that mimic the action of estrogen. (31)
Consumption of flaxseed helps relieve hot flashes in menopausal women, increasing their good mood.
At the University of Saskatchewan in Canada, the professor and researcher Dr. Kailash Prasad found that consumption of flaxseed can reduce by 80% the risk of developing type II diabetes. (32)
This is due to the lignans contained in flaxseed, which have strong antioxidant activity. Lignans help fight oxidative stress, which is an important factor in diabetes.
Flaxseed keeps sugar at normal levels, and by consuming it, you can better manage the problem of diabetes. (33)
Just one to two teaspoons daily are very beneficial in treating diabetes.
It is much easier to consume when added to smoothies or in foods friendly to people with diabetes.
However, be careful because women with endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome, and fibroids, should consume no flaxseed. Men at increased risk for prostate cancer should also avoid it.
Also, its laxative properties should be avoided by people with inflammatory bowel diseases (e.g., Crohn’s disease), pregnant, and breastfeeding mothers.
A handful of nuts can supply you with healthy fats while helping to manage your hunger.
Nuts provide us with magnesium and fiber, while some are an excellent source of omega-3 fats. (34)
Most nuts have been shown to lower blood sugar levels and they are a very important snack for people with diabetes, especially for type II. (35)
The best nuts for diabetes are almonds, cashews, pecans, and walnuts.
Celery has unique antioxidant, anti-cancer, antipyretic, and anti-inflammatory properties.
It is also one of the best foods to lower blood sugar levels and helps regulate diabetes levels significantly. (36)
Celery juice helps reduce oxidative damage to blood vessels while protecting the liver. (37)
Due to the two flavonoids it contains, it strengthens our body’s defense and helps protect against Alzheimer’s disease and spongiform encephalopathy. (38)
Celery prevents inflammation of the brain while also helping with anemia, rheumatism, asthma, and mental fatigue. (39)
Try to drink a glass of juice with celery daily or prepare a decoction using 20 g. celery root in a liter of water. You can drink a cup of celery juice or decoction a day.
Coffee lovers are very happy with this news!
The high levels of antioxidants in coffee and its ability to burn fat make it a healthy drink for any person with diabetes.
A Harvard study found that people who drank more than one cup of coffee without sugar had about an 11% lower risk of developing diabetes. (40)
In addition, a similar study found that those who drank more than one cup of coffee daily reduced their risk of developing type II diabetes. (41)
The polyphenols in coffee and other important properties have anti-inflammatory actions that protect against inflammation in the pancreas. However, the research results have shown that coffee does not affect and does not have the same effect on all people.
Have also in mind you should drink plain coffee without milk or sugar to gain the best benefits!
But you can add coconut milk, cashew milk, or cinnamon if you cannot drink it plain.
Red peppers contain lycopene, which promotes good health and reduces the risk of diabetes. (42)
Especially the colored (sweet) peppers contain high amounts of vitamins and the important beta carotene. (43)
Research in Indonesia has shown that after a meal containing hot chili peppers, the body needed less insulin to lower blood sugar levels. (44)
Peppers can be eaten raw, in salads, or cooked in whatever dish you prefer.
Few people do not know how cucumber and its juice can help in diabetes.
Cucumber contains sterols that lower cholesterol, while magnesium, potassium, and fiber regulate blood pressure levels. (45)
It helps patients with diabetes, as it contains manganese which helps to create natural insulin. (46)
Because cucumbers are low in carbohydrates but are rich in fiber, they easily fit into a diet plan for diabetics. (47)
People with type II diabetes should eat a nutritious diet high in fiber, including 3-5 servings of vegetables a day. Fiber has many benefits for our health, including feeling full, reducing appetite, and helping control blood sugar levels. (48)
Many low-carb vegetables, such as cucumber, do not worsen blood sugar levels and should be eaten on such a diet.
A final thought on how to prefer foods to lower blood sugar
When looking for the best foods to lower blood sugar and control diabetes, choosing foods that keep blood sugar levels low is crucial.
This usually means a lot of whole foods because they are high in fiber!
Fiber helps prevent high levels of insulin as opposed to simple carbohydrates that lower blood sugar levels. (49)
These foods are great sources of nutrition for diabetics and not only them.
Diabetes and proper diet need to be intertwined to avoid more serious health problems.
Choose these foods whether you have diabetes or want to follow a healthy diet.
Remember that the best medicine is prevention and smiles!
Try, as much as possible, not to be upset, angry, and sad. At least, not for trivial and stupid things!
Everything will be done better with optimism!
Did you know about the above foods to lower blood sugar levels?
Have you or a loved one had a diabetes problem? Did you follow a specific diet to alleviate the problem?
Please leave your comment below and tell us your experience if you have one.
I hope you are always well!