Digital Media

13 April 2023

Reasons diabetics must add red spinach to their diets

To stay healthy and avoid any complications, it is extremely important for diabetics to constantly monitor their blood-sugar levels. While experts stress that people with this lifestyle disorder can eat everything in moderation depending upon their personal medical history, it is however suggested they consume more low glycemic index foods as they do not cause a sudden spike in glucose levels. Such foods also help keep one fuller for longer, and thus aid in weight loss. One such amazing vegetable that helps keep blood sugar levels stable is red spinach, also known as amaranth.

Commonly found in tropical and subtropical regions, this leafy vegetable is rich in nutrients, along with being good source of antioxidants, specifically anthocyanins, which gives it its distinctive colour.

What makes red spinach a good option for diabetics?

Highlighting that red spinach’s low-calorie and high-fiber content makes it a good choice for people with diabetes, Sushma PS, Dietician, Jindal Naturecure Institute said, “Red spinach can be a very healthy option for diabetics because of its low glycemic index and high nutrient content. The glycemic index measures how rapidly a food raises blood sugar levels, with a lower index being healthier for diabetics. Red spinach has a low glycemic index, so it is less likely to produce blood sugar rises. Furthermore, red spinach is high in dietary fiber, which can aid decrease glucose absorption and improve blood sugar regulation. It also contains healthy plant chemicals such as flavonoids, which have anti-diabetic properties”.

Concurring, Guru Prasad Das, Senior Dietitian, CARE Hospitals Bhubaneswar, added, “The fiber in red spinach can help to slow down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream, which can further help to regulate blood sugar levels”.

Health benefits of red spinach

Red spinach has many health benefits. Das shared them as:

o It is a good source of iron, which is essential for healthy blood and energy levels.
o It is rich in vitamin C, which helps to boost the immune system.
o It contains antioxidants that can help to protect against oxidative stress and inflammation.
o It is high in dietary fiber, which can help to promote healthy digestion.

What is the best way to consume red spinach?

The best way to consume red spinach is raw or slightly cooked to retain maximum health benefits. However, it can be consumed in a variety of ways, depending on personal preference and the recipe being prepared. Below are some ways in which you can consume red spinach, shared by Das.

o Raw: Add red spinach leaves to salads or use them as a sandwich filling. They can also be added to smoothies for an extra nutrient boost.
o Cooked: Sauté red spinach with garlic and olive oil, or add it to soups, stews, or stir-fries.
o Boiled: Boil red spinach leaves and add them to a vegetable medley or use them as a side dish.