Ah yes, there’s that magical word again that all type 1 diabetics love to cringe and roll their eyes at (me included). Lets take a closer look at why Okra is a great addition to a healthy diet and why ITS NOT going to magically cure type 1 diabetes. Are you ready? Ok, lets go!
Okra also known as gumbo or lady fingers, is a common vegetable in southern cooking, where it is fried, boiled or pickled, often along with tomatoes, corn or onions. Sliced, cooked okra releases a juice that thickens fluids, making it an essential ingredient of gumbo, a traditional Creole stew. Regardless of the cooking method, okra is a good low-calorie, fat-free, nutrient-dense addition to any diet.
Okra And Fiber:
A 1/2-cup serving of sliced, cooked okra provides 2 grams of dietary fiber. This amount supplies approximately 10 percent of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s recommended daily allowance of fiber for healthy adult men and women adhering to a 2,000-calorie diet. Okra’s fiber content is made up of both soluble and insoluble fiber. According to Mayo Clinic.com, soluble fiber may help prevent diabetes and high blood cholesterol, while insoluble fiber regulates digestive system functions. A 2009 “Nutrition Reviews” article adds that fiber may also lessen your risk of obesity, stroke, heart disease and hypertension..
Okra And Kidney Disease:
One study published in the October 2005 Jilin Medical Journal found that regular consumption of okra can help prevent kidney disease. In the study, “those who ate okra daily reduced clinical signs of kidney damage more than those that simply ate a diabetic diet.” This also ties in with diabetes, as nearly 50% of kidney disease cases are caused by diabetes.
Okra And Healthy Skin:
Vitamin C helps keep the skin looking young and vibrant. The vitamin aids in the growth and repair of bodily tissues, which affects collagen formation and skin pigmentation, and helps to rejuvenate damaged skin. Okra is full of vitamin C.
Topical tip: Boil a handful of okra until soft. After letting it cool, mash it, and apply it to your face. After 5 minutes, your skin should feel smooth and rejuvenated
As a type 1 diabetic, let me first start out by saying I have a hard time believing that Okra water is going to help the non functioning beta cells in my pancreas to automatically kick in and magically start producing insulin again, but I’m always up for a good laugh so lets take a look.
Nearly 50 percent of the fiber found in okra is in the form of soluble fiber. This type of fiber slows digestion, delaying and reducing the impact of carbohydrate-rich foods on blood sugar levels. Eating at least 25 g of fiber per day can help reduce high blood sugar levels. Soluble fiber may also keep your appetite under control, making weight loss easier. A cure…not so much, but lets examine further.
Per Snopes the consumption of okra can “help even out roller coaster blood sugar levels” and may contribute to preventing the onset of diabetes or better symptoms in those who are already diabetic. But even claiming that much for okra is somewhat speculative, and it
does not mean that regularly drinking okra water will “cure” diabetes or make diabetes “go away,” nor that okra is a proven viable substitute for insulin injections. As noted in the 2012 textbook Bioactive Food as Dietary Interventions for Diabetes:
Claims of “miracle cures” always need to be taken with many grains of salt. If the way to make diabetes “go away” were truly as simple as drinking a glass of okra water every day, this would be a fact that doctors would advocate and every diabetic would know by now, especially with the advent of the internet, don’t you think? I shouldn’t have to find this out via the spam folder on my Facebook account.
So in a nutshell, if your looking to add a healthy vegetable to your diet that can help reduce bloodsugar spikes, sure, add some Okra to your plate but if your looking to cure your type 1 diabetes….lets just say I’m sticking to that beautiful little vile of insulin (yes, I know insulin is not a “cure” either) for a while longer. Until something comes out that awakens my beta cells and allows them to start producing insulin again, I would suggest you do the same as prescribed by your doctor.
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