Diabetes: The popular autumnal fruit that can lower blood sugar
High blood sugar: What are the warning signs?
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It is well known that there are two forms of the condition – type 1 and type 2. Both of these result in the level of glucose (sugar) in your blood becoming too high. For type 1 patients this happens when your body cannot produce enough of a hormone called insulin, which controls blood glucose.
Type 2 diabetes is much more common than type 1.
In this case the raised blood sugar levels are usually caused by being overweight or not exercising enough.
Whether you are living with type 1 or type 2, managing blood sugar levels is vitally important.
One expert explained how a popular fruit often consumed in the autumn could help with this.
Speaking with Express.co.uk, registered dietitian at JustCBD – Nataly Komova – said: “Did you know that Iran and Mexico use pumpkin to manage diabetes?
“Pumpkin contains antioxidants and fibre that are wonderful for balancing blood sugar.
“Studies indicate that using pumpkin powders and extracts as medicine decreases blood sugar levels in animals and humans.
“The seeds are filled with proteins and healthy fats, two components known for controlling blood sugar.”
This was backed by Healthline, which lists pumpkin as a fibre-rich food.
It says: “Fibre plays a beneficial role in managing blood sugar levels, and eating fibre-rich foods has been shown to improve blood sugar control.
“One-half cup (120 grams) of pumpkin contains 12 percent of the daily value for fibre.”
And one study, published in Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry, tested the consumption of pumpkin paste on type 2 diabetic rats.
As part of the research, two compounds – trigonelline (TRG) and nicotinic acid (NA) – were isolated from the paste.
It found that these compounds could be the reason for the blood sugar-lowering and diabetes-preventing effects of pumpkin.
The paper says: “Feeding a diet containing TRG and NA respectively improved and tended to improve glucose tolerance.”
Although there could be concerns that pumpkin could actually cause blood sugar to rise as has a high glycaemic index, Healthline explains that it has a low glycaemic load: “meaning that it’s unlikely to have a significant effect on your blood sugar as long as you exercise portion control.”
A “normal” fasting blood glucose level is considered 100 milligrams per decilitre (mg/dL).
If it ranges between 100 to 125 mg/dL it is considered prediabetes, or 126 mg/dL and higher means the patient has diabetes.
Common signs of diabetes include:
- Feeling very thirsty
- Urinating more frequently than usual, particularly at night
- Feeling very tired
- Weight loss and loss of muscle bulk
- Itching around the penis or vagina, or frequent episodes of thrush
- Cuts or wounds that heal slowly
- Blurred vision.
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