Why wheat should be part of every diabetic’s diet

People with diabetes may find eating wheat beneficial. A study published in the Journal of Dietary Supplements suggests that the consumption of wheat (Triticum aestivum) among people with diabetes may improve the condition and its complications.

In the study, researchers at Afe Babalola University and the University of Ilorin in Nigeria looked at the effect of a wheat-based diet on diabetes. For the study, the team evaluated the antidiabetic activity of a wheat-based diet on diabetic rats. They gave rats alloxan to induce diabetes, then fed them a wheat-based diet for four weeks. (Related: 11 Delicious Key Ingredients that Make The Mediterranean Diet So Nutritious.)

The results of the study revealed that a wheat-based diet significantly improved the levels of fasting blood glucose, albumin, globulin, bilirubin, urea, creatinine, sodium (Na+), and potassium (K+) of the diabetic rats.

Diabetic rats fed with a wheat-based diet also exhibited significant increases in insulin and glycogen concentrations, activities of hexokinase, catalase, superoxide dismutase, and glutathione peroxidase, and the levels of blood parameters. The rats also experienced significant reductions in the activities of glucose-6-phosphatase and fructose 1,6-diphosphatase and levels of malondialdehyde.

The wheat-based diet also reversed activities of aspartate transaminase (AST) and gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT) and alkaline phosphatase level (ALP). It also promoted the regeneration of liver, kidney, and pancreas tissues.

With these findings, it can be concluded that adhering to a wheat-based diet may be beneficial for diabetes patients in managing diabetes mellitus and its complications.

Other health benefits of wheat consumption

Wheat, which is one of the world’s most commonly consumed cereal grains, comes from a type of grass grown in different varieties worldwide. The most common species is common wheat, followed by other closely related species such as durum, spelt, emmer, einkorn, and Khorasan wheat. Eating whole-grain wheat may also benefit even those who are not diabetic, as long as their body can tolerate it. Here some of the potential health benefits of eating whole-grain wheat:

  • It is rich in nutrients: It contains protein, fibers, vitamins, and minerals, such as selenium, manganese, phosphorus, copper, and folic acid or vitamin B9. It also contains high amounts of antioxidants, which are found in the aleurone layer, a component of the bran. Ferulic acid, phytic acid, alkylresorcinols, lignans, wheat germ agglutinin, and lutein are some of the antioxidants found in wheat.
  • It improves gut health: Whole-grain wheat is packed with fibers that are concentrated in the brain. These fibers may promote gut health. Studies show that components of wheat bran may serve as prebiotics, feeding the good bacteria in the gut. Wheat bran may also speed up the travel time of undigested material through the digestive tract, at the same time slowing down travel times that are very fast. It may also reduce the risk of constipation in children.
  • It may help prevent colon cancer: Colon cancer, the most common type of cancer in the digestive system, may be prevented by eating whole wheat, or other whole-grain cereals rich in fiber. Studies have associated whole grain consumption, including whole wheat, with reduced risk of colon cancer. The fibers, antioxidants, and phytonutrients found in whole-grain wheat may be responsible for this benefit.

Read more news stories and studies on managing diabetes naturally by going to DiabetesScienceNews.com.

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