If you’re living with diabetes or pre-diabetes, or if you’ve been made aware that you are at risk for these, then chances are you are looking for ways to help manage your blood sugar levels. And while you can do this by regularly exercising, getting plenty of sleep, and pursuing other healthy habits, choosing the right foods can play a large role.
According to dietitians Trista Best, MPH, RD, LD at Balance One Supplements and Edibel Quintero, RDa Medical Content Author at Health Reporter, Broccoli is one of the best vegetables you can eat to manage your blood sugar.
Continue reading to learn more about how broccoli can help with healthier blood sugar levels, and for more healthy eating tips check out The 5 Best Vegetables to Lower Cholesterol.
Broccoli is rich in fiber
According to Best, one of the main reasons broccoli is so helpful in controlling blood sugar spikes is its high fiber content. In fact, one cup of steamed broccoli has about 5 grams of fiber.
“Foods rich in soluble fiber can help manage blood sugar and prevent or reduce glucose spikes,” says Best. “Soluble fiber improves insulin sensitivity by feeding the gut’s beneficial bacteria. When these bacteria are present in high numbers they are better able to digest the food we eat and mitigate the body’s insulin response.”
Not only can the fiber in broccoli help with your digestion, but it can also help with how quickly your body absorbs sugar.
“Soluble fiber slows sugar absorption, which prevents rapid spikes in blood sugar,” says Best, “and this slower rate of absorption allows the cells to adjust to insulin’s effects more slowly without a rapid influx.”
Broccoli contains helpful nutrients and vitamins
According to Quintero, broccoli contains a compound called sulforaphane“which reduces oxidative stress and insulin insensitivity, making it an excellent choice for obese patients with type 2 diabetes.”
Not only that, but broccoli is full of helpful vitamins like vitamin C that can help you manage other health issues as well.
“The regular inclusion of broccoli in the diet prevents damage to heart tissue, helps strengthen bones, and improves skin condition due to the presence of vitamin C,” says Quintero.
If you’re convinced and want to try some fresh new broccoli recipes to help you manage your blood sugar, try these 20 Cozy Broccoli Soup Recipes.