What foods can lower blood sugar?

If you're trying to manage blood sugar naturally it is essential to have a healthy diet, you're not going to do very well if you're eating a load of sugar, which isn't exactly a shock. As a result we all know that your diet has a significant impact on blood sugar regulation. Certain foods high in added sugars and refined carbohydrates, can contribute to blood sugar fluctuations. But, are there any foods that can lower blood sugar?

The answer is yes some foods can actually help lower blood sugar rather than just doing harm. So let's explore the role of different foods in lowering blood sugar levels and provide evidence-backed recommendations for incorporating them into your daily meals. 

It is of course important to note that these foods are not a licence to eat sugar, but they could be particularly useful for people who want to improve their sugar regulation.

Beets and Nitric Oxide

There's been a lot of talk about beets recently when it comes to their health benefits. And along with blood pressure they've been shown to lower blood sugar levels. This is because they are rich in nitrates, which get converted to nitric oxide. The body can then use this in turn helps improve insulin sensitivity and resistance. Additionally, beets contain fiber, which slows down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream. Several studies have shown that beet juice can be particularly effective, however, most of these studies were done on people without diabetes.


Quite a few studies suggest that ginger can help manage blood sugar levels and improve insulin response in people with diabetes. Ginger has antihyperglycemic effects, which means it can regulate blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivit. On top of this ginger has been shown to aid in weight management, and have anti inflammatory effects, which can be an added benefit for a lot of people with blood sugar issues.


Spinach is known for being incredibly low in calories, with pounds of the stuff coming in under 100 calories if eaten raw and just 41 calories per cooked cup. This in and of itself makes it good for a health diet, but to top it off spinach is packed with blood sugar-friendly magnesium and fiber. These nutrients contribute to improved insulin sensitivity and overall glucose regulation. Whether enjoyed raw, sautéed with olive oil, cooked, or blended into smoothies, spinach is a versatile and nutritious choice for individuals with diabetes. Kale works similarly and that's why you'll see it pop up in a lot of recomendations, but not nearly as many people like it as spinach (and for quite obvious reasons). 


Broccoli contains a compound called sulforaphane, which has been shown in quite a few studies to have pretty decent blood sugar-reducing properties. When broccoli is chopped or chewed, an enzyme reaction produces sulforaphane. Studies conducted on both animals and humans have demonstrated that sulforaphane-rich broccoli extract can enhance insulin sensitivity and reduce blood sugar levels.

To maximize the availability of sulforaphane, it is best to consume broccoli and broccoli sprouts raw or lightly steamed. Additionally, adding ingredients that contain myrosinase, such as mustard seed powder, to cooked broccoli can enhance the release of sulforaphane.

Seafood for Blood Sugar Regulation

Seafood is quite broad, what we're looking for here is high protein or high omega 3. That's because protein plays a vital role in managing blood sugar by slowing down digestion and preventing sudden spikes in blood sugar. And omega 3 has also been shown to lower blood sugar, making fatty fish a double threat.

As a result, it's not surprising that numerous studies have demonstrated that eating fatty fish, such as salmon and sardines can enhance blood sugar control. But you do have to eat quite a lot of it. For instance, in a study involving overweight or obese individuals the consumption of 26 ounces of fatty fish per week led to notable improvements in post-meal blood sugar levels compared to the consumption of lean fish. 


Pumpkin has long been recognized as a traditional remedy for diabetes for quite some time, but that doesn't always mean very much. In this case however, it's one of the old wives tales that does seem to stack up. That's because it contains something called polysaccharides. That's a type of carbohydrate that has been studied for its blood sugar regulating potential. Treatments with pumpkin extracts and powders have been shown to significantly decrease blood sugar levels in both human and animal studies, but that doesn't mean eating a whole load of pumkins or seeds will necessarily help, as the amount of the polysaccharides can vary.


Nuts are a bit of a mixed bag, yes they have some benefits, but it's also easy to eat to many calories so, eat them sparingly. A study conducted on individuals with type 2 diabetes found that consuming peanuts and almonds throughout the day as part of a low carb diet reduced fasting and after-meal blood sugar levels.

A review of various studies also found that consuming different types of tree nuts led to reduced fasting blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. While the results were not clinically significant, it suggests that incorporating nuts into the diet may have potential benefits for blood sugar regulation.


Flaxseed, rich in fiber and healthy fats, has been shown to help reduce blood sugar levels. A study conducted on individuals with type 2 diabetes found that consuming yogurt containing flaxseed resulted in significant reductions in HbA1c, a marker of long-term blood sugar regulation.

A review of controlled studies also found that eating whole flaxseed led to significant improvements in blood sugar regulation.

The Benefits of Beans and Lentils

Beans and lentils are rich in magnesium, fiber, and protein, all of which can help lower blood sugar levels. The high soluble fiber and resistant starch content in beans and lentils slow digestion and improve blood sugar responses after meals.

For example, a study demonstrated that adding black beans or chickpeas to a rice meal significantly reduced post-meal blood sugar levels compared to consuming rice alone.

Numerous other studies have also shown that incorporating beans and lentils into the diet can benefit blood sugar regulation and protect against the development of diabetes.

Fermented Foods

Fermented foods such as kimchi and sauerkraut contain probiotics, minerals, and antioxidants that have been associated with improved blood sugar and insulin sensitivity, although it's really the probiotics here that are likely to be doing the heavy lifting. A review concluded that probiotic foods had a notable effect on blood sugar regulation in people with type 2 diabetes.

While most studies on the effects of fermented foods on blood sugar regulation involve animals or cells, they do look pretty optimistic and there's been some studies on probiotics themselves meaning that there's a pretty good chance this will hold up.

Berries and Blood Sugar

Berries, such as blueberries and raspberries, provide fiber and antioxidants known to lower blood sugar levels and inflammation. Research has demonstrated that increased raspberry consumption is associated with decreased insulin resistance.

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