Type 2 diabetes: The exotic vegetable proven to lower blood sugar
Type 2 diabetes is a condition in which the body can’t control the amount of glucose in the blood. The body doesn’t respond to insulin properly and you may not produce enough. This then causes a person’s blood glucose level to become too high, increasing the risk of health complications such as kidney failure, nerve damage, heart disease and stroke. But these complications can be avoided by making some simple lifestyle changes.
Okra could lower blood sugar
High blood glucose levels can be controlled or prevented by eating a healthy diet.
There’s nothing you cannot eat if you have type 2 diabetes, but certain foods should be limited.
Experts recommend eating a wide range of foods – including fruit, vegetables and some starchy foods like pasta, and sugar, fat and salt should be kept to a minimum.
But specific foods have also been found to hold blood sugar lowering properties, for example, okra.
Okra, also referred to as ‘ladies’ fingers’, is a finger-shaped vegetable popular in the southern united States, parts of Africa and the Middle East, the Caribbean and South America.
Over the last few years it’s grown increasingly popular in the UK.
Medical research on okra for diabetes management is still in the early stages, but studies have demonstrated its positive impact on blood sugar.
According to one study, okra water improved the blood sugar levels of pregnant rats that had gestational diabetes.
Roasted okra seeds have also bee long used in Turkey to treat diabetes, and studies have proven they can have a positive effect on lowering blood sugar.
Some of okra’s blood sugar lowering effects come from its dietary fibre content.
Okra is high in fibre with eight medium-sized pods estimated to contain round 3g of fibre.
Its fibre content helps digestion, cuts hunger cravings and keeps those who eat it fuller for longer.
These can all help with weight management, as being overweight or obese are risk factors for type 2 diabetes.
Increased dietary fibre intake has also been shown to promote better glycemic control and improve insulin sensitivity.
Alongside healthy eating, other lifestyle changes to consider are being more active.
The NHS states: “Physical exercise helps lower your blood sugar level. You should aim for 2.5 hours of activity a week.
You can be active anywhere as long as what you’re doing gets you out of breath. This could be fast waling, climbing stairs and doing more strenuous housework or gardening.”
When it comes to the first meal of the day, breakfast, certain foods are considered better to eat than others for blood sugar levels.
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