Make sure you’re eating these 5 veggies if you’re a diabetic

Published on:27 September 2021, 14:50pm IST
Diabetes is a serious condition, but it can be managed by making good food choices. Certain vegetables like okra and spinach help manage the condition.
Grace Bains
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okra
These vegetables will help manage diabetes and improve overall health! Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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Millions of people across the world are battling diabetes. As per WHO (World Health Organization), about 422 million people worldwide have diabetes and 1.6 million deaths are directly attributed to it each year.

It is a disease that occurs when blood glucose levels are high, which is the body’s main source of energy and comes from the food we eat. Insulin levels play a major in diabetes as it is a hormone made by the pancreas that helps glucose from food get into our cells, to be used for energy. Diabetes could impact our body’s ability to make enough/or any insulin or use insulin too well, hence, leading to glucose to stay in the blood and not reach the cells.

It is a serious condition, but it could be managed by an overhaul of food choices which includes vegetables, and catching the signs early of their onset. When deciding which foods to include in your diet, ​glycemic index (GI)​ is a tool that can be used. It measures how much and how quickly a food raises your blood sugar. The scale is as follows:

Low GI: 1 to 55
Medium GI: 56 to 69
High GI: 70 and above

diabetes
Diabetics must choose vegetables they eat wisely. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Here are five vegetables that diabetic patients can include in their diet

1. Carrots

It is a good source of beta carotene, fiber, vitamin K1 and A, potassium, and antioxidants. This vegetable is a low-glycemic food (16), and is low on carbs. As per research by Journal of Chiropractic Medicine, nutrients in carrots may be beneficial to people with diabetes. The study highlighted that dietary fiber intake may help reduce the prevalence of type 2 diabetes. This vegetable could be eaten boiled, raw, and as part of savoury and sweet dishes.

2. Broccoli

Broccoli is packed with nutrients and contains iron, vitamin C, fibre, protein, calcium, selenium, and magnesium. It can help prevent damage caused by the blood vessels in diabetic patients, due to the presence of the compound called ‘sulforaphane’. As per research published by the journal Science Translational Medicine, sulforaphane produces enzymes which protect blood vessels and reduce the number of molecules that can damage cells. It also helps fight anemia, builds muscles, and is low on GI (15). This vegetable can be eaten in roasted form, included in savoury dishes, and used to make soup.

broccoli
Broccoli is a superfood that can benefit diabetics. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

3. Spinach

Low on calories and high on nutrition, spinach is the superfood you should include in your diet. It contains iron, vitamin C, and antioxidants. Besides boosting overall health by decreasing inflammation, and increasing immunity levels, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) denotes spinach as healthy foods for diabetics, both type 1 and type 2. Spinach is low on GI (15), and can be used to make soup, savoury dishes, and salads.

4. Cucumber

Cucumber has a high-water content that helps make you feel full and hydrated. As per a study published by Journal of Ethnopharmacology, cucumbers could help reduce and control blood sugar levels, as it contains hormones that help beta cells in the pancreas to produce insulin. Its GI is 14, and can be eaten raw, as part of salads, and in the form of pickle.

5. Okra or ladyfinger

It is full of nutrients such as potassium, vitamin B and C, folic acid, fiber, and calcium. Its high fiber content is associated with managing diabetes, as per research published by the Nutrition Journal. The research also indicates that increased dietary fiber intake promotes better glycemic control and improves insulin sensitivity. Sitting low on GI (17-20), okra can be eaten as a savoury and gravy dish, and can also be roasted.

So, ladies, try to include these diabetes-friendly vegetables in your diet, and boost your health and wellness!

Grace Bains Grace Bains

Grace is someone who likes writing enough to make a living out of it. When she isn’t writing, you will find her having chai and reading a book.