Diabetes is a serious medical condition marked by the presence of high sugar levels in the blood. This comes from the consumption of foods containing a high amount of sugar over time. This could eventually lead to excess body fat, fatigue, frequent urination, and much more. Diabetes also affects insulin production. Insulin helps to regulate blood sugar and if your body cannot produce enough, it could make your diabetes worse, eventually progressing it from Type 2 to Type 1 diabetes. The only way you can prevent that is by eating foods that would help lower your blood sugar and we would be looking at some Nigerian foods that can help with that.
1. Ogbono Soup
Multiple studies have shown that ogbono seed (Irvingia gabonensis) is helpful in reducing blood glucose levels and reducing the risk of diabetes. Ogbono seeds help in the regulation of insulin levels and blood sugar levels, which in turn lowers the risk of diabetes. A Canadian university published a report, which stated that African mango or ogbono is useful for controlling blood sugar levels and preventing diabetes.
2. Garden Eggs
Foods that are rich in fibre are known to help regulate blood sugar levels. Garden Eggs are a good example to a Nigerian food that is rich in fibre and polyphenols, which makes it effective in lowering your blood sugar level. Garden eggs helps in reducing the rate at which sugar is digested and absorbed into your body while also increasing insulin secretion.
3. Ofada Rice
Ofada rice is much richer in fiber, calcium, magnesium, and vitamin C, which makes it healthier than white rice. This local Nigerian rice is very good for lowering blood sugar levels and losing weight. Ofada rice also has a glycemic index of 50, which is a lower glycemic index than white rice, so it has less of an effect on blood sugar.
Most people already love oats because of how delicious or satisfying it is, but oat is also very nutritious. It is said to have a low glycemic index, which means it helps to regulate blood sugar. It is also rich in soluble fibre, which is something you need a lot of if you are diabetic. Apart from that, oat contains B-glucans which help to reduce glucose and the insulin responses after a meal, thereby improving insulin sensitivity. Another good thing about oats is that it improves heart health by lowering cholesterol levels in the body. So, begin your day with a bowl of oats to keep your blood sugar in check.
If you needed a reason to start eating beans, you should know that they help regulate blood sugar. This is because they are rich in protein and fibre, and also have a low glycemic index. Beans contain complex carbohydrates, meaning your body breaks them down slowly. This prevents a spike in your blood sugar levels. No matter the type of beans you choose, it would have the same positive effect on your body.
Spinach is a vegetable with a lot of wonders. It is rich in a lot of nutrients and benefits your body in so many ways. One of the things spinach can help you with also is lowering your blood sugar. This is because it contains fibre in high amounts.
Eating more tomatoes would also help reduce your blood sugar levels. Tomatoes are rich in a lot of vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin A and C, and lycopene, which is a powerful antioxidant. To get the most effect from your tomatoes, eat them cooked or processed, rather than raw.
Another vegetable you should be eating a lot of is carrot. Carrot may feel starchy like potatoes but it is not as it does not contain a lot of carbohydrates. This means that eating carrots would not affect your blood sugar levels. The good thing about carrots is that whether you have them cooked or raw, they would have a lot of benefits on your body.
Adding garlic to your cooking would help to reduce blood sugar levels. It also increases insulin secretion and sensitivity. Garlic is also a common ingredient in local diabetes medication.
10. Healthy Nigerian Fruits
There are so many healthy Nigerian fruits like oranges, apples, mango, guava, plum, avocados, and berries that have low GI scores. They also contain a lot of nutrients and vitamins that would benefit your body, especially if you are already diabetic. Just make sure to avoid pineapples and melons.
Other Healthy Nigerian Foods That Lower Blood Sugar Levels:
- Bitterleaf soup (Ofe Onugbu)
- Ewedu soup
- Tiger nuts
- Dates (Dabino)
- Moin Moin
- Okpa (Bambara nut pudding)
- Breadfruit (Ukwa)
- Roasted unripe plantains (Boli)
- Nigerian grapefruit
- Vegetable soup
- Water yam
- Locust Beans (Iru).