Diabetes? This Winter Leafy Vegetable May Help Manage Blood Sugar

By NDTV Food Desk NDTV 

The winters are here and so are our cravings for winter delicacies. Green and leafy vegetables are an intrinsic part of our winter diet.

The seasonal veggies are prepared across winter months in a variety of ways. From soups, stews, curries to juices, winter greens are a hit in every avatar. One winter leafy delight we cannot wait to gorge on is mustard greens or sarso leaves. Mustard greens are leaves of mustard plants. In parts of Punjab and North India, sarso ka saag is a winter staple.

It is a vegetarian dish, which is made using seasonal mustard leaves along with other leafy veggies like bathua (Chenopodium or pigweed), spinach and radish leaves.

It is very popularly used in salads around the world.

"They range from bright green to deep purple and are high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, and can help detoxify the body and lower "unhealthy" (LDL) cholesterol", notes the book 'Healing Foods' by DK Publishing House. It contains iron, calcium, vitamin A, C, K and E, along with phytonutrients such as phenols. Experts say that they are also effective in managing diabetes.

Here's Why You Should Include Mustard Greens In Your Diabetes Diet

According to Macrobiotic Nutritionist and Health Practitioner Shilpa Arora, mustard greens have a very low glycaemic load; this is why they are an ideal addition to a diabetes diet.

The Glycaemic Index (GI) is a relative ranking of carbohydrate in foods according to how they affect blood glucose levels. Carbs with low GI value (55 or less) are digested slowly and cause a gradual rise in blood glucose.

Mustard greens happen to be very high in fibre content; fibres take long to break down and digest. This ensures that the carbohydrates are released slowly in the blood stream. Fibres also keep you full for long and help prevent cravings, which promote weight management too, a common cause of concern among diabetics. Mustard greens also have low carbohydrate content and are high in proteins, which further makes them suitable for diabetics

The best way to have mustard greens is to steam them lightly and enjoy them in soothing broth. Another way is to sautee; them with herbs like garlic and have them for dinner in a delicious stir-fry preparation. If you are cooking sarso ka saag(Indian mustard green curry) at home, make sure you monitor the amount of fats (oil, butter, ghee) you are cooking it with.

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.