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9 Plant-Based Foods that Lower Blood Sugar

These foods that lower blood sugar are plant-based, effective and just also happen to be delicious.

These foods that lower blood sugar are plant-based, effective and just also happen to be delicious.

Millions of Americans are diabetic or pre-diabetic. It’s an epidemic that’s not only treatable, but preventable. What we eat helps. These foods that lower blood sugar are plant-based, effective and just also happen to be delicious.

 9 Foods that Lower Blood Sugar

  1. Beans – They may just be the best plant-based food ever: protein, fiber, amino acids, vitamins, even healthy fats. And get this: beans and legumes slow the release of glucose (thanks to all the fiber), making them excellent in preventing blood sugar spikes.
  2. Tomatoes – Nothing tastes as scrumptious as a fresh, vine-ripened-right-in-your-garden tomato, right? And it turns out, it’s also one of the healthiest foods that lower blood sugar too. Gazpacho, anyone?
  3. Vinegar – It’s not just for salad dressing (or cleaning your house!). Vinegar has been shown to reduce blood sugar levels, particularly if consumed just before a meal. Mix 1-2 tablespoons with warm water and drink 30 minutes before a meal.
  4. Berries – As sweet as they are, berries are an excellent source of quercetin, which has been shown to reduce blood sugar levels. They’re also loaded with lots of other delicious nutrients. Enjoy them fresh or frozen, but never canned.
  5. Apples — An apple a day may not only keep the doctor away but also the insulin. Another quercetin-loaded fruit, apples can reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease.
  6. Cinnamon – This may just be the blood sugar miracle food. Studies have shown that eating just a ½ teaspoon of cinnamon a day can make cells more sensitive to insulin and convert blood sugar into energy more easily.
  7. Bell Peppers – With more vitamin C than an orange, studies have pointed to a correlation between low vitamin C levels and diabetes.
  8. Citrus – For the same reason as bell peppers—adding C rich citrus fruits can aid in reducing blood sugar levels.
  9. Chocolate – This may seem counterintuitive—chocolate is often associated with being sweet—but research shows that cacao (raw chocolate, unsweetened) improves insulin sensitivity. And that is pretty sweet. Look for raw cacao beans, nibs or powder. Blend in a smoothie with fruits like berries for a natural sweetness that will help you keep your blood sugar goals.

Note: These recommendations are not medical advice and should not be used in place of medications or treatments prescribed by your doctor. 

Berries image via Shutterstock

13 comments
  1. Jan Jenkyn Campbell

    OMG…as a diabetic, my blood sugar would rise significantly if I ingested berries, citrus fruits, apples and to some extent, tomatoes and beans. These are carbohydrates, i.e. sugar. Do your research; this is an irresponsible article and dangerous advice to diabetics.

    1. Mary Ann Cooke

      Try reading “The End of Diabetes” by Joel Fuhrman, M.D. Complex carbs, such as fruit (in moderation) and veggies are necessary for good health. It’s the simple/refined carbs that can cause problems, such as pasta, rice, grains, and starchy vegetables like potatoes and corn. I will never “cut down on carbs, both simple and complex” because they are the best source of vitamins and minerals, and frankly, my favorite food groups. Not too crazy about meats, so eggs, nuts, seeds, and beans provide protein. Also, I have found that exercise helps a lot.

      1. Jan Jenkyn Campbell

        Mary Ann, sorry for my rant. If those things work for you…have at ’em. They all just raise my A1c like gangbusters. I have read Fuhrman’s book. I much prefer Richard Bernstein’s book, “The Diabetes Solution”. Dr. B has been a diabetic for 50 years and is currently one of the top diabetologists in the country. Following his method, I have been able to keep my A1c in the low 5s with one Metformin pill a day.
        Also, I am aware that all type 2s are different, so stick with what works for you.

  2. PantherButt

    “Writers” should not be allowed to publish an article about diabetes without specifying that she is referring specifically to Type II. “not only treatable, but preventable.” HUGE difference between Type II and Type I Diabetes. They should really have a different name for the two issues.

    1. Oscar

      @PantherButt. Do a little research. Genetics and age play a role in onset of Type II diabetes as well as other lifestyle factors. For example…. I was 185lbs, 5′-11″, age 30, and active when I was diagnosed. Preventable for some yes, for others no. Don’t lump everyone in the same boat.

  3. Chris

    It isn’t so much what you eat as what you don’t eat. Just cut way down on carbs, both “simple” and “complex”. Won’t solve everything if you are type 2 diabetic, but it will help … a lot.

  4. harlequinbarbi

    I think the article was great. Could work if kidneys are not damaged from diabetes. Those with CRF need to avoid tomatoes,chocolate, beans, except stringbeans, etc. I still will try the strawberries, apples, etc and think you should continue to publish differing opinions and let the ppl choose for themselves. Tx for article. I am going show it to some of my diabetic friends.

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