Step into almost any grocery store in the US and you’ll find a shelf full of health foods pitching their antioxidant qualities. Pomegranates, acai berries, cranberry juice, and teas all claim that they can reverse aging, support the immune system, and help battle eye, heart, and mood issues. But, which ones of these are most helpful to people with diabetes? Find out below.
Chocolate, along with other antioxidant filled foods has actually been shown to bring down high blood pressure, a common associated condition to diabetes. But, it won’t offset the damage caused by too much sitting, obesity, smoking, and too many high-calorie, low fiber foods. Be sure to get those items in check before turning to chocolate as a cure-all solution.
“Thankfully loading up on antioxidants doesn’t mean that you have to give up good food.”
Settling down with a glass of wine also has benefits for people with diabetes. The antioxidants in wine improve glucose intolerance, which leads to type 2 diabetes while also helping to reduce high blood pressure. But, as always, too much of a good thing can reverse all the benefits. Be sure that you’re keeping an eye on how wine and alcohol affects you and don’t over-do it.
Black beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, and white beans are all staples of many diets around the world. They can actually help lower blood sugar, weight, and appetite while delaying digestion and carb absorption.
All different types of berries are filled with antioxidants: strawberries, blueberries, black currants, and more. They have been shown to potentially have huge effects on things like blood sugar after starchy meals and improving glucose tolerance that leads to type 2 diabetes.
One of the lesser-known sources of antioxidants, peanuts have actually been linked to many positive effects. Studies have shown that they can improve beta cell production and reduce oxidative stress in the cells that regulate blood sugar – two big benefits for people with diabetes.
It’s worth noting that all of the beneficial properties of all these foods are shown in a variety of different types of studies, many of them only on animals or not yet reproduced elsewhere. There’s a lot of evidence that they may be helpful, but be sure that you’re listening to the recommendations of your doctor.
Molly Maloof, MD
Physician, technologist, and entrepreneur
Head of Medical Science at Sano Intelligence
Medical advisor/strategy consultant to over 20 companies in biotechnology, digital health, nutrition, and food industries