Broccoli and Diabetes
For people with diabetes, figuring out the proper meals is quite a struggle due to their unstable blood sugar levels. While eating healthy meals to prevent complications is essential, it’s equally important to avoid high-carb foods. Vegetables like broccoli are an excellent addition to the diabetic diet.
Apart from being incredibly filling due to their high fiber content, these non-starchy veggies are a rich source of antioxidants that prevent diabetes complications. This article studies broccoli and diabetes and presents its benefits to diabetics drawing from research.
- Protein 2.82 g
- Carbohydrate 6.64 g
- Fat 0.37 g
- Fiber 2.6 g
- Sugar 1.7 g
- Cholesterol 0 g
Nutritional Profile of Broccoli
A cup of chopped broccoli contains as little as 6.04g of carbs. This is ideal for people with diabetes as it prevents rapid blood sugar increase relative to other foods. It also provides 2.57g of protein and 2.37g of dietary fiber per cup. This helps you to stay filled for more extended periods and prevents unnecessary weight gain.
Its low glycemic index (GI) of 10 is another feature that makes it ideal for blood sugar regulation. Also, it is a very low-calorie food at just 30.9 cal per cup — an extra advantage to people looking to shed excess weight.
Additionally, it is rich in vitamin A and C, two vital antioxidants necessary for optimal health in people with diabetes.
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How Does Broccoli Affect Diabetics?
This cruciferous vegetable offers numerous benefits to people with diabetes, including the following:
Reduction of Insulin Resistance
Broccoli is a rich source of antioxidants that affects insulin resistance. A broccoli and diabetes-focused clinical trial on 81 type 2 diabetes patients revealed that consuming broccoli sprout powder for four weeks yielded excellent results. Namely, there was a significant decrease in serum insulin concentration, implying an improvement in insulin resistance.
Reduction of Blood Glucose Levels
Sulforaphane—one of the most critical compounds in broccoli—has been identified for its lowering effect on blood sugar levels. Research conducted on 97 type 2 diabetes patients revealed that consuming concentrated broccoli sprout extracts for 12 weeks caused a 10% drop in fasting blood glucose levels in those that were obese.
High in Antioxidant Activity
Broccoli is a rich source of antioxidants that help to reduce oxidative stress in type 2 diabetics. This claim is reinforced by research conducted on 81 type 2 diabetes patients fed with varying amounts of broccoli sprouts. Reportedly, four weeks after administration, a significant decrease in oxidative stress status was observed in 63 of the patients.
The high dietary fiber and low-calorie content of broccoli make it a good diet option for people with diabetes trying to lose weight and control their blood sugar levels. Namely, you tend to eat less frequently due to the full feeling you derive from eating them, reducing your total calorie intake.
Safe Ways for Diabetics To Eat Broccoli
Although broccoli poses no health risk for people with diabetes, consume it in moderation and according to the doctor’s recommendation. Here are some ways to safely eat it.
- Blend to make broccoli cheddar soup
- Roast with small oil and salt
- Add some strawberries to make broccoli strawberry salad
- Cook with some chicken as a main dish meal
- Bake along with corn to make a corn broccoli bake
Broccoli is a low-carb and low-calorie veggie that is often included in diabetes-friendly meals. Research shows that compounds present in it (like sulforaphane) play significant roles in these benefits.
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