Beetroot is a widely popular and nutritious vegetable that has gained much attention in recent years for its potential benefits in managing diabetes. They are great sources of potassium, folate, fiber, iron, and vitamin C. They are also packed with antioxidants, which is why many people consider them a "superfood." The high fiber content in beetroot can help regulate blood sugar levels and blood pressure, making it a great choice for people with diabetes. Additionally, the nutritional benefits of beetroot can help lower the risk of developing chronic diseases.
In this article, we will explore the relationship between beetroot and diabetes, and the nutritive value and benefits of beetroot.
Is Beetroot Good For Diabetes & Diabetics?
Yes, beetroot is good for diabetes & diabetics. When a person has low insulin levels, they usually experience high blood sugar levels. Beetroots contain phytochemicals that help to reduce blood sugar levels and regulate insulin levels in the body. According to experts, drinking beetroot juice can increase the sensitivity of obese diabetic people to insulin, thus lowering their blood sugar levels.
According to a study conducted in 2017, it was found at obese participants who consumed beetroot juice with carbohydrates showed reduced insulin resistance as compared to non-obese participants. The study showed that beetroot juice is effective for obese diabetic people.
An earlier 2014 study found that healthy participants who consumed beet juice during a meal had lower insulin and glucose responses following the meal. However, a very small 2013 study showed that participants with diabetes type-2 who drank beetroot juice regularly did not show any changes in insulin resistance. However, this cannot be confirmed because the results were based on a few participants. Let’s see the nutritive value and benefits of Beetroot.
Nutritional Value of Beetroot:
Beetroots are a nutritional powerhouse, packed with a variety of essential nutrients. In a 100-gram serving of boiled beetroot, there are about:
- 1 gram of protein
- 0 gram of fat
- 0 gram of trans fat
- 0 gram of saturated fat
- 6 grams of sugar
- 64 mg of sodium
- 0 mg of cholesterol
- 2 grams of dietary fiber
- 0 mg of potassium
In 100 gms, boiled beetroot contains approximately 44 gms of calories. so you may easily include it in your calorie-restrictive diet plan as well.
The Nutritional Profile of Beetroot:
Beetroot is packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber, making it a valuable addition to a diabetes-friendly diet. Let's take a closer look at its nutritional composition:
1. Low Glycemic Index:
Beetroot has a low glycemic index, ranging from 32 to 64 depending on its form (raw, cooked, or processed). This means that consuming beetroot is less likely to cause significant spikes in blood sugar levels.
[ Read: Glycemic Index Chart of Indian Foods ]
2. Rich in Dietary Fiber:
Fiber plays a crucial role in managing diabetes as it slows down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream. Beetroot contains a good amount of dietary fiber, promoting a gradual release of sugar into the bloodstream and preventing sudden blood sugar spikes.
3. Abundant in Antioxidants
Beetroot is a rich source of antioxidants, including betalains and vitamin C. Antioxidants help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, which are often heightened in individuals with diabetes.
4. Nutrient Powerhouse
Beetroot is a nutrient powerhouse, containing essential vitamins and minerals such as folate, potassium, and iron. These nutrients are vital for overall health and play a role in maintaining normal bodily functions.
Benefits of Beetroot for Diabetes
While research on the direct effects of beetroot on diabetes is limited, several studies have indicated promising results in relation to various aspects of diabetes management. Let's explore some potential benefits:
1. Blood Sugar Regulation
Due to its low glycemic index and high fiber content, beetroot may help regulate blood sugar levels. By promoting a gradual release of sugar into the bloodstream, it can potentially reduce the risk of sudden blood sugar spikes.
2. Blood Pressure Management
Hypertension often coexists with diabetes, increasing the risk of complications. Beetroot contains nitrates that have been shown to help lower blood pressure. Incorporating beetroot into the diet may contribute to better blood pressure control in individuals with diabetes.
3. Improved Insulin Sensitivity
Some studies suggest that beetroot consumption may enhance insulin sensitivity. Improved insulin sensitivity means that the body can utilize insulin more effectively, potentially leading to better blood sugar control.
4. Anti-Inflammatory Effects
Chronic inflammation is commonly observed in individuals with diabetes. The antioxidants present in beetroot, particularly betalains, exhibit anti-inflammatory properties. Regular consumption of beetroot may help reduce inflammation and its detrimental effects on overall health.
5. Lowers The Risk of Chronic Conditions
Beetroot, rich in antioxidants like betalains and alpha-lipoic acid, helps lower the risk of chronic diseases by combatting free radicals that cause cellular damage. This protection against oxidative stress can reduce the likelihood of conditions such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and nerve damage, which are associated with chronic diseases.
How to Include Beetroot in Your Diet?
Beets are highly versatile, adding color, flavor, and crunch to a variety of recipes and beverages. Beets can be added to salads, soups, casseroles, and smoothies.
Some of the ways to include beets in your diet are:
- Cut slices of raw beetroot and add to salads for extra color and crunch.
- Steam them with other veggies for a tasty and nutritious side meal.
- Bake the beets in the oven. Then serve as a side dish or add to salads or omelets.
- Juice beets and experiment with other vegetables and fruits.
How Much Beetroot Does a Person with Diabetes Should Eat Per Day?
For individuals with diabetes, it is advisable to incorporate beetroot into their diet in moderation. Research suggests that consuming approximately half a cup of beetroot or drinking a cup of beet juice daily can be beneficial in managing blood pressure within the normal range.
Limit your beetroot consumption to half a cup per day to avoid the adverse effects or risks of overconsumption. In other words, you should not consume more than half a beetroot every day.
Beetroot is beneficial for people with diabetes due to its essential nutrients such as antioxidants, nitrates, and phosphates. There is no evidence that beetroot consumption is harmful to diabetic patients. The antioxidants in beetroot can help reduce diabetes-related complications, prevent chronic diseases, and regulate insulin levels. Research shows that both raw beetroot and beetroot juice can effectively manage blood sugar levels, making them great additions to a diabetic diet.
Remember, small dietary modifications can have a significant impact on your overall well-being. Consult a dietitian for personalized guidance to your specific needs and conditions.
If you are diabetic or binge-eating and still want to keep your blood sugar levels normal with a carb-rich meal, Try natural plant-based supplements like Moder/ate. It comes in tablet form and can be taken with carbohydrate-rich foods like rice, parathas, poha, white bread, sugary treats like cakes, doughnuts, cool drinks etc. It can be taken with a meal or snack. Moderate can prevent up to 40% of carbs and sugars from entering your body. This can help stabilise your blood glucose levels and assist with weight loss.