Are Beets Good For Diabetes?

Beetroot juice on a table

Beets or beetroots are one among the several varieties of Beta vulgaris that have been used for medical reasons such as treating fever, constipation, and much more. Interestingly, this deep red vegetable has been linked with powerful antioxidants and nutrients that serve a number of health benefits to normal folks. But, how good are beets for people with diabetes? 

Are they equally healthy for diabetics as well. Lets find out this and more in today article and let just jump into the findings for answering some common questions associated with eating beetroot in diabetes.

Nutritional composition of beetroot 

Beets as mentioned above are one of several varieties of Beta vulgaris, that are grown for their edible root and leaves. The other forms include the sugar beet, which has white flesh, and a leafy vegetable.

Common beets aka the red coloured beetroots due to their high content of inorganic nitrates are packed with whole lot of essential nutrients such as protein, iron, vitamin C, magnesium and fiber. Going by the numeric nutritional content of beets, a 136 grams of beetroot contains:

  • Proteins (1.6 gm)
  • Carbohydrates (9.6 gm)
  • Fiber (2.8 gm)
  • Sugar (6.8 gm) :(
  • Fat (0.2 gm)

In addition to these, Beetroots also helps in other bodily functions including improved blood flow, lower blood pressure etc. They are eaten in both raw and cooked form, and even in pickled form, depending upon the preferences. But, are these positive effects of beets are helpful for people with diabetes as well?

Continue reading and this article will tell you everything you need to know beets and diabetes.

Beets and diabetes

When it comes to eating beetroot in diabetes, the studies and researches seems to be positive . Beets are rich in phytochemicals that have been shown to assist in regulating the effect on glucose and insulin inside the human body.

Glycemic index of beetroots 

Glycemic index (GI) is a 100-point scale that rates foods on their potential to increase blood sugar. If a food causes rapid rise in blood sugar, it's given a higher value and the one which doesn't are given lower value.

Beetroots have a GI score of 61, which is considered medium. Therefore, eating beets in diabetes will not have much negative impact on the body, if eaten in moderation. 

Now of course, it goes without saying that this moderate intake cannot be exactly measured by someone who's not from medical field. Hence, it's best to consult a professional doctor regarding the intake of beetroot in diabetes and they will suggest you the best quantity and frequency of consumption as per your blood sugar readings and current health.  

Are beets good for diabetes 

From the above explanation of GI and health benefits of beets, it can be clearly concluded that eating beets in diabetes can be really healthy until you keep following the right quantity and frequency of consumption.

Multiple studies conducted on beets and diabetes have shown positive results, therefore the health benefits of beetroot for diabetes are real and can not be neglected at all.

Lowers blood sugar

Beetroots are rich in nutrients that have been shown to pose good effect on glucose and insulin levels inside the human body. As per a study conducted in 2014, drinking a little less than 1/2 cup of beetroot juice helped in reducing the post-meal glucose spikes.

Lowers blood pressure

High blood pressure is common symptom among people with diabetes, particularly those with type 2 diabetes. Eating beetroot in diabetes might help in benefiting the blood pressure issues due to the presence of nitrates in beet juice. These nitrates improve the ability of blood vessels to widen, promoting more and better blood flow.

According to a study conducted on some people with hypertension in 2013, a significant drop in blood pressure was noticed by drinking one cup of beetroot juice every day.

Enhances exercise performance

Exercises such as walking, jogging are very important in controlling blood sugar in people with diabetes. Exercising on a regular basis helps in reducing the risk heart disease and other cardiovascular disorders that are diabetics are very prone to. 

Drinking beet juice might help in improving the ability of muscles to take up more and more oxygen during exercising and might also assist in enhancing exercise tolerance. 

Lowers risk of health complications

Diabetics are prone to multiple health complications and an uncontrolled version of it can cause damage to your small blood vessels and larger blood vessels inside the body. 

This can lead to serious health problems affecting eyes, heart and other parts of the body. Beets in diabetes works as a perfect combo here and some antioxidants that are found in beets might be extremely helpful here and can help reducing the risk of diabetes complications.

Beets juice in diabetes 

Similar to raw beets in diabetes, beetroot juice might equally serve all of the health benefits mentioned above. Drinking some quantity of beetroot (as specified by professional doctor) can keep you fit healthy in long run along with controlling blood sugar levels, blood pressure issues and other health complications that are common among people with diabetes.

There are multiple ways in which beets can be included in every day diet: 

  • You can cut some slices of raw beetroot and add to your salads.
  • They can be steamed and mixed with with other vegetables.
  • Some raw slices of beetroot can be blended and it's juice can be consumed for getting all that beetroot juice benefits in diabetes.

Conclusion 

Beets and diabetes have proved to a really health combo. Beetroots are packed with multiple antioxidants and nutrients that are extremely essential for a healthy body. They are versatile in nature, therefore including beetroot in raw or juice form as prescribed by a professional doctor might help in keeping many diabetes related health complications at bay.

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