is beetroot good for diabetes
Nutrition
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Beetroot - Good or Bad for Diabetes

Beetroot is enriched with several nutrients making it beneficial for health. Research shows it is suitable for people who have diabetes with its known benefit for improving cardiovascular health and enhancing blood circulation. It is a superfood rich in antioxidants, loaded with potassium & folate, fibre, iron, and vitamin C. As a fibre-rich vegetable, it is known to lower blood sugar and blood pressure, beneficial for diabetic individuals. 

Benefits of Beetroot Consumption

1. Lowers blood sugar and insulin

Beetroot is rich in phytochemicals which helps in lowering blood sugar and regulating the insulin level in the body. Inability to cause enough insulin hormone, which normal blood sugar level is the primary cause of diabetes. Hence, a low insulin level leads to high blood sugar in diabetic patients. According to research, it is found that beetroot juice improves insulin sensitivity in obese diabetic patient and hence reduce sugar level. According to a study conducted in 2014, it was found that consuming 225 ml of beetroot juice after a meal suppressed the glucose level and hence controlled blood sugar.

2. Lowers risk of chronic disease

Beetroot is high in antioxidants, making it beneficial for preventing several chronic diseases. Antioxidants scavenge out free radicals known to cause cellular damage and hence prevent the occurrence of diseases. Oxidative stress is the damage of the cells caused by free radicals, and this is known to cause several chronic diseases like cancer, cardiovascular disease, and nerve damage. Beetroot consists of an antioxidant known as betalains for suppressing inflammation. One of the consequences of diabetes is nerve damage. However, an antioxidant alpha-lipoic acid found in beetroot is known to reduce nerve damage.  

3. Lowers risk of diabetes complications

Diabetes, in turn, can cause several complications associated with. High sugar in the blood can impact blood circulation and blood vessels. The presence of excess sugar in the blood damages the small and large blood vessels leading to improper blood circulation to various organs like kidneys, eyes, heart etc. Is beetroot juice good for diabetics is a question answered and supported by research showing how beetroot can reduce complications from diabetes. Here are some of the diabetic complications reduced by beetroot:

  • Neuropathy
  • Retinopathy
  • Nerve damage
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Reduced oxidative stress

4. Reduced insulin resistance

According to some research, beetroot juice is known to increase insulin sensitivity and reduce its resistance in diabetic patients. With the reduced resistance to insulin, the hormone helps regulate and control the blood sugar level. Some evidence points towards the presence of metabolites in beetroot, which is known to reduce insulin resistance. According to a study conducted in 2017, it was found at obese participants who consumed beetroot juice with carbohydrates showed reduced insulin resistance as compared to non-obese participants. The study showed that beetroot juice is effective for obese diabetic people. So, is beetroot good for diabetes type 2? A study in 2013 showed that participants with diabetes type 2 who drank beetroot juice regularly did not show any changes in insulin resistance. However, this cannot be confirmed because the results were based on a few participants.

5. Lowers blood pressure

With diabetes comes many health complications like cardiovascular diseases, poor blood circulation and high blood pressure. A person suffering from high blood sugar is prone to high blood pressure due to damage to blood vessels. However, there is evidence that regular consumption of beetroot juice helps lower blood pressure. The beetroot is high in nitrate, which widens the blood vessel, promotes improved blood circulation, and reduces blood pressure. Some reports show that the regular consumption of beetroot juice helps lower systolic blood pressure. A study was conducted in 2013. It was found that drinking one cup of beetroot juice every day significantly reduced blood pressure in people suffering from hypertension by maintaining blood vessel elasticity. Read more about how to cure diabetes.

Ways to include Beets in your Diet

Beetroot can be included in a regular diet in various ways. One of the best things about beetroot is it can be consumed raw, and its sweet flavour makes it edible. Beetroot is a versatile vegetable that provides the body with nutrients and nourishment and adds flavour and colour to the food. Here are some ways to add beetroot to your diet

Salad – Cut pieces of beetroot and add it to your salad to make it colourful and edible. You can also grate beetroot to reduce the size of the pieces.

Juice – One of the best ways to consume beetroot is in the form of juice. Add it to your favourite vegetables or fruits like carrot, orange, gooseberry, apple etc. and enjoy a wholesome health drink.

Roasted – One of the tastiest and crunchiest ways to eat beetroot is by roasting it. Cut thin slices of beetroot, roast in the oven and eat as it is or by adding as a topping.

However, it is vital to ensure that you consume fresh beetroots. While shopping for beetroot, buy beetroots with their greens intact as it is one indicator of its freshness. Read more about gestational diabetes counseling.

How to Consume Beetroot?

We all know beetroot is good for diabetes, but many aren’t aware of the right ways to consume it correctly. If you want to include beetroot in your regular diet, we have curated the healthiest recipes that are easy to make and delicious. You can make any of the below-shared recipes to enjoy the benefits of beetroot.

1.Beetroot Sesame Parantha

To prepare this healthy dish, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Boiled and grated beetroot
  • Asafoetida
  • Whole wheat flour
  • Mango powder
  • Turmeric powder
  • Coriander powder
  • Salt as per taste
  • Sesame seeds
  • Chilli powder
  • Water

Once you’re ready with the ingredients, mix them all in a bowl and prepare a soft dough. Let the dough rest for five minutes, break it into small balls, and roll it into medium size parantha. Put some oil on the tawa and place the rolled paranthas on it. Let it heat and cook evenly on both sides, then serve hot.

2.Beetroot Hummus

If you were wondering ‘is beetroot good for diabetes’ and whether it can be prepared in a delicious manner, the answer is yes. This recipe will help you enjoy the benefits of beetroot without compromising your taste buds. You will need all the following easily available ingredients to prepare this dish:

  • Boiled and drained chickpeas
  • Freshly crushed garlic
  • Curd
  • Boiled beetroot
  • Chopped mint leaves
  • Freshly grounded cumin powder
  • Chilli flakes
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Salt as per taste
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice

Once you have collected all the ingredients, place half the chickpeas and all other ingredients in a blender, leaving the mint leaves. Blend the items till a thick consistency is achieved, and pour them into a bowl. Using a fork, take a separate bowl and gently crush the remaining boiled chickpeas. Add it into the blended mixture to add some nice texture, and serve with pita bread or freshly cut salad.

If you consume smoothies early in the morning, you can blend some beetroot with fresh fruits and consume them for great results.

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Best Time to Consume Beetroot

People taking beetroot for diabetes should try to consume it as a pre-workout or post-workout snack. You can also have it in your lunch to improve your fiber intake.

Risks of Overconsumption of Beetroot

Although beetroot is healthy, overconsumption can lead to health problems. It generally leads to kidney stones. Excess beetroot consumption can also make your urine pink or slightly red in color, which some people may confuse with blood and start panicking. 

How Many Beetroots Per Day?

Limit your beetroot consumption to half a cup a day to prevent the side effects or risks of beetroot and diabetes from overconsumption. In other words, you should not eat more than half a beetroot a day.   

Nutritional Value of Beetroot

If you are wondering, ‘are beets good for diabetics,’ being aware of their nutritional profile can help. You will find the following nutrients in a 100-gram boiled beetroot serving:

  • 1 gram of protein
  • 2 grams of dietary fiber
  • 0 grams of trans fat
  • 6 grams of sugar
  • 64 mg of sodium
  • 0 mg of potassium
  • 0 gram of saturated fat
  • 0 mg of cholesterol

100-gram of boiled beetroot is approximately 44 calories, so you can easily include it in your calorie-deficit diet plan as well.

Bottomline

In conclusion, due to the presence of antioxidants, nitrates, phosphate and many other essential nutrients, beetroot is beneficial for people who have diabetes. There are no reports that show that it is harmful to diabetic patients. The rich antioxidants in beetroot are known to provide proven benefits, including reducing complications arising from diabetes, reducing the occurrence of chronic conditions, and controlling insulin levels. A dozen research studies conclude that beetroot in its raw form or as juice is beneficial for controlling blood sugar levels and is immensely helpful for diabetes.

FAQ

Is Beetroot good for diabetes?

Yes, Beetroot is good for diabetes. As Beetroot is rich in phytochemicals which helps in lowering blood sugar and regulating the insulin level in the body. According to research, it is found that beetroot juice improves insulin sensitivity in obese diabetic patient and hence reduce blood sugar level.

Can diabetics eat beetroot?

To understand if beetroot is good for diabetes, it would be vital to see its nutritional qualities and how it may benefit someone with blood sugar-related issues. Beetroot is often infamous amongst people with diabetes as it is a root and is known to be high in starch or carbs. However, it is high in water. While it is also moderately high in carbohydrates and sugars, the glycemic load overall is not unhealthy. Beetroots are rich in fiber, folate, manganese, potassium, iron, and vitamin C. These nutrients make the vegetable suitable for consumption. It helps to keep the blood pressure in check and can also improve digestive health. The benefits of consumption of beetroot are plenty.

Does beetroot increase blood sugar?

A beetroot diabetes connection is important to understand and clarify for a clear and accurate picture of how this food would play a role in the life of a person with diabetes. Beetroot is known to lower the overall blood sugar levels of the body. Studies have been conducted to support this statement. In other words, if a person with diabetes struggles to maintain their blood sugar levels, they can have beetroot or even beetroot juice. It is also known to improve overall insulin sensitivity. Beetroot is known to be rich in phytochemicals – this component is beneficial in lowering blood sugar levels of the body and can regulate insulin levels in a better and more efficient manner. “Can diabetic patients eat beetroot?” Yes, as it helps to lower blood sugar levels.

Is beetroot high in sugar?

Its lower glycemic index and power-packed nutritional profile makes the relationship between beets and diabetics safe and healthy. If you take one cup of raw beetroot, it will contain approximately 9.19 gram of sugar, 2.2 gram of protein, 13 gram of carbohydrate, 3.8 gram of dietary fiber, zero cholesterol, and very little fat. Since people are suggested to eat not more than one cup of beetroot a day, the total sugar consumption from beet comes to 9.19 grams, which is healthy. While you can find alternatives with even lower sugar content and a lower GI compared to the glycemic index of beets, beetroot is still an ideal and healthy option for diabetics.

However, beets do have a higher sugar content as compared to other vegetables. However, the amount is still negligible and can be worth it looking at the plethora of other nutrients it may provide to the consumer. Read more about diabetes causes.

What are the side effects of eating beetroot?

Essentially, beetroots are more or less safe to consume in small amounts. It can make the stool or urine appear pink, however, that is not a cause for concern. A small factor that can play a role and can be understood as a possible side effect of beetroots would be low calcium levels and damage to the kidneys. Since it is rich in oxalate, it can lead to kidney stones and can also cause certain allergic reactions at times. For women who are pregnant, the component betaine that is present in beetroots can cause complications. Additionally, it can also lead to certain allergies.

Who should avoid beetroot?

A person who is dealing with the following issues can avoid the consumption of beetroots:

  • Low blood pressure – The consumption of beetroots lowers blood pressure levels. Therefore,
    people already managing these symptoms can avoid the intake of beets
  • Stones – Any stones in the gallbladder or kidneys can be aggravated due to the high levels of oxalate in beetroots.
  • Allergies – Certain allergies or rashes are also known to increase upon the consumption of beetroot.

Consuming beetroot for diabetic patients would also need to be done after the consultation with a doctor or a dietician. At times, it may not suit everyone. Additionally, a dietician would be able to help you with how to balance the sugar content in the beetroot to lower the overall glycemic index of the food.

How Many Calories Are There in a Medium Size Beet?

A medium size beetroot is approximately 40 to 44 calories. It contains 0 fat, 6 grams of sugar, 1 gram of fiber, 8 gram of carbohydrate, 1 gram of protein, 0 mg of potassium, and 260 mg of sodium. These figures are approximate and will vary depending on the actual weight and size of the beetroot.   

Is Beetroot Juice Good for Diabetes?

Yes, beetroot juice is good for diabetics. According to a clinical study by Cambridge, it was found that drinking 225 milliliters of beetroot juice lead to a significant suppression of post-meal glucose levels. So if you have been struggling to try to control your blood sugar levels, beetroot juice can help.  

What is the Glycemic Index of Beetroot?

The glycemic index of beetroot is 61. It is considered medium, meaning it doesn’t result in blood sugar spikes after consumption. But if you look at the glycemic load of beetroot, it is fairly on the lower side at 5 because much of its carbohydrates are indigestible dietary fiber.

Name Some Beetroot Recipes for Diabetes

Beetroot salad, beetroot hummus, beetroot parantha, beetroot smoothie, and roasted beetroot with thyme are some delicious and healthy recipes designed especially for diabetics. You can follow these recipes to include beetroot in your daily diet. However, be mindful of the portion you consume to avoid any health risks.

Are Carrot and Beetroot Good for Diabetes?

Yes, people with diabetes can eat carrots and beetroots without any problem. Since both vegetables are rich in potassium, dietary fiber, iron, and other nutrients, it helps boost immunity, lower your blood pressure levels, and reduce nerve damage. Both carrots and beetroots also have low to medium glycemic index, making them healthy for diabetics.  

Is Pickled Beetroot Good for Diabetes?

Yes, pickled beetroot is good for people with diabetes since it may help lower blood sugar levels. Most pickled beetroots are made using vinegar, which may reduce insulin and blood sugar levels after meals. The nitrates and antioxidants present in beetroot also help keep blood sugar levels in check.

Is Beetroot Powder Good for Diabetes?

Yes, beetroot in any form is good for people with diabetes. Since these are highly rich in antioxidants, they give numerous health benefits. They can lower the risks associated with diabetes complications, including eye and nerve damage. You can mix a tablespoon of beetroot powder or two in a glass of water and consume it for the best results.  

Is Beetroot Good for Gestational Diabetes?

Yes, beetroot is good for pregnant women diagnosed with gestational diabetes. Beetroot is high in fiber, folates, and iron and helps improve bowel movement and boost haemoglobin levels. It also keeps a healthy check on your blood sugar levels. However, you should not eat more than half a beetroot a day to avoid health problems.

Is Beetroot Good for Type 2 Diabetes?

Yes, beetroot is good for type 2 diabetes. Beetroots are rich in nutrients and antioxidants that have numerous health benefits for everyone. From improving conditions like nerve damage to eye damage, it can help control most complications associated with type 2 diabetes. You just have to be mindful of the portions you consume daily, and you will enjoy its benefits.  

References

  • https://www.healthline.com/health/diabetes/beetroot0diabetes#benefits

Disclaimer

This website's content is provided only for educational reasons and is not meant to be a replacement for professional medical advice. Due to individual differences, the reader should contact their physician to decide whether the material is applicable to their case.