Diabetes is a condition marked by elevated blood sugar levels. It is currently one of the most prevalent metabolic disorders around the world. Diabetics need to be extra cautious of what they add to their plate. Off late, scientists have discovered natural antidiabetic properties of many fruits and vegetables. One of them is okra or our very own bhindi. According to the book, 'Healing Foods' by DK Publishing House, okra is "a rich source of many nutrients, including fibre, vitamin B6, and folate. B vitamins slow the progress of diabetic neuropathy and reduce levels of homocysteine, a risk factor for this disease. The soluble fibre also helps stabilise sugar." Okra is a vegetable that is widely consumed in India. It is cooked with a number of spices and eaten with chapatis. Who knew it could help us control symptoms of diabetes as well!
The vegetable has a very low glycaemic index. Glycaemic index is a ranking given to carbohydrates of a food depending on how they affect your blood sugar. Low GI foods ensure the blood sugar is stable, and the sugar released from the food is metabolised slowly. Would you believe 100 grams of bhindi contains only 7.45 grams of carbohydrates?! This is perhaps why, according to American Diabetes Association, non-starchy food like okra is considered a safe bet for diabetics.
Bhindi is an excellent source of both soluble and insoluble fibre. Fibre takes its own time to breakdown and digest. Since it takes relatively longer to breakdown, it releases sugar very gradually in the bloodstream, thereby avoiding the surge in blood sugar levels. Okra is one of the few vegetables, which is also dense in protein. Diabetics are often advised to keep their diet high in protein as it helps keep them satiated and prevent bingeing on other sugary foods.
Okra is exceptionally low in calories. Hundred grams of bhindi has less than 33 calories! One of the common problems faced by diabetics is weight gain. Including bhindiin your diet helps ensure healthy weight management. Since it is also high on fibre, bhindi helps keep you satiated for long, which prevents craving.
In addition to the blood glucose lowering compounds, okra is also a powerhouse of antioxidants and vital nutrients like folate, beta-carotene, and lutein. It is also enriched with anti-inflammatory properties that make it a healthy addition to an ideal diabetes diet.
Okra can be consumed in many ways. You can cook it lightly, steam it, grill it or add them to yummy and fresh stir-fries. You can also include them as part of delicious detox waters. Okra water is fast becoming a sensation in the world of health and fitness. Here's how you can make it at home.
How To Make Okra Water For Diabetes:
1. Take five okra pods, medium sized. And wash them thoroughly.
2. Cut off the ends of the pods. Now, with the help of a knife split the pods in half.
3. Take a mason jar or a tumbler with three cups of water and put the pods in it.
4. Let the pods soak overnight.
5. Squeeze the pods into the water and take them out.
6. Drink the water.
Before you make any major alteration to your diet, it is better to consult an expert. Remember, excess of anything can prove detrimental to your blood sugar levels. Therefore practice moderation at all times. If your blood sugar is seeing rapid fluctuations, make sure you seek your consult immediately.
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