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17 Aug 2019, Edition - 1495, Saturday

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Health Matters

5 Vegetables You Must Include In Your Diabetes Diet

ndtv.com

Diabetes mellitus refers to a group of diseases that result in too much sugar in the blood (high blood glucose). There are various types of diabetes that the experts have classified: Type 1, 2, Pre diabetes, gestational diabetes. Late diagnosis, lack of awareness often makes diabetes management a difficult affair for many. Diabetes is also linked with a variety of conditions such as obesity and a range of heart ailments. Nutritionists assure that a healthy and proper diet, and fit lifestyle could help you manage your diabetes better. Off late there are many diabetics who have also reported that they were able to reverse the condition after taking all the necessary precautions.

An ideal diabetes diet is a mix of many factors. Sugary and refined foods are a strict no-no. The carbs present in these foods metabolise too fast and cause the blood sugar levels to surge. Sugary drinks are no good either. The lack of fibre and liquid calories make it worse to manage your sugar levels. One must prioritise foods that are rich in fibre and low in GIycemic Index. The Glycemic Index (GI) is a relative ranking of carbohydrate in foods according to how they affect blood glucose levels. Carbs with low GI value (55 or less) are digested, absorbed and metabolised slowly and cause a gradual rise in blood glucose. Carbohydrates with a GI higher than 70 cause marked fluctuations in the blood glucose levels. These abnormal fluctuations have been correlated to Type 2 diabetes.

Here are some vegetables that diabetics must include in their diabetes diet

1. Bitter gourd

Its bitter-pungent taste may have taken a toll on the veggie’s popularity, but the truth is that bitter gourd or karela is one of the healthiest and antioxidant rich foods that you can add to your diet. Bitter gourd contains active substances that lend anti-diabetic properties like charantin, which is known for its blood glucose-lowering effect and an insulin-like compound known as polypeptide-p. And for those wondering how to up its intake, here are 5 delicious ways to help you out.

2. Spinach

There must be a reason why Popeye couldn’t stop gushing about his love for spinach and there are plenty of reasons for you to join the brigade too. Spinach is also a great source of folate, dietary fibre, vitamins A, B, C, E and K. Fibre delays digestion, which ensures that the sugar is not metabolised quickly and cause a surge in blood sugar levels.

3. Cauliflower

The floret is a storehouse of vital minerals and nutrients. The superfood is also loaded with, protein, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium and manganese. The GI of cauliflower is calculated to be between 5 to 15, which is ideal for people with diabetes. Cauliflower also has high-fibre content which is further beneficial to check blood sugar fluctuations.

4. Broccoli

The nutritional powerhouse broccoli has umpteen reasons to be a part of your fit and fabulous diet. Consultant nutritionist Dr. Rupali Datta tells us that broccoli has a GI of 15, which is very low. It is an exceptional source of fibre, all of which makes it an excellent food for diabetics. One of the major areas of concerns among diabetics is the damage caused to blood vessels. In a lab study published in the journal “Diabetes” in 2008, a team of researchers found that sulforaphanes in broccoli protect against this type of cell damage. In another lab study, researchers at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden found that sulforaphanes reduced production of glucose in liver cells.

5. Asparagus

You have seen them in stews, risottos and salads. Asparagus is used extensively in Italian and continental cuisine. In addition to adding a delicious flavour to your dishes, asparagus could also help keep your blood sugar in check.The non-starchy vegetable has just 20 calories, and almost 2 grams of dietary fibre per serving. It’s especially high in an antioxidant called glutathione, which has been known to regulate sugar levels and increase insulin production.

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