5 Best Vegetables for Blood Sugar, Say Dietitians
All vegetables come with their own unique blend of helpful vitamins and nutrients, and incorporating a variety of different types is crucial for your overall health and wellbeing.
When it comes to managing your blood sugar, there are certain vegetables that may be able to help a little more than others. While there aren't any vegetables that will negatively impact your blood sugar, those that are high in fiber, protein, and other specific vitamins will be great in helping to keep your blood sugar in check.
Continue reading to learn about the best veggies for your blood sugar. Then, check out The #1 Best Supplement for Diabetes, Says Dietitian.
Fiber is key in helping you control your blood sugar levels. This is mainly because fiber is not digested, meaning your blood isn't absorbing it in the same way it would with other carbohydrates.
"Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower are high in fiber, low in natural sugar, and very satiating. The fiber, in particular, acts as a prebiotic, which helps the good bacteria in your gut thrive," says Lisa Young, PhD, RDN, author of Finally Full, Finally Slim and member of our medical expert advisory board.
Mixed greens or assorted lettuce
If you're looking for an easy, healthy veggie that is going to help you manage your blood sugar, making yourself a salad with some mixed greens is a great option.
"Different kinds of greens contain different nutrients and are high in fiber and folate. They also contain water," says Dr. Young. "I love red-leaf lettuce in particular, which is high in vitamin K, an important vitamin for managing blood clotting."
Some studies have shown that vitamin K can help reduce your risk of diabetes and improve your insulin regulation.
You can't go wrong with leafy greens. They're always packed full of nutrients and dense with vitamins. For those are wanting to manage their blood sugar levels, spinach is one of the best leafy greens you can get.
"One cup of raw spinach provides 7 calories, 1 gram of carbs, 0.9 grams of protein, and 0.7 grams of fiber and is an excellent source of vitamins A and K, and a good source of vitamin C, folate, and manganese. Even if you have a few cups of raw spinach in your salad, the carbs are rather low and with some protein and fiber it will be absorbed slower," says Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, FAND, award-winning nutrition expert and Wall Street Journal best-selling author of The Family Immunity Cookbook.
When looking at these specific vitamins found in spinach, you may be wondering how they can help with your blood sugar. One example is vitamin A. According to Weill Cornell Medicine, a deficiency in vitamin A has been found to affect your insulin levels, which is what helps regulate your blood sugar.
Eggplant is often forgotten in the conversation of nutrient-dense veggies, but this deep purple food can be a great blood-sugar-friendly side item for your next dinner.
"One-half cup of cooked eggplant provides about 18 calories, 4.3 grams of carbs, 0.4 grams of protein, and 1.25 grams of fiber. Again, the fiber and protein will slow down how quickly those carbs will be absorbed in your blood, which helps keep blood sugar at bay," says Amidor.
Whether it's steamed or riced, cauliflower can be a great addition to your meal to help you keep your blood glucose levels at bay.
"Cauliflower is also an excellent source of the antioxidant vitamin A and a good source of vitamin K. In addition to being lower in carbs, it's also brimming with antioxidant phytonutrients sulforaphanes, glucosinolates, and thiocynates, which have also been shown to help protect against cancer," says Amidor.