3 Seasonal Greens for Type 2 Diabetes Management
Last updated: October 2023
Do you love embracing seasonal fruits and vegetables? Along with better flavor, consuming seasonal foods also gives Mother Nature a helping hand.
Generally, seasonal and local ingredients require less energy to produce, helping to reduce overall carbon emissions. So, kick start this year's journey toward better health by checking out these 3 fall and winter greens that will better the planet and your type 2 diabetes management.
Kale for type 2 diabetes
Kale-yeah! This leafy vegetable goes well beyond simply being a trendy ingredient. Instead, it's a green machine packed with health-promoting benefits in every bite.
Specifically, kale is an excellent source of vitamin K, a nutrient necessary for proper bone and heart health. And research shows that high levels of vitamin K may help improve insulin sensitivity, enabling better type 2 diabetes management.1
A recent study also found that a greater intake of green leafy vegetables, such as kale, was associated with a 14 percent reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes.2
So, take a step toward better health by trying these tasty ways to kick up your kale intake.
Make it a chip
Transform this leafy green into a crispy treat. Simply remove the kale leaves from the stems and lightly drizzle them with olive oil. Then, season it with salt, garlic powder, and smoked paprika. Finally, bake your kale leaves in the oven at 300 degrees Fahrenheit until they are crispy, like chips!
Smoothies are the perfect vessel for colorful nutrition. Plus, the fruit often overpowers the taste of kale, helping non-veggie enthusiasts to get their greens. I love combining kale with tropical fruit, unsweetened soy milk, and a plant-based or whey-based protein for a power-packed breakfast that energizes me all morning. And, if your kale is about to wilt, don't waste it. Store it in the freezer to add to your next smoothie.
Broccoli for type 2 diabetes
Help reach your health potential by getting your broc' on! Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower are a one-stop shop for wholesome nutrition.
They are abundant in feel-full fiber, promoting digestive health, immune function, blood glucose control, mealtime satiety, and bowel regularity.3
Broccoli is also rich in vitamin C, an antioxidant that may help neutralize free radicals that contribute to an increased risk of disease. Research shows that vitamin C may also enable better blood glucose control while helping to prevent heart-related comorbidities at greater risk among people with type 2 diabetes.3
Check out these delicious ways to add more greens to your eating habits.
Steamed or microwaved veggies can be a total snooze. So, add a texture-filled flare to any dish by tossing broccoli into an air fryer. I love adding vitamin B12-rich nutritional yeast to my crispy broccoli for a cheese-like taste that packs a nutritious punch. But if you don't have an air fryer, don't fret! Toss it in the oven at 450 degrees Fahrenheit until it's crispy.
Make a slaw
Transform broccoli into a fiber-filled slaw paired with a tangy vinaigrette. Combine lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and ground pepper. Then drizzle on the slaw! Enjoy this must-try dish on its own, or use it as a nutritious and delicious pairing to your favorite lean protein.
Zucchini for type 2 diabetes
Zucchini contains powerful phytonutrients that may help protect the eye against retinopathy linked to complications from uncontrolled diabetes.4
Increase your zucchini intake with these irresistible ideas.
Create a healthful rendition of a fan-favorite flavor by creating baked and breaded zucchini chips. For a fiber-filled boost, substitute traditional flour for an alternative made from garbanzo or oats.
Add parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper to your flour mixture. Use an egg to make it stick. Pop your creations in the oven and bake them until crispy. It's that easy! Pair these tasty bites with a Greek yogurt dipping sauce for an extra source of wholesome nutrition.
Make it into noodles
Help keep blood glucose levels under control while enjoying a classic dish! Use a spiralizer to create zucchini "noodles" to pair with your favorite pasta sauce. Top your dish with your favorite lean protein such as tofu, tempeh, turkey, chicken, and more for extra nutritional balance.
How often do you find yourself craving sweet snacks?