Diabetes Tips: How To Make Okra Water For Blood Sugar Management

Diabetes is a condition marked by elevated blood sugar levels. It is currently one of the most prevalent metabolic disorders around the world. Diabetics need to be extra cautious of what they add to their plate. Off late, scientists have discovered natural antidiabetic properties of many fruits and vegetables. One of them is okra or our very own bhindi. According to the book, ‘Healing Foods’ by DK Publishing House, okra is “a rich source of many nutrients, including fibre, vitamin B6, and folate. B vitamins slow the progress of diabetic neuropathy and reduce levels of homocysteine, a risk factor for this disease. The soluble fibre also helps stabilise sugar.” Okra is a vegetable that is widely consumed in India. It is cooked with a number of spices and eaten with chapatis. Who knew it could help us control symptoms of diabetes as well! Let’s find out more about it. 

The vegetable has a very low glycaemic index. Glycaemic index is a ranking given to carbohydrates of a food depending on how they affect your blood sugar. Low GI foods ensure the blood sugar is stable, and the sugar released from the food is metabolised slowly. Would you believe 100 grams of bhindi contains only 7.45 grams of carbohydrates?! This is perhaps why, according to American Diabetes Association, non-starchy food like okra is considered a safe bet for diabetics. 

Bhindi is an excellent source of both soluble and insoluble fibre. Fibre takes its own time to breakdown and digest. Since it takes relatively longer to breakdown, it releases sugar very gradually in the bloodstream, thereby avoiding the surge in blood sugar levels. Okra is one of the few vegetables, which is also dense in protein. Diabetics are often advised to keep their diet high in protein as it helps keep them satiated and prevent bingeing on other sugary foods. 

Okra is exceptionally low in calories. Hundred grams of bhindi has less than 33 calories! One of the common problems faced by diabetics is weight gain. Including bhindiin your diet helps ensure healthy weight management. Since it is also high on fibre, bhindi helps keep you satiated for long, which prevents craving. 

Read more  Is Flatulence Good for You? Depends on the Smell?!

(Also Read: Diabetes: This DIY Herbal Concoction May Help Keep Blood Sugar Levels In Control)

In addition to the blood glucose lowering compounds, okra is also a powerhouse of antioxidants and vital nutrients like folate, beta-carotene, and lutein. It is also enriched with anti-inflammatory properties that make it a healthy addition to an ideal diabetes diet. 

Okra can be consumed in many ways. You can cook it lightly, steam it, grill it or add them to yummy and fresh stir-fries. You can also include them as part of delicious detox waters. Okra water is fast becoming a sensation in the world of health and fitness.  Here’s how you can make it at home. 

How To Make Okra Water For Diabetes:

1. Take five okra pods, medium sized. And wash them thoroughly.

2. Cut off the ends of the pods. Now, with the help of a knife split the pods in half.

3. Take a mason jar or a tumbler with three cups of water and put the pods in it. 

4. Let the pods soak overnight. 

5. Squeeze the pods into the water and take them out. 

6. Drink the water.

Before you make any major alteration to your diet, it is better to consult an expert. Remember, excess of anything can prove detrimental to your blood sugar levels. Therefore practice moderation at all times. If your blood sugar is seeing rapid fluctuations, make sure you seek your consult immediately. 

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.


— Update: 04-01-2023 — cohaitungchi.com found an additional article Should I Eat Okra if I Have Diabetes? from the website greatist.com for the keyword okra water for diabetes.

Roasted okra seeds have been used for generations in Turkey as a traditional treatment for diabetes. But is this use supported by modern science? Okra’s ability to help treat diabetes has been supported by various studies, but research is still in the early phases.

Read more  Best Multivitamins for Type 1 Diabetics

One study, which referenced Turkey’s tradition, concluded that okra seeds have an alpha-glucosidase-inhibiting effect in rats.

Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors are a class of diabetes medications that slow the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream, preventing blood sugar spikes.

Another study performed on rats with gestational diabetes concluded that okra’s antioxidant content may help to reduce insulin resistance, which in turn reduces blood sugar. Insulin is, of course, a hormone that allows cells to convert glucose to energy, or to store it for future use.

A further study, also performed on rats, found that okra supplements helped to regulate blood sugar and blood lipids (e.g. cholesterol) for the better.

That’s a lot of exciting news for rats! But further research is needed to determine just how applicable this information is for humans.

Dietary fiber and insulin resistance

Most of us have been told that we should be eating more fiber. But most of us aren’t terribly interested in doing so. A recent study found that 95 percent of us aren’t meeting the recommendations.

Okra to the rescue! It’s a good source of dietary fiber, which it turns out, has numerous benefits. A 2012 study of 264 women found a significant correlation between increased intake of soluble fiber and reduced insulin resistance.

One contributing factor may be that dietary fiber helps maintain a healthy balance of bacteria in the gut, which studies suggest promotes insulin sensitivity (the opposite of insulin resistance).

A Japanese study on participants with type 2 diabetes found that an increased intake of dietary fiber can also reduce the risk of heart and kidney disease.

Some additional benefits of dietary fiber include:

  • Regulates blood sugar. Soluble fiber, such as that found in okra, helps to reduce blood sugar spikes by slowing the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream.
  • Reduces cholesterol. Soluble fiber reduces LDL cholesterol (the “bad” kind) in the blood.
  • Helps to curb overeating. Dietary fiber makes you feel full quicker and for longer, preventing overeating and cravings between meals.
  • Keeps you regular. Fiber softens and bulks up your stool, alleviating constipation. Fiber is also good for general colon health, as a high-fiber diet reduces risk of internal hemorrhoids and colorectal cancer. Your colon will thank you.

Read more  Diabetic Meal Plans: Nutrition Tips for Managing Diabetes

Stress management

Having diabetes can be stressful, and mental stress can make diabetes worse. This is because stress hormones are believed to raise blood sugar in those with type 2 diabetes.

Those with type 1 diabetes respond more unpredictably to stress, with some experiencing a rise in blood sugar and some experiencing a drop.

What does this have to do with Okra? A 2014 study performed on mice found that okra seed extract was effective at reducing stress, although more investigation is needed to determine exactly why this is the case or if it has any relevance for humans.

Lowers cholesterol

Cholesterol can be a struggle for those with diabetes. A common condition called diabetic dyslipidemia causes “good” cholesterol (HDL-C) levels in the blood to fall while causing “bad” cholesterol (LDL-C) to rise. Those with this condition are at a higher risk of clogged arteries and heart disease.

Eating foods containing soluble fiber, including okra, can help reduce LDL-C levels in the blood. Fiber prevents the gut from reabsorbing bile, allowing bile to climb aboard the “fecal express” and hitch a ride out of the body. The body then produces more bile, pulling cholesterol from the blood to do so. Eating 5–10 grams of soluble fiber per day is recommended.

Manage fatigue

According to a recent study on mice, it’s been shown that okra pods have anti-fatigue properties, and this power seems to mainly come from consuming the seeds.

This effect may boost your endurance, allowing you to work out for longer and feel less fatigued afterward. An aside to the Olympic athletes among us: as of now, the World Anti-Doping Agency hasn’t banned okra as a performance enhancing drug, so take advantage before they get hip to it!

References

Recommended For You

About the Author: Tung Chi