Adapted From The Diabetes Cure
Many things you currently consider to be "foods" are not. Instead, these items are processed, adulterated, refined, diluted, sweetened, salted, or changed in some way. A major challenge faced by people with type 2 diabetes is making the transition back to eating real food. Any "food" with a brand name is not real food anymore because the ingredients have been processed for a long shelf life, which means that most of the beneficial anti-inflammatory components have been lost and salt, sugar, and bad fats and preservatives have been added.
More from Rodale News: 8 Food Fakes
See the lists below for an overview of anti-inflammatory foods that will aid in your fight against diabetes and other pro-inflammatory conditions like pain and heart disease.
All vegetables contain cells and are, therefore, helpful in eliminating the inflammation in your body. But especially helpful are dark leafy greens, which contain bitter substances that can aid in healing diabetes. Root vegetables like rutabaga, parsnip, jicama, red beets, and turnips also have great mineral content and excellent phytonutrients. but they also contain a lot of starches. So while diabetics should eat root vegetables regularly, they should not eat them in great quantities. (If you're having trouble eating enough produce, use some of these 22 tips to work more veggies into your diet.)
Aboveground vegetables may be eaten in larger quantities. Note: All vegetables are good for you, but members of the nightshade family (tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, and bell and hot peppers) should be eaten with caution if you already have a problem like arthritis, upset stomach, or inflammation. For most of us coming from Europe and Africa, they are late additions to our plates and are harder to assimilate. If they trouble you, leave them out. If they don't trouble you, you can have one nightshade one time each week.
Herbs (fresh and dried)
Herbs have all the beneficial plant compounds we seek in vegetables—only more so. (These are the 30 best herbs for cold and flu season.)
These include beans, peas, chickpeas, and lentils, all of which contain healthy fibers and starches that will not spike blood sugar. Legumes contain good proteins, but they are not complete proteins, so they are typically complemented with rice or corn (or both). However, since legumes—like all seeds, grains, and nuts—contain antinutrients, digestion may be difficult: Antinutrients protect plant seeds by acting like little barbs in your intestines, ripping them open and furthering inflammation. But antinutrients (such as lectins) can be destroyed or at least reduced by soaking, cooking, sprouting, and fermentation.
More from Rodale News: 9 Things Killing Your Gut
Fungi have a high protein content and fall between vegetables and meat. Mushrooms are perfect foods for your immune system and make a good base for a vegetarian meal at least once per week. They're harder to digest than other vegetables and therefore slow down sugar uptake into your bloodstream.
These include organic olive oil, virgin coconut oil, ghee (clarified butterfat), and duck fat, and they all have anti-inflammatory effects. Saturated fats can be healthy when they come from healthy animals; they only turn unhealthy when they come from poorly (and inhumanely) kept livestock.
Organic, Grass-Fed Meat
All of your meat should be from organic, grass-fed, free-roaming animals because their meat is less inflammatory than meat filled with chemicals. And studies have shown that eating red meat does not increase the markers of inflammation in humans.
Contrary to what you have heard, chicken is meat, too, and it's not necessarily better for you than red meat. Your health depends solely on how the cow, chicken, turkey, rabbit, or lamb was raised: Healthy (and health-giving) animals grow outside, under daylight, eating grass and weeds and moving their muscles so that healthy flesh can build up. And the darker the meat, the more iron it provides for your blood cells.
More From Rodale News: 10 Freaky Facts About Your Chicken
Nonfarmed, Fresh Ocean Fish
Herring, sardines, smelt, shad, anchovies, cod, hake, mackerel, and other ocean fish contain beneficial omega-3 oils. Freshwater fish have less beneficial omega-3 fatty acids than do fish from the ocean. And small fish are less polluted than larger ones. (Check out these 12 fish you should never eat.)
Be sure to avoid these 11 other things inflaming your body.