Diabetes is an enduring condition characterised by symptoms like fatigue, frequent urination, blurred vision and unexplained weight loss. This extremely prevalent complication occurs when the pancreas stops producing sugar-controlling insulin hormone or when the body becomes insulin resistant. Factors such as a sedentary lifestyle, old age, high blood pressure and obesity can increase the risk for this condition.
Diabetes can lead to kidney and nerve damage and cardiovascular diseases if not managed on time. While you must eat mindfully with diabetes, think twice before choosing your drinks. Many drinks may be high in sugar and hence not ideal for a person with diabetes.
In that case, what should you drink? Here is a list of yummy, refreshing and healthy drinks that people with diabetes can savour without worrying about blood glucose spikes.
Sattu, or powdered gram drink, is a traditional beverage with cooling effects. This energising drink is rich in carbohydrates and proteins and helps slow down sugar breakdown in the blood. The result- glucose takes time to reach the bloodstream; hence blood glucose levels are controlled to a considerable extent.
Devoid of all kinds of artificial sweeteners, coconut water is good for diabetes. With a glycemic index of 54 and a glycemic load of 3, this is the perfect drink to balance body electrolytes.
The average unflavoured and unsweetened 1 cup of coconut water contains 45 calories, 0.5 grams fat, 6 grams sugar and 9 grams carbohydrates. Besides these nutritional values, it also contains essential amino acids making it a viable option for diabetes patients.
Coconut water is good for diabetes also because it is a rich source of fibre and protein that takes time to digest; therefore, glucose levels rise slowly in the body.
Coconut water also contains antioxidants that fight diabetes, causing free radicals. It is rich in natural electrolytes that maintain the body’s pH balance and metabolic functions. With other important nutrients like sodium, iron, copper, zinc and potassium, this sterile water keeps the kidneys in check, which is crucial for people with diabetes.
Whey Protein Drink
It is a drink derived from the watery part of milk separated from cheese curds. Drinking whey protein concentrate stimulates the GLP-1 hormone in the gut to produce more insulin. Research suggests drinking whey protein before meals and breakfast can bring down post-meal glucose surges.
How about consuming sugarcane juice for diabetes management? Though the glycemic index of this juice is 43, which makes it a low glycemic drink perfect for people with diabetes, the high sugar content is a cause of concern.
Sugarcane juice contains calcium, potassium, thiamine, zinc, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, riboflavin and multiple amino acids. But since it is low in fibre and high in sugar content, it is considered unsuitable for people with diabetes. But that’s just half the truth.
Studies suggest it is safe to consume sugarcane juice for diabetes management but in moderation. The sugar from this juice is processed in the liver instead of the small intestine. It makes sugarcane juice the best substitute for packaged juices and aerated drinks, which can be damaging for individuals with diabetes.
Black tea contains vast amounts of polysaccharides, and its regular consumption can decrease the risk of heart ailments and stroke in individuals with diabetes. Thearubigins and theaflavins are black tea compounds that have the same effects as insulin on PEPCK and FOXO1s – the enzymes that contribute to the dysregulation of sugar synthesis in the liver.
Use green, leafy vegetables, such as cabbage, spinach, Brussel sprouts, kale and broccoli in a smoothie to reduce the risk of diabetes. In people with diabetes, oxidative molecules known as ROS or Reactive Oxygen Species are 3x more than usual because of hyperglycemia or high blood glucose. It increases their risk for stroke and heart disease. Most green, leafy veggies contain sulforaphane that protects the blood vessels in the heart and thus reduces this risk.
Methi dana or fenugreek seeds are famous for their anti-diabetic properties. Daily doses of these seeds soaked in warm water can keep diabetes in check. Fenugreek seeds contain fibre and help slow down the digestive procedure. It further regulates glucose and carbohydrate absorption in the body, which automatically manages diabetes in an individual.
Tea made from Ginseng, the Chinese herb, is considered healthy for a person with diabetes. It slows down carb absorption in the body, increases insulin secretion from the pancreas, and improves cells’ potential to use glucose.
Almost anything that you consume has an impact on your bodily functions and blood glucose levels. So, people with diabetes should drink those juices that can help them manage diabetes symptoms, maintain body weight, and avoid blood glucose spikes. And the drinks or juices mentioned above do all these aptly.