Our last article about “superfoods” included two super grains, but this one focuses on two other foods from the starch group.
The starch group includes starchy vegetables, grains, dry beans, and peas. All of them are high in carbohydrates – a nutrient which is known to raise blood sugar levels.
However, carbs are our main source of energy, and besides, there are two types of carbs, good and bad. The good ones are recommended to eat in moderate amounts.
So, here we focus on two starchy foods which are good for people with diabetes, of course when eaten in moderate amounts.
This vegetable has a strong antioxidant power thanks to the high levels of vitamin A and C. Moreover, it includes potassium, manganese, phytonutrients, vitamin B6, and fiber, making it a nutrient powerhouse.
It helps fight heart disease and cancer, especially prostate and breast cancer. Researchers even link it to longevity.
What’s more, they have a low glycemic index and plenty of fiber, which means it’s a good choice for people with diabetes.
Low GI foods, such as sweet potatoes, have a less immediate impact on blood sugar levels, thus helping the blood sugar control in those with diabetes. It’s best to eat them sautéed in oil with the skin on.
Other health benefits of sweet potatoes include aiding digestion and stress management, improving the quality of the hair and skin, boosting the immune system, supporting the fetal development, relieving PMS symptoms, fighting anemia, improving the insulin resistance, and preventing emphysema (over-inflation of lung air sacks.)
A 4-ounce, medium sweet potato has 25 gr carbs, 100 calories, 4 gr of fiber, and less than 1 gr of fat. So, its glycemic index is moderate – 64.
Look for firm sweet potatoes, without soft spots or cracks. Store them in a cool and dry place, but not in the fridge. You can bake them and eat them with plain yogurt or butter. Also, cook them in the oven cut as french fries with some salt and olive oil.
There are over a thousand species of beans, and kidney beans, black beans, pinto beans, and others are also known as legumes. Overall, they are rich in protein and carbs, and soluble and insoluble fiber, extremely low in sodium and fat, and free of cholesterol.
What’s more, they contain high levels of calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, and antioxidants. If you add beans to your diet regularly, you will prevent constipation and ensure normal bowel elimination.
Also, this type of diet will help reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes, as well as lower your bad cholesterol levels. Being rich in fiber means they will keep you full for longer, thus reduce your appetite and aid in weight loss.
Some beans like kidney, white, black, pinto, lima, soy, and garbanzo, are the perfect combination of lean protein, high-quality carbs, and soluble fiber which help balance blood glucose levels.
1 ½ cup of beans has 20 gr of carbs, 120 calories, 7 gr of fiber, 7 gr protein, and less than 1 gr of fat. Also, they have low GI, which makes them a healthy option for people with diabetes.
If you use dry beans, make sure you soak them in water for several hours before cooking. But, you can speed up the process with a pressure cooker. Another way is to use canned beans after washing them well using a colander to remove most of the sodium.
You can refrigerate cooked beans up to 5 days. Try to include them in your diet at least twice a week. For example, you can eat minestrone or bean burritos.
Check out the top four superfruits for your health.