Type 2 diabetes can be a 'devastating diagnosis' says expert
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Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition caused by impaired insulin production. Your body either struggles to produce enough of the hormone, or the one that it does produce doesn’t work as it should. Deprived of this key mechanism, your blood glucose is left to its own devices. Fortunately, certain foods could help control your levels, including broccoli.
The popular cruciferous vegetable packs an ingredient that can help type 2 diabetics control their blood sugar levels, according to research.
The potent part in the green veg is a chemical called sulforaphane.
This goodie has been shown to reduce blood glucose levels and improve insulin resistance.
Sulforaphane is produced when you chop or chew broccoli as a reaction between a compound called glucoraphanin and the enzyme myrosinase contained within the vegetable.
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A study, published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, set out to investigate the effects of the potent chemical on type 2 diabetes.
The researchers gave the subjects a concentrated broccoli sprout extract.
They found that sulforaphane was able to reduce fasting blood sugar in those with the blood sugar condition.
What’s more, the researchers suggested that the magnitude of the effects was “similar to that of metformin” – a diabetic medication.
Apart from its effects on blood sugar levels, another research paper found that the goodie can also improve insulin resistance.
In case you’re not aware, insulin resistance happens when your cells don’t respond well to insulin and can’t easily take up glucose from your blood, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases explains.
Published in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, the study looked at 81 patients who had to consume broccoli sprout powder for four weeks.
The researchers concluded that the sprouts may help improve insulin resistance in those with type 2 diabetes.
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Although there are plentiful promising benefits linked to the green veg, the way you eat broccoli could also play a role.
Studies suggest that in order to get all the benefits, you should opt for raw broccoli or lightly steam it.
Using a condiment could also help enhance the powers of sulforaphane.
Adding mustard to your portion could provide an extra source of the enzyme myrosinase that helps to activate the blood sugar effects.
What are the symptoms of type 2 diabetes?
While the signs can be difficult to spot, knowing what to look for could be helpful.
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 penis or vagina, 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 signs or you’re worried that you may be at a greater risk of diabetes.
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