Diabetes: The ‘powerful’ food that could ‘significantly’ lower blood sugar levels

Type 2 diabetes can be a 'devastating diagnosis' says expert

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High blood sugar levels in diabetes sufferers stem from problems with insulin production. Patients with type 2 diabetes either don’t produce enough of this hormone or their insulin isn’t effective. This is where your diet steps in to either hamper or help your levels based on what you’re eating.

Jeff Taraday, a Nutrition expert from Breaking Muscle, recommended opting for Swiss chard to help control your blood glucose.

From vitamins to minerals, the leaves and stalks of this leafy green pack a variety of nutrients.

However, the plant compounds contained in Swiss chard are what’s so potent for your blood sugar levels.

Mr Taraday said: “Swiss chard ranks towards the top of the ANDI charts and is full of antioxidants, including a flavonoid called syringic acid, which has been shown to have powerful blood sugar regulating properties.”

In case you’re not aware, ANDI charts, or the Aggregate Nutrient Density Index for long, describe a scoring system that rates foods on a scale from 1 to 1000 based on their nutrient content.

What’s more, research also backs the expert’s claim about syringic acid.

A study, published in the journal Current Drug Discovery Technologies, found that this plant goodie was able to “significantly” reduce blood sugar levels in rats.

The researchers induced diabetes in the rat models by injections.

The rats were then given either 25, 50 or 100 mg of syringic acid per kilogram of body weight daily.

The whole study took place over six weeks, with the findings noticing the significant blood glucose drop.

Apart from its syringic acid content, Swiss chard could also help to lower blood glucose through its high-fibre content.

Food packed with fibre helps to slow down digestion which reduces the rate at which sugar gets absorbed into your bloodstream.

However, blood sugar control isn’t the only benefit Swiss chard has to offer for diabetics.

Fibre is also able to reduce insulin resistance, a condition in which your body is unable to respond to the amount of the insulin it is producing, according to the National Library of Medicine.

The last bit of research, published in the Journal of Diabetes Investigation, suggests that eating the leafy green vegetable could offer a 13 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

It’s worth noting that some of the research was only animal-based so more studies might be necessary.

When it comes to the preparation of Swiss chard, Mr Taraday, who’s also the author of The Plant Eater, recommended: “Chard is most delicious when lightly steamed or even boiled.

“Add it to pasta or scrambles in place of spinach or as a side by itself, cooked with leeks and garlic.”

What are the symptoms of type 2 diabetes?

According to the NHS, the main symptoms of type 2 diabetes include:

  • Peeing more than usual (especially at night)
  • Feeling thirsty all the time
  • Feeling very tired
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Itching around your genitals, or repeatedly getting thrush
  • Cuts or wounds healing slowly
  • Blurred vision.

The health service advises seeing a GP if you suffer from any of these symptoms or you’re worried that you may have a higher risk.

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