POMEGRANATE FOR DIABETICS: SHOULD YOU INCLUDE POMEGRANATE IN YOUR DIET?

pomegranate fruits

When it comes to the fruits for diabetics, there is a lot of uncertainty as to which ones to eat and which to avoid. I was just thinking “Is it good for diabetics to eat pomegranate?” I did a little research and here is what I found as the most authentic answer.

Pomegranate is a nutrient-rich fruit and full of antioxidants. Studies suggest that the antioxidants in pomegranate might be helpful in preventing diabetes. Although pomegranate juice is full of natural sugars, scientific evidence shows that it might have a positive effect on reducing blood sugar levels. Interestingly, the Glycemic index of the fruit is low, which shows that diabetics are good to go for pomegranates.

First, let me clarify “what is diabetes?” Then, we will dive deep into the research studies showing the effects of pomegranate consumption in diabetics.

Have a look at: 8 significant health benefits of pomegranate

DIABETES vector art

Diabetes:

Diabetes Mellitus is a health condition in which there is an abnormal increase in the blood sugar level. The pancreas (a vital organ for blood sugar regulation) does not secrete enough insulin in the body. Or if your body does produce insulin, it is not able to use it effectively.

Insulin is a hormone that helps the glucose/ sugar move from the blood towards the cells for storage and use. Due to the lack or ineffectiveness of this hormone in the body, the blood sugar level spikes up unnaturally.

Is pomegranate good for diabetics?

There are several different causes of diabetes, but one of the basic causes is chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation is a threat for both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. It damages the insulin-secreting cells in the pancreas which leads to Type 1 diabetes, as well as causes even more inflammation. While in the case of Type 2 diabetes, studies suggest that the insulin-signaling pathways are disturbed by inflammatory reactions, thus leading to insulin resistance. Fortunately, chronic inflammation can be prevented by the antioxidants present in pomegranate.

Pomegranates are rich in antioxidants. The major antioxidant polyphenol in pomegranates is punicalagin. In fact, a study shows that the antioxidants in pomegranate are as much as thrice the other antioxidant-rich drinks such as green tea or red wine. The antioxidants are the compounds in our diet that fights free radicals, oxidative stress, chronic inflammation, and other factors that cause cell damage. Thus, this compound plays a major role in preventing chronic diseases like diabetes, cancer and heart diseases, etc.

In addition, a study shows that pomegranate juice improves the lipid profiles in diabetic patients with high cholesterol. Pomegranate juice is the most heart-healthy juice. A pilot study shows that people with diabetes who consumed pomegranate juice for three months had a lower risk of atherosclerosis (clogging of the arteries). Moreover, this juice also reduced the absorption of bad cholesterol (LDL) by immune cells.

Read about: How to open a pomegranate

open pomegranate

Glycemic Index of Pomegranates:

Having said that the antioxidants in pomegranate help prevent diabetes, the glycemic index of the fruit also shows that this fruit is permissible for diabetics to eat.

The Glycemic index is a value ranging from 0 to 100 that is specified for foods. It measures the relative spike in the blood glucose level after a certain time of eating that food.  The glycemic index of the foods range like:

55 or less = Low

56-69 = Medium

70 and above = High

Guess what? The glycemic index value for pomegranate is 53 which comes under the category of low glycemic index foods. This indicates that in spite of its sweet taste and its sugar composition, pomegranates are still good for diabetics. It’s because this fruit does not cause a sudden spike in blood glucose levels. But still, to be on the safe side, remember that moderation is the key to sound health.

Learn about: The history of the pomegranate

Disclaimer:

All the health-related information/articles on bloggeristic.com are generic, provided only for the purpose of general knowledge, and should not be taken as a substitute for the medical advice of healthcare professionals. Please note that this information is based on research but if you have any serious health concerns do contact your doctor.

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