New Delhi: Diabetes is a lifelong condition that affects how your body uses blood sugar. And if you’ve been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, a healthy lifestyle, which includes eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly, along with medication can help control your symptoms and avoid high blood sugar. Studies have shown that Okra, also known as ladyfingers or ladies’ fingers, or Bhindi in Hindi, may help manage blood sugar levels in diabetics. In fact, okra is a common Ayurvedic food that is being used to help lower blood sugar levels and control different types of diabetes. Some people with diabetes reported that drinking okra water in the morning on an empty stomach helps improve blood sugar control.

Scientifically known as belmoschus esculentus, okra is a green, seedy vegetable that has long been favoured as a food and is popular in savoury dishes in particularly in India and the southern United States. The vegetable is fast gaining a reputation as a superfood for diabetes and cancer. Being a great source of fibre, okra may be beneficial for people trying to lose weight. Among many other health benefits, okra is known to have impressive effects on blood sugar control.

How can Okra help control high blood sugar in diabetes?

Mounting evidence suggests that okra has anti-diabetic properties. Multiple Vitro (laboratory) and Vivo (animal) studies have confirmed okra a potent blood glucose-lowering food, reported Diabetes.co.uk. According to a study published in the Journal of Pharmacy & BioAllied Sciences in 2011, researchers in India found that diabetic mice fed dried and ground okra peels and seeds showed a reduction in their blood glucose levels. The researchers also observed that regular feeding of okra extract for about ten days caused a gradual decrease in others.

Basically, it is believed that the insoluble fibre in okra can help stabilise blood glucose levels by slowing the rate at which sugar is absorbed from the intestinal tract. Outside of scientific research, many people with diabetes have reported improved blood sugar levels by including okra in their diet.

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