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Is Beetroot Good for Diabetes? Finding the Answer

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The use of beetroot in salads, juices and medicinal purposes is widespread. People have been using beetroot to cure various ailments, such as fever, constipation, and skin conditions. It is one of the several varieties of Beta vulgaris grown for their edible roots and leaves. Although it usually has a deep red colour, you can also find golden, white, and striped variants.

Beetroots, are rich in potassium, folate, fibre, iron, and vitamin C. They are also abundant in antioxidants, and people frequently refer to them as “superfoods.” The high fibre content of beetroot may help regulate blood sugar and blood pressure, making it suitable for diabetes complications. Moreover, the nutritional properties of beetroot can reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

People with diabetes often avoid beetroot due to its high starch or carbohydrate content. However, researchers are currently investigating whether beetroot is effective in treating diabetes.

Beetroot and Diabetes: The Positive Connection

Preliminary investigations suggest the positive effects of beetroot consumption on people with diabetes. Experts believe that beetroot can effectively help lessen the impact of diabetes. Below are some ways in which beetroot consumption can help people with diabetes.

1. Reduces Insulin and Blood Sugar Levels

One of the primary causes of diabetes is the body’s inability to produce enough insulin or use insulin effectively. Insulin is responsible for maintaining blood sugar levels. Hence, people with low insulin levels usually experience high blood sugar levels. Beetroots contain phytochemicals that help reduce blood sugar levels and control insulin levels in the body. According to experts, beetroot juice makes obese diabetic people more sensitive to insulin, which lowers blood sugar.

Diabetes is a chronic condition that leads to several complications if you do not manage it well. It primarily affects your blood vessels and circulation. Excessively high blood sugar levels can also damage small and large blood vessels. It could result in poor blood flow to your kidneys, heart, eyes, and other organs. Although beetroot contains natural sugar, its high fibre, folate and potassium content makes it a healthy food of choice for everyone, even diabetics.

One study found that antioxidants in beetroot help reduce the body’s oxidative stress and free radicals. Fewer free radicals in the body can lower the risk of diabetes complications. So, beetroot consumption can reduce oxidative stress and prevent neuropathy, retinal degeneration, nerve damage, and cardiovascular disease.

3. Lessened Insulin Resistance

Beetroot juice can improve insulin sensitivity and decrease insulin resistance in people with diabetes. Reduced insulin resistance can help regulate and control blood sugar levels. When your body breaks down food or other substances, it leaves behind metabolites. The high metabolite (nitrate) concentrations in beetroot may lessen insulin resistance.

4. Reduces Blood Pressure

One of the most frequent complications that result from uncontrolled diabetes is high blood pressure. It significantly contributes to the risk of developing heart disease, stroke, peripheral artery disease, and microvascular consequences such as eye, kidney, and nerve illnesses. Research suggests that adding beetroots to your diet may help you control your blood pressure. The presence of nitrate in beetroot juice can help improve blood circulation, widen the blood vessels, and lower blood pressure.

According to a study, people with hypertension who drank beetroot juice daily saw a significant reduction in their blood pressure. Some participants also noticed that their blood vessels were becoming more elastic. This study also indicates that drinking beetroot juice regularly can reduce systolic blood pressure.

The HealthifyMe Note

Beetroots are a rich source of nutrients and are advantageous for people with diabetes due to their variety of nutrients. Moreover, no conclusive evidence suggests that beetroot harms people with diabetes. On the contrary, its consumption is particularly beneficial for people with diabetes. Raw or juiced beetroot helps regulate blood sugar levels and is effective for diabetes. In addition, beetroot can reduce the risk of diabetes-related chronic health issues like nerve damage and eye impairment. 

Simple Ways to Eat Beetroot

You can incorporate beetroot into your diet in several ways. For example, you can eat it raw or can have beetroot juice. Here are a few ways to include beetroot in your diet:

Salad 

Cut the beetroot and combine it with other vegetables to form a colourful and tasty salad. To make the beetroot pieces smaller, you may also grate them.

Juice/Smoothies

Beetroot juice/smoothies are one of the most excellent forms of beetroot consumption. Enjoy a nutritious, healthy drink by adding it to your favourite fruits or vegetables, such as apples, gooseberries, oranges, or carrots. In addition, those who suffer from high blood sugar levels should consume beetroot juice as it aids in delaying glucose conversion into energy.

Yoghurt Dip

Grate some boiled beetroots and add them to yoghurt for making a dip. Add your favourite spices, and your beetroot dip is ready.

Roasted

Roasting beetroot is one of the most flavorful and crunchy ways to eat it. Beetroot can be finely sliced, roasted in the oven, and eaten as a snack or added to omelettes or salads.

Steamed Beetroot

Beets are a tasty and healthy option when steamed along with other veggies.

Beetroot and Diabetes: The Potential Harm

Overall, eating beetroot in moderation is generally safe. If you have diabetes, eating beetroot poses no recognised dangers. However, it can occasionally induce allergic responses and kidney stones because it is high in oxalate. The only side effect of eating beets is beeturia if you have a beetroot allergy. Beeturia causes the urine or stools to appear pink or red, which can make you feel that they are bloody.

Conclusion

While many people avoid some vegetables with a high glycemic index out of pure concern for a blood sugar spike, they end up excluding some more nutritious vegetables from their meals. Beetroot is one of these foods. Beetroot is delicious, colourful food that is good for your health because of its nutrient-rich profile. However, beetroot contains natural sugar. Hence, it is crucial to be extremely careful about the quantity of consumption and the other foods in your meal.  It is best to consult an expert nutritionist about including beetroot in your diet if your blood sugar is excessively high or unmanageable. Don’t forget, like all other foods in your diet, you should have beetroots in moderation.

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