Conditions like diabetes can lead to an increase in blood sugar levels. If the levels of blood sugar are beyond the optimal rate, it can lead to a lot of health issues. Therefore, it is important to maintain your blood sugar at a healthy level.
A lot of factors can affect blood sugar maintenance including stress, body weight, genetics, etc. Additionally, following a healthy diet is also crucial for blood sugar control.
Some foods with added sugar and high refined carbs can lead to fluctuations in blood sugar, whereas, some other raw and unprocessed plant-based foods can optimize the levels of blood sugar and improve overall health. Some of these foods are listed below so that you can include them in your plant-based meal plans for controlling blood sugar.
Sulforaphane is a compound that has the ability to reduce blood sugar levels. This plant chemical is released when broccoli is chewed or chopped because of a reaction occurring between an enzyme called myrosinase and a glucosinolate compound known as glucoraphanin.
Studies suggest that broccoli extracts rich in sulforaphane exhibit strong anti-diabetic effects by improving insulin sensitivity. This compound can also reduce blood sugar levels and control markers associated with oxidative stress.
Also, following a diet rich in cruciferous vegetables is found to be beneficial for lowering the chance of type 2 diabetes.
In addition to broccoli, broccoli sprouts can also provide high amounts of sulforaphane. So include these veggies in your diet for maintaining healthy sugar levels.
This brightly colored vegetable is packed with antioxidants and fiber. It is a wonderful choice for controlling blood sugar levels. In fact, this veggie is used as a traditional diabetic treatment in some countries like Iran and Mexico.
Pumpkin carries high amounts of polysaccharides, which are a form of carbs. These compounds are found to have the blood-sugar-regulating ability. Traditional treatments that use pumpkin powders and extracts have been found to be effective in controlling blood sugar levels to a great extent. But more research is required to determine how effective whole pumpkin is in controlling blood sugar levels.
Pumpkin seeds can also be beneficial for controlling blood sugar. The abundance of healthy fats and proteins present in them helps with blood sugar regulation.
Studies suggest that eating nuts might be an effective way to regulate the levels of blood sugar. A study conducted on 25 people suffering from type 2 diabetes showed that consuming both almonds and peanuts as a part of a low-carb diet throughout the day was helpful in reducing blood sugar levels.
Also, a review suggests that a diet that gives importance to tree nuts helped in the reduction of fasting blood sugar levels.
In addition to nuts, nut butter can also offer the same benefits. But make sure to get varieties that are free of added sugar and other ingredients.
Okra, which is commonly called ladies’ finger, is a commonly used vegetable that carries a large number of health benefits. It is a good source of various blood-sugar-lowering compounds such as flavonoid antioxidants and polysaccharides.
Okra seeds have been in use for controlling blood sugar and diabetes in countries like Turkey. Certain polysaccharides in okra are found to possess powerful anti-diabetic properties. Additionally, some flavonoids in okra like quercetin 3-0-gentiobioside, isoquercitrin, etc. can inhibit certain enzymes that are associated with increased blood sugar levels.
But most of the studies using okra are conducted on animals, hence, more human studies are needed.
These seeds carry an abundance of healthy fats and fiber. They can provide a lot of health benefits including blood sugar control.
Studies show that the regular consumption of flaxseeds can lower hemoglobinA1c (HbA1c), which is a marker related to long-term blood sugar regulation. Hence, they can be a great aid for you to control blood sugar.
Beans And Lentils
These plant-based foods are rich in various nutrients like fiber, magnesium, and protein that can regulate blood sugar. Beans and lentils are especially high in resistant starch and soluble fiber that has the ability to slow down the digestion process and enhance blood sugar response just after meals.
Along with controlling blood sugar levels, eating high amounts of beans and lentils can help to offer protection against diabetes. They can also offer a wide array of other benefits that can improve your overall health, which makes them a great addition to your plant-based meals.
If you want to control blood sugar naturally and prevent the risk of diabetes, then these foods might be of help to you. Following a diet rich in these plant-based foods can be useful for people with high blood sugar levels and diabetes.
But these can create only minor variations. So if you have high levels of blood sugar than the optimal rate, it is better to see your doctor.