Type 2 diabetes occurs when the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin to maintain a normal blood sugar level. Fluctuating blood sugar levels is associated with an increased risk of heart disease and strokes. Fortunately, shunning certain foods and including others in one’s diet can compensate and control blood sugar levels. Growing evidence supports eating asparagus.
Asparagus are the young shoots of a cultivated lily plant. The green vegetable is packed with nutritional value, containing high levels of vitamins A and C, potassium, iron and calcium.
As Diabetes.co.uk reports, a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition suggests that eating asparagus can help with type 2 diabetes management.
Researchers from Karachi University in Pakistan found that regular consumption of the vegetable can keep blood sugar levels in check and increase insulin production in the body.
The findings come from research that involved diabetes-induced rats with low levels of insulin and high blood sugars. Half of the lab rats were fed an extract from the asparagus plant each day for a month, while the other half were treated with the type 2 diabetes drug glibenclamide.
Blood test results showed that low levels of the asparagus extract controlled blood glucose levels but did not improve insulin production.
High doses did, however, boost production of the blood sugar-regulating hormone by the pancreas.
“This study suggests asparagus extract exerts anti-diabetic effects,” the authors said.
Their findings echo previous research studies, which investigated the potential of asparagus in diabetes treatment.
In 2006, one study published in the British Medical Journal associated asparagus with an 81 percent rise in glucose uptake by the body’s muscles and tissues.
Why asparagus benefits blood sugar control
Asparagus is a non-starchy vegetable, which means it is relatively low calorie and low-carb.
As Diabetes.co.uk explained: “Carbohydrate is broken down into glucose relatively quickly and therefore has a more pronounced effect on blood sugar levels than either fat or protein.”
Restricting carb intake therefore helps people with type 2 diabetes control their blood sugar levels.
Following a low-carb diet also helps people with type 2 diabetes manage their weight – a major risk factor in rising blood sugar levels.
According Diabetes UK, aiming for 15kg weight loss can improve a person’s chances of putting their diabetes in remission. A low-carb diet supports this goal.
What are the symptoms type 2 diabetes?
- Peeing more than usual, particularly at night
- Feeling thirsty all the time
- Feeling very tired
- Losing weight without trying to
- Itching around a person’s penis or vagina, or repeatedly getting thrush
- Cuts or wounds taking longer to heal
- Blurred vision
There is another superfood proven to lower blood sugar levels.