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Here's why okra or bhindi is a superfood for diabetics!

Whether you like it or not, if you have diabetes it is worth trying this vegetable at least once to manage blood sugar levels.

Written by Debjani Arora |Updated : November 20, 2017 12:28 PM IST

Read this in Hindi.

Your very own okra or bhindi, a staple vegetable enjoyed by many is becoming a superfood for diabetes. Experts believe that the fruit-vegetable has properties that can control blood glucose level, help in weight management and boost overall health. Here are seven benefits of okra or bhindi that you need to know about.

How okra helps to control diabetes

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Here are a few ways how okra or bhindi can help you control diabetes if included in your diet regularly:

It is rich in fibre: A fibre rich diet can do a lot of good to a diabetic. Okra being rich in soluble fibre helps in reducing intestinal absorption of glucose, thus regulating blood sugar levels after a meal. Here are some natural ways to control diabetes.

It has anti-diabetic properties: Many studies indicate that the vegetable has certain enzymes that help metabolise carbohydrates, improve insulin production and beta cells in the pancreas, the very cells responsible for insulin production. Did you know that even kidney beans or rajma can help you control diabetes?

It helps to control weight: Weight management plays a key role in managing diabetes and keeping it s complications at bay. Okra just helps to make your struggles with weight loss easier being low in calories -- a serving of 100 gm of the fruit vegetable has less than 33 calories. Here are 10 things that are making you fat and you probably didn t know about it.

It has a low glycemic index: Foods that are low in glycemic index release sugar gradually into the blood stream and hence help to regularise the blood sugar levels. Here is a diet plan a diabetic can use to control blood sugar. better.

It is a storehouse of vitamins and minerals: Okra has a fair share of vitamin C a vital nutrient that helps improve immunity. A person with diabetes is always prone to suffer from various infections and diseases for which okra acts as a natural prevention. Also, folate or Vitamin B9 is another critical nutrient present that helps to improve brain functions. Here are 15 ways in which vitamin C can help you stay healthy.

It is a good source of antioxidants: According to research published in Nutrition Journal, okra has a higher concentration of antioxidants than most vegetables. These antioxidants prevent damage the cells from free radicals and inhibit the growth of cancer cells keeping the vital organs healthy that could suffer due to fluctuations in blood sugar levels. Here are seven antioxidants that your body needs and how to get them naturally.

How to include okra in your diet

Here are few ways in which you can have okra in your diet:

Okra water: Wash okra or bhindi thoroughly and cut it into pieces. Next, add the pieces to a glass of water and keep it covered overnight and drink it in the morning. This water is said to mimic the properties of insulin and help regulate blood sugar levels.

Boiled okra: Admittedly, this isn t an irresistible dish. Simply boil okra, add a dash of salt and squeeze half of lemon to it for taste. Eat it as a snack to reap the benefits.

Vegetable preparation: Aloo bhindi, bhindi masala, mixed vegetable with bhindi, any way you choose to have it, go ahead and gorge on it. Just be careful with oil and spices. Too much of oil can ruin the goodness of the vegetable.

Why you shouldn t be too optimistic with okra:

While there are studies, that indicate that okra or bhindi can help control diabetes it doesn t mean you throw away your medicines. Remember, nothing can cure diabetes no matter how promising it looks. So have okra as a supplement to your medications, not as a one-time cure.

Image source: Shutterstock

References:

Khatun, H., Rahman, A., Biswas, M., & Islam, A. U. (2011). Water-soluble fraction of Abelmoschus esculentus L Interacts with glucose and metformin hydrochloride and alters their absorption kinetics after coadministration in rats.ISRN pharmaceutics,2011.

Sabitha, V., Ramachandran, S., Naveen, K. R., & Panneerselvam, K. (2011). Antidiabetic and antihyperlipidemic potential of Abelmoschus esculentus (L.) Moench. in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats.Journal of Pharmacy and Bioallied Sciences,3(3), 397.

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