Diabetes is a condition where the levels of blood sugar in the body are persistently high for either of two reasons - the pancreas doesn't produce enough insulin or the body is not able to process the insulin effectively. These are known as Type 1 diabetes and Type 2 diabetes, respectively. Some common symptoms of diabetes include increased thirst, frequent urination, hunger, fatigue etc. Diabetics need to be very careful about what they eat to as to avoid any sudden spikes in levels of blood sugar. This is why diabetics are advised to shun processed and junk foods and instead include more foods and drinks that may regulate release of glucose or sugar in the blood and whole grains are one such category of foods that are considered healthy for diabetics.
Whole grains are rich in fibre and beneficial micro-nutrients like vitamins and minerals and hence are ideal for a diabetes diet. A number of whole grains are already used abundantly in Indian kitchens and a popular whole grain that Indians have always used is bajra, which belongs to the family of millets. Technically speaking, millets are grass, but they have been consumed as food grains in certain parts of the world and have come to be known as such in culinary cultures. In India, bajra has been a prized part of regional cuisines since pre-historic times, on account of being energising nutritional powerhouse.
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Bajra Nutrition: Why It's A Diabetes-Friendly Food Grain
Due to the presence of good quality complex carbohydrates in it, bajra is ideal for weight management and for regulating blood sugar levels. Consuming bajra may help steadily supply your body with energy and it is also gluten-free. The fibre-rich food grain contains 12 grams of protein per 100 grams of portion, as well as 42 grams of calcium (as per data by the United States of Agriculture). According to consulting nutritionist Dr. Rupali Datta, bajra is also a great pre-biotic, due to the presence of insoluble fibre, which acts as nutrition for the beneficial bacteria in your gut. Dr. Datta says that bajra may have a positive effect on diabetes due to the presence of slowly digestible starch, which is converted to glucose slowly. Moreover, bajra is rich in magnesium, which has also been linked with lowered risk of diabetes.
Also Read: Cooking Tips 101: How to Use Bajra to Make More Than Rotis
Diabetes Diet Management: The whole grain contains insoluble fibre and magnesium
Bajra Khichdi Recipe
Khichdi is considered as a good and healthy dish for diabetics, if it's cooked in more fibre-rich grains than white rice. Bajra khichdi may be a good addition to a diabetic's diet, as it is rich in fibre from millets and protein from lentils. Moreover, it is easy on the digestive system, and is light and easy to prepare.
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Diabetes Diet: Here's how you can prepare bajra khichdi to regulate blood sugar levels:
1. Add bajra and dhuli moong dal in the ratio of 2 is to 1, along with water, in a pressure cooker.
2. Cook for enough time to get four whistles.
3. In a separate pan, heat ghee and cook cumin, dry coriander powder, garam masala and red chilli powder (to taste) in it.
4. Add the cooked bajra and lentils to this tadka and cook until it is mixed.
For full recipe of diabetes-friendly bajra khichdi recipe, click here. Apart from eating healthy, diabetics must make sure they engage in exercise or any other form of physical activity, and regularly get their levels of glycated haemoglobin.
(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.)