Cabbage and Diabetes
The chances that you don’t like cabbage are primarily high, probably due to its raw form’s bitter taste. However, if you have diabetes, cabbage should be a must-have item on your shopping list. Although it seems like a regular vegetable, this mustard plant packs many nutrients that can help you manage diabetes naturally, as reports on cabbage and diabetes show.
This article educates you on the benefits of consuming cabbage as a diabetic by exploring its nutritional profile and giving insights into the thoughts of researchers.
- Protein 1.3 g
- Carbohydrate 6 g
- Fat 0.1 g
- Fiber 2.5 g
- Sugar 2.8 g
- Cholesterol 0 g
Nutritional Value of Cabbage
Fresh cabbage boasts a rich profile of fiber and protein. Namely, one cup of chopped fresh cabbage has 2.22 g of fiber and 1.14 g of protein, both beneficial in helping you stay filled for more extended periods and managing your weight. It’s also a low-carb and low-calorie food with 22.2 cal and 5.16 g of carbohydrates per cup. Its low-calorie content is another property that helps you avoid weight gain.
In addition, cabbage, and cruciferous vegetables, in general, have a low glycemic index (GI) of 10, meaning they present a suitable means of avoiding unwanted blood sugar spikes after consumption. It is also rich in copper, folic acid, vitamin C, among other nutrients.
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Benefits of Cabbage to a Diabetic
What are the features of this mustard plant that makes it so critical in the management of diabetes? We’ll see some of these in the following section.
Blood Sugar Regulation
Cabbage contains several anti-hyperglycemic and antioxidant constituents that work as a natural weapon against diabetes. These constituents make it a natural treatment for diabetes by lowering blood sugar levels. Namely, a study on the relationship between cabbage and diabetes reinforces this claim. In this research, cabbage extracts administered to rats for 60 days decreased blood sugar levels and reinstated body weight loss and kidney function.
Aids Weight Reduction
Due to its low calorie and high fiber content, cabbage ranks as a good food choice for people with diabetes. These features promote weight loss in diabetics, preventing obesity — a common predisposing factor for diabetes.
Improves Kidney Health
Cabbage aids in the maintenance of kidney function by lowering blood sugar levels. When a diabetic's blood sugar levels are exceptionally high, the kidneys attempt to eliminate the excess blood sugar through the urine. This can result in dehydration due to the excessive loss of bodily fluids. Dehydration thickens the blood, raising blood sugar levels even more. This results in an increased kidney workload, increasing the risk of renal failure.
Promotes Heart Health
Cabbage is thought to be the most refined vegetable for boosting heart health. Red cabbage contains a chemical called anthocyanin, which helps to reduce the risk of cardiac oxidative stress. Even a tiny amount of flavonoid-rich diet lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease death. Anthocyanin, in particular, lowers blood pressure and keeps platelets from clumping together. This is beneficial to people with diabetes as cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are a prevalent diabetes complication.
How to Add Cabbage to Your Diet
Ensure that the cabbage leaves are bulky and strong, as older ones have loose leaves. You can prepare cabbage in numerous ways — boiled, steamed, stuffed, or roasted cabbage are all delicious options. However, if you have diabetes, you can consider the following options:
- Cooking cabbage as a side dish at least three times a week is an easy way to get the vegetable into your diet
- Chop the cabbage and puree it at high speed to make cabbage juice
- If you dislike the taste, adding it to soups is an ideal way of benefiting from this vegetable
- Toss boiled cabbage with a pinch of salt and lemon juice into your salads
Research on Cabbage and Diabetes
In an animal study, cabbage was regarded as a free radical scavenging and antioxidant agent that plays a crucial role in various disorders, including coronary heart disease and diabetes. In this study on 24 diabetic male rats, treatment with dried red cabbage yielded significant reductions in blood sugar levels, triglycerides, total cholesterol, and LDL. However, an increase in their HDL levels was noted alongside improved renal and hepatic function.
Another animal study examines the effects of white cabbage aqueous extract on blood insulin, insulin resistance, and oxidative stress in male albino rats with pre-diabetes. The findings show that cabbage could reduce oxidative stress in the liver in pre-diabetic patients.
In conclusion, cabbage is a healthy choice for diabetes patients, and including it in your diabetic diet can be pretty beneficial. If you don’t like the taste of its bitter form, you can try adding it to soups.
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