is spinach good for diabetes
Nutrition

Spinach For Diabetes - Know The Benefits

Green, leafy vegetables have always remained an integral part of a balanced diet. Among them, spinach or palak is a common favorite. It is not only because of its taste, but also because of its availability and ease of cultivation. Also, it has higher iron content compared to other vegetables. It is not surprising that, over the years, spinach has rightfully earned a spot among the top ‘superfoods’. However, is spinach good for diabetes?

The biggest reason why you should include spinach in your diet chart for diabetes is that it is a low-carb food rich in protein and fiber. One cup of spinach contains just seven calories. Hence, it is excellent for weight management.

Nutritional profile of Spinach

Food Category Nutrients Amount (per 100 g) How are they useful?
Water - 91.4 g It is excellent for hydration. It improves skin, hair and general health.
Proteins Lutein Zeaxanthin 2.86 g These are natural antioxidants. They prevent premature aging by destroying the oxygen radicals.
Carbohydrates Glucose Fructose 3.63 g Low carbohydrate content helps shed the extra weight. It helps in controlling blood sugar levels.
Fats - 0.39 g No saturated fats are present.  Cholesterol levels are well-maintained.
Dietary fibers Mostly insoluble fibers 2.2 g They improve digestion. They prevent obesity and reduce the risk of long-term health conditions.
Vitamins A, B, C, E and K 0.052 g They boost immunity. They keep the body working properly.
Minerals Calcium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, selenium, zinc, potassium and manganese 0.8 g They improve bone health. They improve insulin sensitivity.

Benefits of Spinach

Consuming spinach is beneficial for overall health. Let us learn why.

  • The insoluble fibers present in spinach help in easy bowel movement.
  • The high water content in spinach is beneficial for overall health.
  • The proteins in spinach delay fat digestion, keeping you feeling full for a long time. This is why it is one of the best foods for weight loss. 
  • Its high iron content helps maintain vital metabolic functions and prevents anemia.
  • The vitamins help to strengthen immunity, and fight against germs and infections.
  • Being rich in antioxidants, spinach is great for skin and eye health. It also reduces the risk of heart conditions and cancer.
  • Minerals like calcium and phosphorus help to keep the bones strong and healthy.
  • Spinach is rich in anti-inflammatory compounds that reduce inflammation and assist in quick recovery from injuries.
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Benefits of Spinach for Diabetes

Is spinach good for people with diabetes? Well, it is good to add palak or spinach to the diet chart for diabetes, as it has proven to be effective in managing type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Here is how:

The Low-Carb Advantage: Lesser the amount of carbohydrates, the lesser is the amount of glucose released into the bloodstream. The low-carb and non-starchy content of spinach, thus, stabilizes blood glucose levels.

The Boon of Antioxidants: These reduce oxidative stress, thereby decreasing the risk of heart-related complications. They also minimize diabetes-related complications.

The High-Fiber Edge: In addition to keeping bowel movement smooth, the presence of insoluble fibers improves insulin sensitivity. They slow down the absorption of sugar in the bloodstream.

Fewer Calories: Being low in calories, spinach aids in weight management. It helps keep obesity in check, which is a major risk factor linked with diabetes.

Glycemic Index of Spinach

The glycemic index (GI) is the ability of the food’s carbohydrate content to raise blood sugar levels. The lower the GI, the better it is for managing diabetes. The GI of spinach is 15, which comes under the low GI category. Thus, including spinach in the diet chart for diabetes control ensures effective regulation of blood sugar levels. 

Different Ways to Consume Spinach for Diabetes

Can one include spinach in a diet meant to control blood sugar? Is palak good for diabetes? Without a doubt, yes! According to the American Diabetes Association, spinach is one of the ‘Diabetes Superfoods’. 

The best way for a person with diabetes to consume spinach is by boiling, steaming or blanching it, and adding it to vegetable curries, dals or salads. Making a glass of spinach juice is also a healthy option. Sautéing and roasting spinach in minimum oil are tastier alternatives. Eating it raw may not appeal to many. But, raw spinach with salt and pepper tastes delicious when tossed in with stews, soups and stir-fried vegetables.

Some other innovative and diabetes-friendly palak recipes that you could check out are:

  • Palak Shorba
  • Spinach and Chana Kebab
  • Palak Parathas or Dosas
  • Moong Dal and Palak Idli
  • Spinach Chutney

Bottomline

This article answers the question “is spinach good for diabetes” with a resounding yes, spinach is good for diabetes. By looking at the nutritional profile of spinach, one can judge why it is regarded as a ‘diabetes superfood’. Spinach has multiple health advantages. Its low GI ranking and ability to suit a variety of diabetes-friendly recipes make spinach an excellent food for managing blood sugar. 

FAQs

1. Is Spinach Juice good for Diabetes?

Spinach juice, preferably consumed in the morning, is a healthy option to manage diabetes and prevent related complications. Being a rich source of iron and vitamins, it reduces the risks of cardiovascular complications. Spinach juice does not raise blood sugar levels and is ideal for people with diabetes.

2. Can people with Diabetes eat Spinach every day?

Spinach has low carbohydrate and high fiber content. Hence, it is safe to consume it in large quantities every day, even if you are following a diabetes-friendly diet. Its low GI value ensures stabilized blood glucose volumes. But, if consumed every day without a break, it might bring in monotony. It is always wise to include variety in your diet.

3. How much Spinach should a Person with Diabetes eat daily?

One to two cups of spinach consumption per day is beneficial for a person with diabetes. It covers the daily required amounts of vitamin A, C, K and B9 (folate) in the diet.

4. What is the Best time to Consume Spinach?

Spinach is an all-season vegetable. Its low-carb content makes it suitable to be consumed at any time of the day. Consuming it in the form of juice, soup or salad with your morning breakfast keeps you feeling fuller for a long time. Eating spinach for dinner can enable sound sleep because spinach is rich in magnesium, which acts as a natural calcium blocker, and calms your nerves and muscles into relaxation.

5 What are the risks of over-consumption of drumsticks for people with diabetes?

Although the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of drumsticks are beneficial for diabetes control, their over-consumption may lead to undesirable effects. Consuming large quantities of drumstick causes a sudden decrease in blood pressure, heart rate and sugar levels, leading to hypoglycemia.

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