15 Foods to Help Regulate Blood Sugar Levels

While factors such as body weight, activity, stress and genetics also influence the maintenance of blood sugar, eating a healthy diet is essential to controlling blood sugar. Eating certain foods can optimize blood sugar control and, at the same time, promote general health. Here are 15 foods that can help regulate blood sugar levels. Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts, are packed with fiber and antioxidants.

Eating them has been linked to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. To increase the availability of sulforaphane, enjoy raw or lightly steamed broccoli and broccoli sprouts, or add active sources of myrosinase, such as powdered mustard seeds, to cooked broccoli. Seafood, including fish and shellfish, offers a valuable source of protein, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Protein helps slow digestion and prevents blood sugar spikes after meals, in addition to increasing the feeling of satiety.

It can also help prevent overeating and promote excessive loss of body fat, two effects that are essential for maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. A study of 68 overweight or obese adults who ate 26 ounces (750 grams) of fatty fish per week showed significant improvements in post-meal blood sugar levels compared to those who consumed lean fish. Pumpkin is an excellent choice for regulating blood sugar. Brightly colored and packed with fiber and antioxidants, pumpkin is high in carbohydrates (called polysaccharides) which have been studied for their blood sugar regulatory potential.

Treatments with pumpkin extracts and powders have been shown to significantly lower blood sugar levels in human and animal studies. In addition, pumpkin is used as a traditional remedy for diabetes in many countries.Nuts are a great source of protein and healthy fats. A review found that diets that emphasize nuts with an average daily intake of 2 ounces (56 grams) significantly reduced fasting blood sugar and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), a marker of long-term blood sugar control, compared to a control diet in people with type 2 diabetes. Okra seeds have long been used as a natural remedy to treat diabetes because of their potent blood sugar-lowering properties.

Rhamnogalacturonan, the main polysaccharide in okra, has been identified as a powerful antidiabetic compound. In addition, okra contains the flavonoids isoquercitrin and quercetin 3-O-genthiobioside which help lower blood sugar by inhibiting certain enzymes.Yogurt is a great source of protein and probiotics which can help regulate blood sugar levels. In an 8-week study of 57 people with type 2 diabetes who consumed 7 ounces (200 grams) of 2.5% fatty yogurt containing 1 ounce (30 grams) of flaxseed per day experienced significant reductions in HbA1c compared to those who consumed plain yogurt.Beans and lentils are excellent sources of protein and fiber which can help regulate blood sugar levels. Many studies have shown that eating beans and lentils can not only benefit blood sugar regulation but can also help protect against the development of diabetes.Fermented foods such as kimchi and sauerkraut are packed with health-promoting compounds such as probiotics, minerals and antioxidants.

Their consumption has been associated with improved sensitivity to blood sugar and insulin. A study conducted on 21 people with prediabetes found that eating fermented kimchi for 8 weeks improved glucose tolerance (33%) of participants while only 9.5% of participants who consumed fresh kimchi showed better glucose tolerance.Chia seeds are high in fiber which can help regulate blood sugar levels. A study conducted on 15 healthy adults showed that participants who received 1 ounce (25 grams) of ground chia seeds along with 2 ounces (50 grams) of a sugar solution had a 39% reduction in blood sugar levels compared to those who consumed the sugar solution alone.Kale is packed with flavonoid antioxidants such as quercetin and kaempferol which have potent blood sugar-lowering and insulin-sensitizing effects. Studies have shown that raspberries can benefit blood sugar control by increasing insulin sensitivity and improving blood glucose removal.Strawberries, blueberries and blackberries are also excellent sources of fiber which can help regulate blood sugar levels.Avocados are high in healthy fats which can help lower blood sugar levels and protect against the development of metabolic syndrome which is a group of conditions such as high blood pressure and high blood sugar which increases the risk of chronic diseases.Oats are high in soluble fiber which has been shown to have significant blood sugar-lowering properties.

An analysis of 16 studies found that taking oats significantly reduced fasting HbA1c and blood sugar levels compared to control meals.Whole citrus fruits may help improve insulin sensitivity lower HbA1c and protect against the development of diabetes.Kefir is a yogurt drink rich in probiotics which can help reduce fasting blood sugar levels. A study conducted on 42 overweight or obese adults with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes showed that drinking 20 ounces (600 ml) of kefir per day significantly reduced fasting blood sugar and HbA1c compared to drinking kefir without probiotics.Eggs are an excellent source of protein which can help reduce fasting blood sugar levels. A study that included data from more than 187,000 people found that a higher intake of specific fruits especially blueberries grapes and apples was associated with a significantly lower risk of type 2 diabetes.

Miles Urness
Miles Urness

Typical musicaholic. Incurable food maven. Hipster-friendly beer fan. Award-winning tv practitioner. Evil travel buff. Freelance social media enthusiast.

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