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Diabetic Patients are advised to eat foods that are low carb in nature and also unprocessed. With most Nigerian foods being high carbs, what are the food options for diabetic patients?
Diabetes also called Diabetes Mellitus is a severe disease that happens in the human body when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin. Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood glucose. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the number of persons diagnosed with diabetes rose from 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014. Year after year, this number continues to increase in every country around the world.
The most common symptoms of diabetes are intense thirst, intense hunger, frequent urination, weight gain or loss, intense fatigue, numbness in some body parts and erectile dysfunction. Diabetes can however be treated or managed through eating healthy, engaging in some physical activities, taking prescribed medications, regular screening and treatments.
Today’s post will focus on some healthy food options for diabetic patients living in Nigeria. Diabetic patients are always advised to avoid foods that are starchy in nature and to consume fibre-rich foods, that are mostly unprocessed like vegetables, fruits, nuts, etc. Some of these healthy foods include:
1.Unripe plantains: Unripe plantains are a great source of dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and they are low carb foods. Unripe plantains have many health benefits like helping to manage diabetes, cure stomach ulcers, prevent constipation, manage weight loss, etc. Unripe plantains can be boiled, mashed, cooked into a porridge, made as moimoi, or grilled for diabetic patients in Nigeria.
2. Beans: Beans is a great food food choice for people with diabetes and it is a popular food in Nigeria. Beans is a source of protein, fiber and minerals. It also contains carbohydrates but it is low on the Glycemic Index (GI) scale and causes no increase in one’s blood sugar level.
The benefits of beans are reduces the risks of diabetes, helps in weight loss, aids digestion, increases energy in the body, improves heart health, etc. Beans can be cooked plainly and served with vegetables, it can be turned into a pottage and served with unripe plantains, it can also be mashed, it can be cooked to become moimoi, etc.
3. Bambara Nuts: Bambara Nuts is widely consumed by different tribes in Nigeria. It is called Ókpa by the Igbos, Gurjiya by the Hausas and Epa Riro by the Yorubas. Bambara Nuts contains vital nutrients and minerals like magnesium, manganese, fat, fiber, minerals, protein and carbohydrates. Bambara Nuts helps to reduce blood sugar, manage heart health, manage blood pressure, boost kidney functions, manages ulcer, aids digestion, reduces inflammation and manages some types of cancer.
4. Water Yam: Water Yam is a healthy type of yam usually purple or pure white in color. It is shorter than the normal Nigerian yam, yet it is packed with many nutrients and benefits, especially for diabetic patients. Water Yam has nutrients like potassium, iron, calcium, vitamins C & E, carbohydrates and dietary fiber.
The benefits of water yams includes helps to manage diabetes, reduces blood pressure, aids digestion, improves one’s eyesight, improves bone health, boosts the human immune system. Water Yam can be cooked plainly and paired with healthy stews or sauce, palmoil or grilled for a diabetic patient in Nigeria.
5. Ofada Rice: Ofada rice is a popular type of rice in Nigeria, however not many people like to eat it because of its smell or nature. Ofada rice is also called unpolished rice because it is unprocessed and is packaged as it is for consumption. Ofada rice is healthier than white rice, which is mostly eaten by many Nigerians. Ofada rice contains healthy nutrients especially vitamins, fiber and minerals like zinc, phosphorus and folate.
Some health benefits of ofada rice are serves as a great food choice for diabetic patients, good for bone health, lowers cholesterol level in the body, prevents constipation, manages the risk of breast cancer. Ofada rice can be boiled plainly and paired with ofada or ayamase sauce, vegetable, soup or healthy stews.
6. Corn meal : Corn meal is a Nigerian food also called Agidi by the Igbos or Eko by the Yorubas. Corn meal is made from Pap and boiled in a healthy leaf wrap till it forms a solid consistency. It is packed with fiber, protein, minerals like manganese, zinc, phosphorus, magnesium, etc.
The health benefits of this meal are to fight diabetes, helps to improve eyesight, aids in proper digestion, and also a great meal option for pregnant women in Nigeria. Corn meal can be eaten with peppersoup, vegetable soups, beans, or it can be eaten alone.
Some other Nigerian food options for diabetic patients in Nigeria are:
• Plantain flour swallow
• Garden egg sauce
• Quaker oats
• Vegetable salad
• Healthy soups and stews
Diabetic Patients should always have a healthy and balanced diet. Diets play a major part in the recovery and treatment process for many patients. The foods listed above can be cooked and served in different forms.
On the DRO Health app, we have expert Diabetologists you can speak to, to help you live a healthier life. You can also book a diabetes test on the app and get your results as soon as possible. To use these services on the DRO Health app, visit www.drohealth.com to get started.
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