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Root Vegetables and Blood Glucose: A Correlation

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The primary sugar in your blood is known as glucose. It comes from the food you eat and is the primary energy source for your body. All your body cells receive glucose from your blood to use as fuel. Blood glucose levels are moderately controlled by the body so that there is enough of it to sustain the cells without oversaturating the bloodstream. Throughout the day, blood sugar levels can vary. After eating, levels climb for roughly an hour before returning to normal. Before the morning meal, they are at their lowest. It is crucial to keep them under control to prevent obesity and type 2 diabetes.

The sugar levels (or, more specifically, glucose) in our blood directly impact our health. Because glucose affects crucial biological systems, changes in glucose levels or how the body processes glucose can cause various health issues. For example, among many other detrimental effects, it can impair immune function, raise the risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, speed up ageing and tooth decay, and negatively influence behaviour. Root vegetables are readily available, and you can add them to any meal. Some root vegetables include onions, ginger, sweet potatoes, radish, turnip, beetroot, garlic, fennel (Saunf), celery, carrots and turmeric.

Hypoglycemia occurs when your blood does not have enough glucose. Conversely, hyperglycemia is when your body has elevated glucose levels. Unlike hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia, or having too much sugar in your blood, often develops gradually over a few hours or days. However, both have detrimental effects on the body, although having different symptoms.

Tracking Blood Glucose Levels

To avoid long-term problems and decrease the unpleasant impacts of high and low blood sugar, monitoring your glucose levels can help determine whether you are meeting your glucose objectives. The technique of taking a blood glucose test determines the level of sugar, or glucose, in your blood. If any of the following statements are accurate, you should take the test:

  • You lack exercise
  • You are overweight or underweight.
  • You have high blood pressure, high triglyceride levels, or low levels of good cholesterol (HDL)
  • You’ve previously experienced insulin resistance.
  • You have a history of hypertension or strokes.
  • You are an American Indian, Asian, African, Hispanic, or Pacific Islander.
  • Your family has a history of diabetes.

It is critical to monitor your blood glucose levels. But how exactly should one go about it? The innovative device BIOS by HealthifyMe is the solution. The censored device (CGM) attached to your body (primarily your arm) continuously and instantly monitors your blood glucose levels. It can monitor your glucose levels from the smallest bite to the last sip of water. The glucose level monitoring can assist the Pro coaches in telling you what to eat and how to exercise. 

The Ideal Blood Glucose Levels

Knowing the distinction between hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia and the ideal blood sugar range is crucial before any testing.

The typical range for fasting blood sugar is between 70 mg/dL (3.9 mmol/L) and 100 mg/dL (5.6 mmol/L), according to the WHO. Therefore, lifestyle modifications are essential when fasting glucose levels are between 100 and 125 mg/dL (5.6 to 6.9 mmol/L). In addition, you should closely monitor blood sugar levels. Medical professionals diagnose diabetes if the fasting blood glucose level is 126 mg/dL (7 mmol/L) or above.

Hypoglycemia occurs when the fasting blood glucose level is less than 70 mg/dL (3.9 mmol/L). On the other hand, hyperglycemia happens when the fasting glucose level is greater than or equal to 125 mg/dL. (not eating for at least eight hours). However, the needs of children, teenagers, and expectant mothers may vary.

The HealthifyMe Note

Get your blood glucose levels evaluated immediately to prevent further health issues. In the opinion of specialists, using a wearable gadget like BIOS is one of the most acceptable ways to track the impact of foods on your glucose levels. Less than 70 mg/dL (3.9 mmol/L) is the optimal fasting glucose level for healthy individuals without diseases like diabetes.

Factors Affecting Blood Glucose Levels

Poor Diet

Throughout the day, blood sugar levels change. Your blood sugar will rise as soon as you consume something, especially carbohydrate-rich items like bread, potatoes, or pasta. Carbohydrates, fried meals, baked goods, sugar, soda, canned drinks, and other items are some of the usual offenders. If you typically have stable blood sugar levels but are suddenly experiencing surges in blood sugar, there may be a more serious underlying problem.

Lack of Exercise

Since the body uses blood sugar as an energy source during exercise, it can significantly impact blood sugar levels. Your cells use blood sugar as energy when you use your muscles. People who have sedentary lifestyles have trouble digesting food. As a result, it absorbs less sugar, leading to illness.

Insulin 

An essential hormone that aids in controlling blood sugar levels is insulin. The pancreas produces insulin. By assisting the cells that absorb sugar from the bloodstream, it aids in blood sugar regulation. Therefore, it can significantly influence those with type 1 and 2 diabetes. 

Those who have type 1 diabetes cannot produce insulin in their bodies. You must therefore inject insulin daily. Your body makes insulin if you have type 2 diabetes, but it might not use it properly or make enough of it. Because your cells don’t react to insulin, more sugar keeps moving through the bloodstream.

Stress

When stressful circumstances are present, blood sugar levels are affected by epinephrine (adrenaline), glucagon, growth hormone, and cortisol. For example, infections, serious illnesses, or intense emotional stress are stressful situations. The body prepares for stress by ensuring enough sugar or energy is on hand. As a result, the liver produces more glucose, the glucagon and epinephrine (adrenaline) levels rise, and insulin levels drop. In addition, growth hormone and cortisol levels increase concurrently, which makes bodily tissues (muscle and fat) less responsive to insulin. If not addressed, this may have various adverse effects on health.

Alcohol Intake

Alcohol increases appetite, which can lead to overeating and impact your ability to control your blood sugar levels. Drinking can raise blood sugar levels in modest doses, while excessive alcohol can lower it. In particular, for people with type 1 diabetes, it can cause it to fall to dangerous levels. Alcoholic beverages with carbs, such as beer, and sweet wine, may cause blood sugar to rise.

Diet and its Effect on Blood Glucose Levels

Our diet significantly impacts the majority of our body’s processes. Therefore, any influence on our health is decisive. It is one of the reasons why medical professionals advise their sick patients to follow a particular diet. The saying ‘you are what you eat stands true. Your cells receive nutrition from the smaller molecules formed when you eat something. For instance, when humans consume food that contains carbs, the digestive system converts the digestible ones into sugar, which then the blood absorbs. 

According to research, dietary elements significantly and clinically affect blood glucose levels. For example, your body doesn’t receive any nutrition when you consistently eat junk food. Fluctuations in blood sugar are the outcome of this. Hence, doctors always recommend sticking to a diet rich in complex carbohydrates. It not only helps in breaking food down slowly but also helps keep blood-glucose diseases in control. Root vegetables are a carbohydrate option that works for vegetarians, non-vegetarians, and vegans. 

Root Vegetables and Blood Glucose

Any vegetable that grows underground is a root vegetable. You can categorise root vegetables as a seasonal group of winter and fall veggies. It is because they can be long-term preserved in cold, dark places after being harvested in the fall. 

Most root veggies are typically nutrient-rich and packed with health advantages. They are high in carbohydrates since many root veggies are starch-filled. Technically, not all of them are roots; some are nutrient-storing bulbous growths that provide the plant with food during the winter. If you have diabetes and want to reduce weight, root vegetables, including potatoes, beets, carrots, radishes, rutabagas, turnips, and celery, are exceptionally better.

In general, root vegetables are starchy vegetables. Starches are a carbohydrate your body converts into glucose for your body’s usage. Your body breaks down the nutrients in these vegetables to use them.

Doctors have confirmed that root vegetables can assist in preventing several chronic diseases. Therefore, dieticians also advise adding these to your daily diet. In addition, several of these vegetables are high in vitamin C and low in carbs. Additionally, root vegetables are high in fibre. This nutrient not only makes you feel full after eating, but it also maintains the health of your digestive system. However, since these are rich in carbs, a higher intake can result in a blood glucose spike. Hence, you should consult your dietician about the correct portions. 

The HealthifyMe Note

Several factors are responsible for keeping blood glucose levels in check. Diet plays one of the most critical roles in this. Experts recommend incorporating carbs, especially root vegetables, into the diet. Root vegetables are rich in starch, fibre, and nutrition that help stabilise blood glucose levels. However, you must have it in moderation and under the guidance of a dietician if you’re suffering from a medical ailment. 

Ways to Incorporate Root Vegetables in Your Diet

Root vegetables are, as the name implies, vegetables that are rooted in the ground. These warming, filling foods are cultivated underground in the soil. Therefore, they derive all the nutrients from the soil. Sweet potatoes, potatoes, beets, carrots, fennel, celery root, garlic, shallots, ginger, onion, and turmeric are a few of the most well-liked root vegetables. You can add these vegetables to almost any dish. Some of the best ways to incorporate them into your diet are: 

  • Add them to a toast/bread as a topping
  • Mash them
  • Air fry them or roast them in the oven
  • Add them to a soup
  • Salads
  • Sandwich filling
  • Blend it into a smoothie
  • Add them to your favourite dish (even on a cheat day)
  • Bake them dry

The best part about these is that you can add them to anyone’s diet. Vegetarians can add them to their regular meals. Non-vegetarians can toss them into their favourite meat and sauce. As for vegans, since most of their diet revolves around veg food, they can easily incorporate these. It is advisable to consult a dietician before creating a plan for yourself.

Storage and Precaution

The best way to store the vegetables is to wash them thoroughly and store them in the fridge. For vegetables such as onions and potatoes, the best way is to store them in a container and keep them in a cool and dry place. It is imperative to clean off the soil before consumption. If you’re freezing them, wash them thoroughly, pat them dry and then put them in freezer bags to freeze. 

Some people may develop an allergy after consuming root vegetables. Anyone experiencing hives, puffiness, or breathing difficulties must see a doctor immediately. If this progresses to anaphylaxis, life-threatening circumstances could emerge. Therefore, it is best to determine whether you have allergies before including them in your diet. Another side effect of root vegetables comes from overconsumption. Overconsumption of it can lead to a spike in blood glucose levels. That is why it’s essential to consult a dietician first.

Conclusion

Your health can be made or broken by the amounts of glucose in your body. Keeping it at its ideal level is essential because both hypo and hyperglycemia harm the body. One of the best strategies to manage fluctuating blood glucose levels is diet. The consumption of carbohydrates is one of the most critical factors. 

Including root vegetables in the diet is advised by experts. It not only benefits people from all walks of life, but it also works to prevent disease. They are among the best sources and may be incorporated into your diet in various ways, including spreading them on toast, baking them, using them to make soup and salad, and more. However, consult your dietician before opting for a diet plan, as a higher intake of root veggies can lead to a spike in blood glucose levels.

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