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Beet or Beetroot For Diabetes


Beet or the beetroot that comes from Chenopodiaceae family of vegetables is a root vegetable. It is one of those vegetables that have been around for centuries and today continues to enjoy a lot of favor in different foods. Some love its earthy and sweet flavors while others absolutely hate those very flavors.

Beetroots are roots with bulbs that bleed into everything once sliced or cooked. It gives out a rich maroon or red which can stain everything. This vegetable is very rich in iron and potassium.

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It is also a low-calorie vegetable but high in complex carbohydrates. Beetroots contain pigments called betacyanins which are responsible for its deep red color. Eating too much beetroot can result in urine and stools getting tinted with red. This is a condition called beeturia and is usually harmless. Its color also makes it rich in antioxidants like beta carotene along with being rich in fiber and vitamin C. More on health benefits of beetroot

Including beetroot in your diet can protect you from many things like hypertension, possibly Alzheimer’s, cholesterol and even dementia. Pregnant women are encouraged to include beetroots in their diet as it is a rich source of folate and iron. Beets have shown to reduce the risk of heart disease. As beets are rich in sugar, they can even act as a high-energy snack. Beet’s richness in beta carotene helps combat anemia, especially for people who do not eat meat. Beets’ color pigment has also shown signs of fighting cancer cells. In research studies, beets have also shown to fight stomach cancer cells. Beet is rarely readily recommended for diabetes. It can be included in a small portion as a part of a healthy balanced diet but its high carbohydrate count makes it a dicey vegetable. It contains fiber and iron and lots of antioxidants. So if you are vegetarian you should include some amount beetroot in your diet.

Its high content in complex carbohydrates increases its carbohydrate count, making it lose favor with people who diet and people with diabetes. It is considered a medium to high GI food. GI or glycemic index is an index designed to categorize food based on how quickly it becomes glucose. The higher the glycemic index, the less favorable the food for diabetics. Some fruits and vegetables are high on this index but because the sugar is natural sugar and these items even contain additional nutrients, some of them may be included occasionally. Beetroot is one such vegetable. How much to consume and what effect it will have on your blood glucose will vary and will need to be monitored. You, as a diabetic, can definitely have some. Smaller or younger beets are a better choice over fully grown beets to control the sugar you ingest. Steaming or roasting them is the best way to have them. Cooking these vegetables too much increases the glycemic index so you might want to be careful. As a diabetic, you are expected to count your carbohydrate intake so beets will figure high on that list. Just as you include a few potatoes and bananas, you can also include some amount of beet.

Beet greens are also consumed. These leaves are rich oxalates, so diabetics who suffer from any kidney trouble should avoid consuming these leaves. Beet juice is also a common way to ingest this vegetable. Diabetics should always pick the vegetable or fruit over the corresponding juice. The juice directly adds glucose into your blood while eating the vegetable not only gives you fiber, but also takes time to turn to glucose as your body digests the beetroot.

Submitted on January 15, 2012
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