Millet is becoming a popular grain alternative, as it’s gluten-free and packed with nutrition. It contains dietary fiber, protein, B vitamins, vitamin E, copper, magnesium, and several plant compounds.
As an added bonus, recent studies have found that millet may help manage diabetes by regulating blood glucose levels.
If you’re looking to make a positive change in your diet as a diabetic or pre-diabetic patient, understanding the benefits of millet could be key to helping you make the best decisions for your health.
We decided to explore the health benefits of millet for diabetics, and consider how you can make healthier eating choices with this delicious grain alternative – read on to learn more.
What Is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects the way your body processes sugar. It occurs when your body does not produce enough insulin, or cannot use the insuling that is produced properly.
Insulin is a hormone that helps your body convert glucose (sugar) into energy.
When this process isn’t working correctly, blood sugar levels become too high, leading to a number of health complications.
What Is Millet?
Millet is a small, round grain that’s been around for centuries.
It’s naturally gluten-free and contains a variety of essential nutrients, including dietary fiber, protein, B vitamins, vitamin E, copper, magnesium, and several plant compounds. Millet is also low in calories and fat.
What Is The Glycemic Index?
The glycemic index (GI) is a measure of how quickly and how much food raises your blood sugar levels. Foods with a high GI are digested quickly, causing a rapid rise in blood sugar levels.
The body digests low GI foods ata slower pace, resulting in a slower and steadier rise in blood sugar levels. Millet has been found to have a low GI, which makes it a great choice for diabetics.
Benefits Of Millet For Diabetics
Millet has been found to be beneficial for diabetics in several ways, and some of these include:
Regulation Of Blood Glucose Levels
Studies have shown that millet can help regulate blood glucose levels, which is essential for managing diabetes.
Blood glucose levels that are too high or too low can lead to serious health complications, so it’s important to keep them in check.
Millet is a great source of dietary fiber, which helps slow down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream. This helps regulate blood glucose levels and prevents spikes and crashes.
Millet is also high in dietary fiber, which helps improve digestion and reduce constipation. This is important for diabetics, as constipation can lead to several health complications.
The fiber in millet also helps keep you feeling full longer, which can help with weight management.
Lower Cholesterol Levels
Millet is also high in magnesium, which has been found to help lower cholesterol levels.
High cholesterol can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke, so it’s important to keep it in check.
For diabetics, high cholesterol can also lead to an increased risk of developing diabetic nephropathy, a type of kidney disease.
Packed With Antioxidants
Millet is packed with antioxidants, which help protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals; these are unstable molecules that can cause oxidative stress, which has been linked to a number of chronic diseases.
Good Source Of Protein
Millet is also a good source of plant-based protein, which is important for maintaining muscle mass and keeping you feeling full longer – perfect for staying healthy and strong.
Great For Weight Loss
Millet is low in calories and fat, making it a great choice for those looking to lose weight. It’s also high in fiber, which helps keep you feeling full longer and can help reduce cravings.
This can be beneficial for diabetics, as weight management is essential for managing the condition.
Are There Any Downsides Of Millet?
Millet is generally considered safe for most people, but there are a few potential downsides to consider. These include the following:
Millet contains high levels of phytic acid, which can reduce the absorption of certain minerals such as iron and zinc.
This is not a major concern for most people, but it’s something to be aware of if you have a mineral deficiency.
Millet is naturally gluten-free, but it can be contaminated with gluten during processing.
If you have celiac disease or are sensitive to gluten, it’s important to make sure the millet you buy is certified gluten-free.
Top Tips To Manage Diabetes
In addition to adding millet to your diet, there are other steps that you can take to help manage the symptoms and issues that can come with diabetes. Some essential tips to try to include:
East A Balanced Diet
Eating a balanced diet is essential for managing diabetes. This means eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.
It’s also important to limit processed foods and sugary drinks and to drink plenty of water – according to experts, dehydration can be more common in those suffering from diabetes, so make sure that you are keeping your fluids up to maintain good long-term health and wellbeing.
Make sure that your diet is well-balanced, and that it is packed with leafy greens, nuts, and other healthy foods to ensure that your body has the fuel that it needs to stay strong and healthy.
Get Enough Regular Exercise
Exercising regularly can help you manage your blood glucose levels and reduce your risk of developing complications associated with diabetes.
Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day for best results – this can take many forms, including walking, running, stretches, yoga, strength training or climbing, or a team sport such as tennis or football.
The goal here is to get your heart rate elevated to keep your body fit and healthy.
Monitor Blood Glucose Levels Closely
It’s important to monitor your blood glucose levels regularly to ensure that they are within the recommended range.
This can help you better manage your diabetes and reduce your risk of developing complications, and will also help you to identify any potential issues that may need to be addressed as soon as they arise.
Risks And Complications From Diabetes
Diabetes can lead to several serious health complications, including but not limited to:
Heart disease is one of the most common complications of diabetes. High blood sugar levels can damage the arteries, leading to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
Diabetes can also lead to kidney disease, as high blood sugar levels can damage the kidneys and reduce their ability to filter waste from the body.
High blood sugar levels can also cause damage to the eyes, leading to vision problems and even blindness.
Risk Of Stroke
Diabetics are also at an increased risk of stroke, as high blood sugar levels can damage the arteries and lead to a blockage in the brain.
As you can see, the complications and risks that can arise from diabetes can be severe and, in some cases, life-threatening.
Taking steps to manage and reduce symptoms is therefore crucial and, while millet is not a miracle cure, including it in your diet can offer a significant number of benefits that could massively improve your quality of life.
Millet is a great addition to any diabetic diet, as it is packed with essential vitamins and minerals that can help to regulate blood sugar levels.
It is also low in calories and fat, making it an ideal choice for those looking to maintain a healthy weight, and its ability to manage the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream makes it a real game changer for diabetics, helping to reduce the risk of developing complications and improving overall health.