We all know that nutrition and diabetes control go hand-in-hand, but that does not mean you have to deprive yourself of things that you like to eat. It only means that you need to embark on a well-balanced diet that fuels your body with the right nutrients without compromising much on the taste. A diet that includes foods that offer health benefits and keep your blood glucose levels in control is a diabetes-friendly diet. A disciplined lifestyle with a healthy diet along with regular exercise is the best way to manage blood glucose levels and of course medication prescribed by the doctors.
Include the following nutrition packed 'Superstar Superfoods' in your meal plan to control blood glucose levels and gain more health benefits:
Moringa is truly mother nature's multivitamin to mankind. It is loaded with antioxidants and also packs a punch of protein and fiber. Moringa is especially high in vitamins A, C, E and a handful of B vitamins. These vitamins are known as the antioxidant vitamins as they help combat illnesses and infections. In fact, the dried powder from the leaves has the most nutritional benefits to offer. The easiest way to incorporate Moringa in your daily life is to add it to a soup, vegetable or just sip on a cup of Moringa tea, which is now easily available in supermarkets and online.
(Also Read: 10 Incredible Health Benefits of Moringa Seeds)
2. Green Coffee
Green coffee beans are the unroasted beans which preserve Chlorogenic acid (CGA), lost to a great extent during the roasting of coffee beans. Chlorogenic acid aids weight management and helps reduce body fat (adiposity) by modifying obesity-related hormones and upregulating fatty acid breakdown in the liver as well as decreasing fatty acid and cholesterol synthesis. It also reduces the absorption of carbohydrates, thus lowering blood sugar and insulin spikes and consequently lowering the risk of Type 2 Diabetes.
(Also Read: Side Effects of Green Coffee: Have You Been Drinking Too Much?)
Millets are particularly high in fiber and minerals like iron, magnesium, phosphorous and potassium which are essential for good health and especially that of the heart. They are considered to be the least allergenic and most easily digestible grains available. Since millets do not contain gluten, it is a wonderful grain alternative for people who are gluten-sensitive as well.
Here are some Millets you may add to your diabetes diet-
-Pearl Millet, commonly known as 'Bajra' in India, is rich in essential nutrients like protein, fibre, phosphorous, magnesium and iron. Being high in fibre, it helps regulate bowel movements and keeps blood glucose levels in control.
-Finger millet or 'Ragi/Nachni' is a powerhouse of nutrients like calcium, potassium as well as iron. It is gluten-free, low in fat and is thus easy to digest, making it a perfect meal for each age group from kids to people in their golden years. People in the South Indian states have steamed ragi balls as their starch source for lunch and dinner for ages. It can also be sprouted and consumed, as sprouting increases the nutritional content and also makes them easy to digest. It is important to have it with foods rich in protein and fibre, as it has a higher glycemic index compared to other millets.
-Foxtail millet is rich in dietary fibre, protein and low in fat. It is extremely beneficial in managing blood glucose levels as it is a good source of magnesium. The incidence of diabetes is said to be rare among the populations which include foxtail millets in their diet.
-Kodo millet is high in fibre, and contains the important mineral copper, deficiency of which impairs sugar tolerance. Research has identified anti-diabetic compounds i.e. Quercetin and Phenolic acids which are present in kodo millet.
-Millet can be consumed whole in soups or as accompaniments to meals such as a roti. An increasing trend is incorporating this superfood as part of your power breakfast as a upma, porridge or even a poha.
Thus with just a mix and match of your regular food with some of these superfoods, one can ensure that 'diet' doesn't feel like a punishment and you're also in control of diabetes.
The author, Sheryl Salis is a Registered Dietician and Certified Diabetes Educator
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