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5 Superfoods to Try This Summer

by Megan Sherman, Health and Wellness Educator

With 1 in 10 Americans being diagnosed diabetic and 1 in 3 Americans being diagnosed pre-diabetic, chances are diabetes impacts your life or the life of close family members and friends. In many cases, the lifestyle choices that are beneficial to diabetics are also beneficial to everyone, which is why we are going to look at some superfoods that are good for overall health and may also help prevent disease such as diabetes.

Beans: Kidney, pinto, navy or black beans are packed with vitamins and minerals such as magnesium and potassium. Helpful Tip: To save time you can use canned beans, but be sure to rinse and drain them to get rid of as much added salt as possible.

Dark green leafy vegetables: Spinach, collards and kale are dark green leafy vegetables packed with vitamins and minerals such as vitamins A, C, E and K, iron, calcium and potassium. Helpful tip: Try adding dark leafy vegetables to salads, soups and stews. Personally, I love adding spinach to my family’s smoothies (kid-approved at our house!).

Berries: Blueberries, strawberries, etc. are all packed with antioxidants, vitamins and fiber. Helpful tip: Put together a bowl of berries when you need to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Fish high in omega-3 fatty acids: Omega-3 fats may help to reduce the risk of heart disease and inflammation. Fish high in these healthy fats are sometimes referred to as "fatty fish." Salmon is well known in this group. Other fish high in Omega-3 are herring, sardines, mackerel, trout and albacore tuna. Choose fish that is broiled, baked or grilled to avoid the carbohydrate and extra calories that would be in fish that is breaded and fried. Helpful tip: The American Diabetes Association Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes recommends eating fish (mainly fatty fish) twice per week for people with diabetes. 

Whole grains: Rich in vitamins and minerals like magnesium, B vitamins, chromium, iron and folate. They are a great source of fiber, too. Some examples of whole grains are whole oats, quinoa, whole grain barley and farro. Helpful tip: The first ingredient on a nutrition label should have the word “whole” in it.

Looking for some diabetes-friendly recipes? Check out the American Diabetes Association for some quick and easy recipes and tips for meal prepping.