Excerpt: Beetroots are rich in antioxidants and nitrates. However, they can also cause people to have colored stools and urine. This raises the question: is beetroot good for diabetes?
Beetroot is a commonly consumed vegetable that can be incorporated into any diet in multiple ways. One of the simplest ways to add beets to your meal is to chop or grate them into your salad. Beets can also be cooked or baked. Additionally, there are beetroot chips and beetroot hummus for those looking for more alternative routes. But will including beetroot in a diabetes diet help lower the risk of the disease? While the simple answer to the question is ‘yes,’ there is still a need to evaluate.
Rich in antioxidants and phytochemicals
The antioxidants and phytochemicals in beetroot help tackle diabetes on two levels:
1.) They help reduce blood sugar levels
2.) They help reduce the chances of other complications connected to diabetes from occurring
The antioxidants in beetroots help reduce the presence of damaging molecules known as free radicals that are known to cause blood vessel damage. This helps prevent diseases and reduces the risk of Neuropathy, cardiovascular disease, Retinopathy and Kidney disease. Including beetroot in a diabetes diet also reduces oxidative stress, which can be a leading cause of various illnesses such as cancer and heart diseases.
The phytochemicals help with diabetes more directly. They help reduce insulin and blood sugar levels. The most effective way this can occur is if the vegetable is consumed in the form of juice, as beet juice contains betalain and neo betanin nutrients that can help reduce blood sugar levels.
The presence of antioxidants and phytochemicals makes it evident that beetroot is helpful in a diabetes diet. The vegetable also contains plenty of fiber, potassium, and folate. Fiber can help energize people to perform better while exercising, which is highly recommended for people with diabetes.
Nitrates to prevent complications
The other aspect of beetroot that helps clarify why the vegetable is good for diabetes is its abundance of nitrates. Nitrates are metabolites created when the body breaks down vegetables into constituent elements. The presence of nitrates has been shown to reduce the resistance to insulin, the existence of which is essential for people who are suffering from diabetes.
Nitrates help expand blood vessels’ size and help increase blood flow. This also reduces the risk of hypertension in people with type 2 diabetes. In addition, nitrates can also help reduce the risk of high blood pressure, which is common for people with type 2 diabetes. This helps answer the question: is beetroot good for diabetes?
Beetroot is perfect for a diabetes diet (almost)
While the presence of phytochemicals, antioxidants and nitrates make beetroot seem like the ideal vegetable for people with diabetes, certain additional factors about the vegetable are also essential to consider. Beetroot consumption can cause stools and urine to be pinkish, a discolouration known as beeturia. While beeturia is not necessarily harmful, it is essential to recognize this consequence when including beetroot in a diabetes diet.
Quality over quantity
Like all fruits and vegetables, beetroot can be helpful in a diabetes diet if incorporated in moderate quantities. The key here is to include various ways to consume vegetables instead of sticking to one. While doctors may recommend beetroot juice as a valuable supplement to people with diabetes, this can reduce fiber consumption. Additionally, consuming other low glycemic index vegetables is essential when considering a balanced diabetes diet. These include broccoli, carrots, peas, eggplant and cauliflower, to name a few.
- What does beetroot not have to contain that I can complement with other vegetables for a diabetes diet?
Beetroot is a vegetable that is rich in antioxidants, phytochemicals and nitrates. This makes it an ideal candidate for a diabetes diet. However, some vegetables, such as asparagus, artichoke and peppers, have a lower glycemic index, which can be a valuable complement to beetroot.
2. How much beetroot juice should I consume to help with my diabetes?
Evidence suggests that a little less than half a cup of beetroot juice after a meal can help reduce the risk of diabetes. While this is promising, it is still best to incorporate vegetables in various forms into your diabetes diet.
3. Should I be worried if my urine or stool is pink after eating beetroot?
No. Beeturia is a harmless condition, and unless you consume copious quantities of beetroot in a day, you have nothing to work about.