Top 12 Foods to Lower Blood Sugar

Whilst many people know they have to avoid high sugar or certain types of carbs to keep their blood sugar from spiking, there are actually a few foods that have been shown to lower blood sugar levels. There’s a variety of ways in which these can work, and for some the science is still a bit shaky, but it’s currently quite an interesting area of study all the same.

Broccoli – Or One Particular Compound Sulforaphane

Broccoli contains something known as sulforaphane which has been shown to have blood sugar reducing qualities. It’s produced when broccoli is chopped or chewed. And studies have shown that broccoli extracts have been able to enhance insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar levels amongst a few other things. [1] That said, the amount present in broccoli is not consistent and if you overcook the broccoli (meaning anything more than a light steaming) you’re going to lose most of it. Generally speaking only baby broccoli contains nearly enough from the vegetable form so most successful studies have been done on the specific extract. But, this is perhaps one of the better studied compounds. As an aside Myrosinase, which is found in mustard can actually heighten the sulforaphane content.

Seafood – And Omega 3

There’s two main elements to seafood when it comes to blood sugar regulation. The first is protein, high protein diets can of course prevent post meal blood sugar spikes. But, interestingly, omega 3 itself seems to help contribute to blood sugar regulation. [2]

In the case of seafood though, we have actually seen that consuming the fish itself is enough to have an impact. At least in cases of overweight individuals. With one study finding that adults who were overweight or obese who ate 26 ounces (750 grams) of fatty fish had significant improvements to post meal blood sugar levels. [3]

Okra as a Natural Remedy for Diabetes

Okra most commonly used in Caribbean or Asian cuisine contains something called rhamnogalacturonan, which has been shown to lower blood sugar. It also contains the flavonoids, isoquercitrin and quercetin 3-O-gentiobioside which can inhibit certain enzymes lowering blood sugar. In theory at least. At the moment all the studies have been done on animals, but it is interesting all the same. [4]

Almost Every Best Food List Always Has Fermented Foods

Fermented foods contain probiotics, probiotics have been shown to impact blood sugar levels. This one is pretty much a given.

While technically most studies of fermented foods on blood sugar regulation involve rodent models, there’s more than enough evidence to suggest that probiotics contained within them can have a notable impact on blood sugar regulation in people with type 2 diabetes. Meaning that it’s safe to say any human trials on kimchi will probably show the same results. [5]


Traditional diabetes remedies in many countries most notably, Mexico and Iran, often include pumpkin. There are a few polysaccharides found in pumpkin that do have some backing to suggest there’s some blood sugar-regulating potential. [6]

Generally speaking though you need the extracts, as you’d need to eat more than a whole pumpkin to get the amount that’s been shown to work in the studies. Which isn’t something that most people will want to do daily.

Nuts Are A Mixed Bag For Blood Sugar

Some nuts have been shown to reduce fasting and post-meal blood sugar levels in individuals with type 2 diabetes. The most commonly cited study involved almonds and peanuts as part of a low carb diet. But, did seem to shown some improvement. There have also been several meta analysis on various other studies, which does suggest that there is a minor improvement across nut consumption in general, but it’s not a huge amount. [7]

The Blood Sugar-Lowering Potential of Flaxseed

Flaxseed is a mixed one, it is easy to overeat in terms of calories, so don’t rush out and go for handfuls. But, a review of controlled studies found that consuming whole flaxseed resulted in significant improvements in blood sugar regulation. The fiber and healthy fats in flaxseed contribute to its blood sugar-lowering effects. [8]

Kale Is Quite An Clear Inclusion

Kale contains multiple compounds that help decrease blood sugar levels. Its high fiber content and flavonoids most notably quercetin and kaempferol which we’ve mentioned a few times already. [9]

In the most cited study consuming kale significantly decreased post meal blood sugar levels compared to a placebo.

Berries for Improved Blood Sugar Regulation

Numerous studies have linked the intake of berries with improved blood sugar regulation. Berries are packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, making them an excellent choice for individuals with blood sugar management issues. [10]

For example, a study found that consuming red raspberries significantly reduced post meal insulin and blood sugar levels in adults with prediabetes. Strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries have also been shown to enhance insulin sensitivity and improve glucose clearance from the blood. [11]

And of course they have the added benefit of being an alternative to a sugary option when it comes to sweet snacks.

Avocado, Yes It Is Actually Good For This

Studies have found that consuming avocados may help reduce blood sugar levels. However, they are one of the less well backed foods on this list. They do of course contain healthy fats that have been shown to help prevent insulin issues, but they’re not as well backed as fish. [13] This could however make them a good vegan alternative.

Oats Come Up A Lot

Oats come up a lot, and as carb heavy foods go, they’re not bad. But, they are most definitely overrated. Their low glycemic index (GI) score is only really low when we compare it to things like bread or cereal, which are pretty terrible. The other benefit they have however is that they contain beta-glucan, a type of fiber that helps reduce glucose and insulin responses after meals. [14] This is also common in mushrooms.

As a result research has consistently shown that consuming oats can have positive effects on blood sugar regulation.

The Power of Legumes in Blood Sugar Management

Bean, lentils, chickpeas and the like are excellent sources of magnesium, fiber, and protein. Legumes are particularly high in soluble fiber and resistant starch, which help slow digestion and improve blood sugar response after meals. [15]

Studies have consistently shown that incorporating legumes into your diet can benefit blood sugar regulation and possibly protect against the development of diabetes. Particularly white kidney beans.


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