Broccoli may assist people in controlling blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes, according to researchers. To keep you blood sugar levels within limits, it is beneficial to start eating foods that are high in fibre and vitamins. They should also have a low glycaemic index score which means that they won't cause sudden high increases in your blood sugar levels. Broccoli meets all these conditions which naturally makes it a superfood for diabetics, but this latest research has something more to add to it.
The humble broccoli, which is unpopular among many for being boring, is now being flaunted as a superfood vegetable. It is one of the best sources of Vitamin C (more than oranges!), filled with fibre and phytochemicals, low in calories and is also rich in calcium. Broccoli is also advantageous for your heart and is well known for its anti-cancer properties. A new study, published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, shows that it may have some health benefits for diabetics too.
The study indicates that broccoli has a compound called sulforaphane which may help turn back the disease signature. Trials were conducted on rats and they showed that this compound lessened the glucose production by liver cells that were growing in culture and altered the liver gene expression away from a diseased state in the rats with diabetes.
The team constructed a signature for Type 2 diabetes based on 50 genes and then used publicly available expression data sets to screen 3,852 compounds for drugs that can possibly reverse the disease. Sulforaphane was given as concentrated broccoli sprout extract to 97 obese patients with type 2 diabetes during a 12-week random placebo-controlled experiment. The results showed that it significantly reduced fasting blood glucose and glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c).
The researchers, therefore, have conclude that broccoli may act as a surprise and secret weapon against diabetes. Earlier studies have shown that sulforaphane supports production of enzymes that defend the blood vessels which can also help in lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and strokes in diabetics, which are common risks associated with the ailment.