There’s no denying that diet plays a critical role in diabetes. A healthy diet can prevent, improve or even reverse your diabetes.
But besides the usual advice to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables and cut out sweets and refined carbohydrates, you may be wondering if there are any potent, diabetes-fighting foods you can add to your diet…
The answer is yes. There’s one type of food that is such a powerful diabetes-douser, it needs to be part of your diabetes treatment or prevention plan — legumes.
Legumes douse diabetes
Researchers from Rovira i Virgili University in Spain recently conducted a study that suggests legumes may be one of the most helpful foods in the fight against diabetes.
Their study included 3,349 participants who were at a high risk for cardiovascular disease but didn’t have type 2 diabetes. Researchers conducted a four year follow-up with these participants and found that those who consumed more legumes over the course of those four years reduced their risk of diabetes by 35 percent.
Previous studies have shown that legumes can benefit blood sugar levels, improve insulin sensitivity and help you lose weight — all helpful skills in the fight against diabetes.
But why do these little morsels have such amazing metabolic powers?
Well, for one, they contain a lot of fiber, and a high-fiber diet has been tied to balanced blood sugar levels and a lower risk of diabetes. They are also a low-glycemic index food, which means they don’t cause blood sugar levels to spike after eating.
In addition, legumes are high in protein, B-vitamins, vitamin C, copper, selenium, calcium, potassium, magnesium and other health-boosting nutrients.
Loving your legumes
If you already love legumes, this is probably the best news you’ve heard all day. If you’re not a huge legume fan, it may be time to learn to love them. Some of the healthiest and most popular include:
As a point of reference, the study participants who experienced a 35 percent drop in their diabetes risk ate 28.75 grams of legumes per day, which is about 3.35 servings of legumes per week. A serving size is a 1/2 cup canned or cooked or a 1/3 cup mashed legumes.
You can add them to salads, stews or eat a lot of Mexican cuisine. You can even use them to make gluten-free brownies. Just make sure you get a healthy dose of this diabetes-dousing food daily.