According to a study presented at the Society for Endocrinology annual conference in Glasgow, regular consumption of antioxidants may help reduce cognitive difficulties in patients suffering from diabetes. Long-term decline in cognitive function is a common consequence for patients who frequently experience low blood sugar levels when using insulin to manage their diabetes. The findings showed that stimulating antioxidant defences in mice reduce cognitive impairments that could help improve the quality of life for diabetic patients. As per the researchers, low blood sugar is an almost unavoidable consequence of insulin therapy.
The researchers claim that this work demonstrates that by improving the body's own antioxidant defence system we can reverse some of the side effects associated with diabetes like poor cognitive function. For the study, the team of researchers used insulin to induce repeated bouts of low blood sugar in a mouse model of type-1 diabetes. One group of mice were also dosed with vegetable-derived antioxidant sulforaphane (SFN).
Findings in the study demonstrated that mice treated with SFN showed increased expression of antioxidant markers and decreased free radical cell damage. In addition, SFN significantly improved cognitive ability in memory tasks. The concentration of SFN would not be attainable in a normal diet rich in vegetables, as per the researchers. However, there are various highly potent compounds in clinical trials that may prevent cognitive impairments caused by free radicals to help diabetics.
We list out foods that are rich in antioxidants that promote overall health, especially in diabetics:
- Dark, leafy green vegetables like kale, spinach, mustard greens, collard greens and Swiss chard.
- Fruits like grapes, apricots, peaches, avocadoes, grapefruits and tomatoes.
- Sources of vitamin C like mangoes, oranges, lemons, limes, bell peppers and papayas.
- Herbs and spices like oregano, thyme, turmeric, onions, garlic, cumin and parsley.
- Seeds like chia seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds.
- Nuts like almonds, cashews, peanuts, Brazil nuts and walnuts.
- Berries like strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and blueberries.
- Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, Brussel sprouts and cauliflower.
Do include antioxidant-rich foods in your diet to not just maintain blood sugar levels but also keep yourself healthy.
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