Lemons and limes belong to the citrus fruit family. This makes them diabetes superfoods, according to the American Diabetes Association. Citrus fruits are well-known for having a high vitamin C content, but the high levels of soluble fiber in lemons and limes offer those with diabetes the most benefits.
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The soluble fiber found in the peels, juice and pulp of lemons and limes might help you better manage your diabetes health. Soluble fiber might help stabilize your blood glucose levels by helping to slow down your body’s absorption of sugar into your bloodstream. Soluble fiber might also help lower your blood pressure and reduce your low-density lipoprotein, or "bad" LDL cholesterol. In addition, soluble fiber might help reduce inflammation of your blood vessels. Diabetes increases your risk of suffering from heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke.
The best recipes that involve lemons include the skin, juice and pulp of the fruit. Try preparing a lemon vinaigrette dressing for your salads. Use fresh lemon juice with pulp, lemon zest, vinegar, olive oil and pepper, or try preparing a lemon dill sauce for salmon. This recipe calls for fresh lemon juice with pulp, lemon zest, dill, low-fat plain yogurt and egg whites. Simple, everyday options include adding fresh lemon juice with pulp and lemon zest to ice water, iced tea, low-fat cottage cheese or low-fat plain yogurt.
Look for recipes that include the juice, peel and pulp from limes. Try preparing a homemade salsa. Use fresh lime juice with pulp, lime zest, tomatoes, onions, black beans, cilantro and olive oil. Or try preparing lime-grilled fish. Combine lime juice with pulp, lime zest and olive oil, and brush over fish while grilling. You could also make a cucumber salad with limes. Toss sliced cucumbers in a dressing that includes lime juice, lime pulp, lime zest, dill, pepper and fat-free plain yogurt. For simple, everyday options, try adding lime juice with pulp and zest to wild rice, Mediterranean salad or a falafel pita sandwich.
Besides containing vitamin C and heart-healthy soluble fiber, lemons and limes fit nicely into a healthy diabetes diet plan because both fruits possess a low glycemic index. This means eating lemons or limes should not cause your blood glucose levels to spike. In addition, lemons and limes contain very few calories. Other citrus fruits that contain vitamin C and soluble fiber include grapefruit and oranges.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
- American Diabetes Association: Food and Fitness –- Diabetes Superfoods
- MayoClinic.com: Nutrition and Healthy Eating –- Dietary Fiber Essential For A Healthy Diet
- American Diabetes Association: Diabetes Basics –- Diabetes Data From The 2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet
- American Diabetes Association: Food and Fitness -– Glycemic Index and Diabetes
- "Diabetes Forecast –- The Healthy Living Magazine": Lemon Vinaigrette
- American Diabetes Association: Lemon Dill Sauce
- American Diabetes Association: Recipes -- Black Beans, Grape Tomatoes and Lime
- American Diabetes Association: Lime Grilled Fish with Fresh Salsa
- American Diabetes Association: Dilled Cucumber Salad