Dr. Andrew Weil’s Tips: 10 Foods for Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
To keep blood sugar levels stable, regular exercise is helpful - but a healthy diet is a must.
Add these foods to your diet, as they may help lower blood sugar levels.
- Green, leafy vegetables. Broccoli, spinach, and kale are good sources of fiber - which helps regulate blood sugar levels - and are high in vitamins A, C, and K as well. Plus, some studies have shown that eating vegetables can help prevent diabetes, so aim for four to five servings per day.
- Beans and legumes. Beans of almost any variety as well as lentils are rich in folic acid, magnesium, potassium and soluble fiber - and are low-glycemic-load foods. Make sure you get one to two servings per day.
- Cabbage. A very low-glycemic index food (near zero!), cabbage is high in fiber, low in calories, inexpensive and versatile. It's especially useful for stabilizing blood-sugar levels because it converts to sugar very slowly in the body. Try eating more slaw, sauerkraut or kimchi.
- Okra. This southern staple is high in soluble fiber - which slows down the digestion of carbohydrates and can help stabilize blood sugar - and is also a low glycemic-index food. Try adding it to your next pot of soup.
- Onions. This kitchen staple is more than a tasty addition to many dishes - onions offer blood-sugar lowering effects.
- Maitake mushrooms. One of Dr. Weil's favorites, maitake not only contain compounds that enhance immune function, but in one study people with type 2 diabetes were given maitake along with diabetes medication, and the result was lower blood sugar readings. Cook some up and serve them as a side dish!
- Underground vegetables. Also known as "tubers," veggies such as leeks, potatoes and yams have been shown in studies to lower or return to normal high blood sugar levels.
- Brewer's yeast. Rich in essential amino acids and B vitamins, brewer's yeast may also lower blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes, and may improve glucose tolerance, increase insulin sensitivity, and lower cholesterol as well. Shake some on your next batch of popped corn!
- Prickly pear. The green pads of this plant are called nopal, and is more than a staple in Mexican cuisine - it is very low on the glycemic index and may have blood-sugar-lowering effects. Look for it at specialty or ethnic grocers.
- Bitter melon. When cooked and added to other dishes, bitter melon will impart a unique flavor that may help glucose tolerance of people with type 2 diabetes, and help keep blood sugar levels in the normal range.
For more information, please see me at Norwell Athletic Club (NAC).
Yours in Health,
Owner of Simplify Holistic Nutrition