It is important that people with diabetes try as hard as possible to maintain a low blood sugar level, therefore, including non-starchy vegetables in their meal plan is a perfect option to consider.
Vegetables do not only add flavor, texture, and bright colors to food, they also supply the body with the essential nutrients it requires to stay healthy. Vegetables are rich in minerals, vitamins, phytochemicals, dietary fiber, and antioxidants.
Vegetables also contain enough water that helps the body stay hydrated and boosts metabolism. They have been considered as an excellent choice for patients with diabetes due to the fact that they are low in calories and carbohydrate content.
Vegetables can be broadly classified into two categories; the starchy and the non-starchy vegetables.
Non-Starchy Vegetables For People With Diabetes
Like every other vegetable, non-starchy vegetables are rich in essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and some other vital nutrients like antioxidants and phytochemicals. They contain a high content of water to keep the body hydrated. They also help in boosting the body’s metabolism. Consuming this group of vegetables will help one stay full and satisfied until the next meal, which makes them a great option for replacing junks.
Vegetables are recommended in diets for diabetes patients. The cells that get damaged in the body can result in complications; taking adequate amounts of vegetables is needed for the protection of the damaged cells as well as maintaining the blood vessels. One of the strongest defenses known against complications is eating vegetables
An essential feature of non-starchy vegetables is a low carbohydrate diet.
Artichokes are one of the best vegetables to add to a blood-sugar friendly diet because they are packed with nutrients like fiber. Fiber has been proven to help stabilize blood sugar levels. Artichokes also contain several important nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin K, and folate, and are said to have one of the highest antioxidant levels when compared with other vegetables.
#2. Brussels sprouts
Brussels sprouts are not just delicious; they are also great to eat if one is watching sugar levels. Half a cup of brussels sprouts contains about 137 percent of the recommended daily intake (RDI) for vitamin K, which could help protect the bones over time. They are also high in vitamin C, A, fiber, and folate.
Broccoli is one of the most nutritious vegetables there is, with one cup of broccoli containing up to 137 percent of the RDI for vitamin C and 116 percent for vitamin K. Broccoli also contains antioxidants that help fight disease and other nutrients like potassium that regulate fluid retention in the body.
Cauliflower is another diabetes-friendly vegetable. Cauliflower may not have a bright eye-catching color like other vegetables, but it is packed with essential nutrients that boost health like fiber, manganese, potassium, vitamin B6, and folate.
Celery is often considered a negative-calorie food; celery is so regarded because it is low in calories, but also high in important nutrients essential for the body. Celery is a water-rich food that can help you meet daily fluid intake. Furthermore, celery has an alkalizing effect on the body which can lower inflammation and prevent disease.
Cucumbers are another alkalizing food that has high water content. Even more importantly, cucumbers and cucumber extract have also proven to help lower blood sugar levels.
#7. Leafy Greens
Leafy greens like kale and spinach offer similar health benefits. They are low in carbohydrates and high in vitamins and minerals that boost heart health, aid digestion, and fight disease. Adding more leafy greens in diets may also help to lower blood sugar. Leafy greens can be eaten raw in salads or cooked as aside.
Mushrooms are low-carbohydrate vegetables that are versatile. There are so many different types of mushrooms, they contain a wide range of nutrients like fiber, particularly beta-glucan fiber which has proven to help fight heart disease and control blood sugar. They also contain essential b-vitamins and nutrients like potassium.
Onions do not just make the taste of meals amazing, they also contain health-boosting prebiotic fibers that aid digestion and feed the good bacteria in the human gut. Onions are low in carbohydrates and high in vitamin B, vitamin C, and many more. Animal studies show that onions may even aid control of blood sugar.
Although not all squashes are low in carbohydrates, certain varieties like zucchini, summer squash, and spaghetti squash are safe to eat by people with diabetes. Each type of squash contains different nutrients. These varieties are generally high in water content and contain high amounts of fiber.
Spaghetti squash is a great pasta alternative for diabetics because it is low in carbohydrates and calories. Spaghetti in any recipe can be replaced with spaghetti squash as the main dish, or varieties like zucchini can be roasted to make delicious sides.
Eating enough non-starchy vegetables regularly will not only help in keeping diabetes in check but will also help reduce the risk of developing other chronic health conditions, including cancer and obesity.
Non-Starchy Vegetables and Food Hygiene
As much as vegetables are recognized as a healthy part of a diet, practicing proper food hygiene is advisable to reduce the chances of food poisoning.
Fresh vegetables should be washed properly before preparing and eating them to remove all traces of bacteria and toxins.
List Of Common Non-Starchy Vegetables
Here are other common non-starchy vegetables you can find around:
- Amaranth or Chinese spinach
- Artichoke hearts
- Baby corn
- Bamboo shoots
- Beans (green, wax, Italian)
- Bean sprouts
- Brussels sprouts
- Cabbage (green, bok choy, Chinese)
- Coleslaw (packaged, no dressing)
- Greens (collard, kale, mustard, turnip)
- Hearts of palm
- Pea pods
- Salad greens (chicory, endive, escarole, lettuce, romaine, spinach, arugula, radicchio, watercress)
- Squash (cushaw, summer, crookneck, spaghetti, zucchini)
- Sugar snap peas
- Swiss chard
- Water chestnuts
- Yard-long beans
- The List of Best Non-Starchy Vegetables
- Root vegetables:
- Leafy Vegetables
- Brussels Sprouts
- Zucchini or Courgette
- Stalk Vegetables:
- Spring onions
- Bean Sprouts