WebMD BlogsFood and Fitness

10 Superfoods for Diabetes

Anna Panzarella, RDN - Blogs
June 12, 2020
From the WebMD Archives

If you’ve read any health or nutrition headlines the past few years, you’ve likely seen the term “superfoods” used to describe foods that have been shown to provide significant health benefits. While there is no true definition of a “superfood,” the consensus within the food industry is that these foods are powerhouses for things like vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, enzymes, and antioxidants. If eaten often (and in combination), they can also play a critical role in stabilizing blood glucose, help to ward off other conditions like certain cancers and heart disease, and simply promote overall healthy eating habits.

Here are ten “superfoods” to consider adding into the rotation for your weekly meal plans:

1. Leafy greens

Dark, leafy greens like spinach, kale, and Swiss chard are chock-full of nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin C, and calcium. Some studies have even shown leafy greens to play a role in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes.

2. Citrus

Citrus fruits like oranges are naturally low-glycemic and are rich in vitamin C to help boost the immune system. They also contain nutrients like folate and potassium, which have been shown to support healthy blood pressure.

3. Nuts & Seeds

Nuts and seeds are packed full of healthy fats and fiber that help to protect the heart and can help in stabilizing blood sugars. They are also a good source of plant protein. Try adding a handful to your morning oatmeal or pair with a piece of a fruit for a balanced snack.

4. Legumes

Legumes are foods that include things like black, pinto, and garbanzo beans, as well as peas and lentils. They contain an abundance of fiber and plant-based protein that can aid in healthy digestion and stable blood glucose levels.

5. Oatmeal

Another great source of fiber, oatmeal has been shown to boost heart health and help people living with type 2 diabetes hit target A1C levels when eaten regularly. For the healthiest option, choose steel-cut or “old fashioned” oats that don’t contain added sugars. Sweeten yourself with a teaspoon of honey or fresh berries and add a splash of milk, nuts, or seeds for some added protein.

6. Avocados

Eating healthy fat is paramount in promoting heart health, especially for those living with diabetes, as they are at higher risk for developing heart health conditions. The monounsaturated fats found in avocado can help to lower cholesterol, reduce overall inflammation in the body, and promote a healthy blood pressure. They also contain a decent amount of fiber that can keep blood sugars steady.

7. Broccoli

Broccoli, along with other cruciferous veggies, is loaded with antioxidants. They are also an excellent source of fiber and contain certain phytochemicals that may help in preventing certain kinds of cancer.

8. Tomatoes

A key nutrient found in tomatoes is lycopene, which is a powerful antioxidant that boosts heart health and lowers risk for certain types of cancer. Tomatoes are also high in Vitamin C, which has been known to lower elevated blood sugar levels and minimize blood sugar spikes after meals in those with type 2 diabetes.

9. Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a starchy, root vegetable that are best known for their sweet taste and high levels of fiber, especially when compared to regular potatoes. They also provide a plant-based source of protein, which can help to keep you feel full longer between meals while keeping blood sugars stable.

10. Cherries

A summertime favorite, cherries are low-glycemic and especially helpful in fighting inflammation. Look for tart cherries, which contain high levels of antioxidants. The best options are usually fresh or frozen since they don’t contain added sugar like many of the canned or dried varieties.

WebMD Blog
© 2020 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.
Blog Topics:
About the Author
Anna Panzarella, RD

Anna Panzarella, RDN, CD is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with a background in health coaching, disease prevention and management. She has been working in the corporate wellness industry for the past 4 years and helps others to actualize their personal health goals through nutrition education, counseling and goal-setting. Anna is also an ACE Certified Health Coach and Group Fitness Instructor.

More from the Food and Fitness Blog

  • photo of almonds

    Grab and Go Snacks for Type 2

    You’ve likely been there – heading out the door, knowing that you should grab a snack on your way out because you’re not sure what food options will be available at your destination. Whatever the ...

  • photo of gina leg exercises

    How to Get Strong, Toned Legs Without Squats or Lunges

    Squats and lunges are the go-to exercises for strengthening the lower body, but they're not the only options.

View all posts on Food and Fitness

Latest Blog Posts on WebMD

View all blog posts

Important: The opinions expressed in WebMD Blogs are solely those of the User, who may or may not have medical or scientific training. These opinions do not represent the opinions of WebMD. Blogs are not reviewed by a WebMD physician or any member of the WebMD editorial staff for accuracy, balance, objectivity, or any other reason except for compliance with our Terms and Conditions. Some of these opinions may contain information about treatments or uses of drug products that have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. WebMD does not endorse any specific product, service or treatment.

Do not consider WebMD Blogs as medical advice. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your care plan or treatment. WebMD understands that reading individual, real-life experiences can be a helpful resource, but it is never a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified health care provider. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or dial 911 immediately.

Read More