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Top 3 Safest Carbs (Low Glycemic and Gluten Free)
Overview of Glycemic Index
The “glycemic index” (GI) is a term used to describe the blood glucose response to a particular food – is a method of ranking the effects of different carbohydrate-rich based foods based on their effects on blood sugar.
High-GI foods pass rapidly through your digestive system and into your bloodstream, driving up your blood glucose levels and causing insulin to spike.
Low-GI foods, on the other hand, pass more slowly through the digestive system and enter the bloodstream gradually, which keeps insulin levels low. (1,2)
(55 or less = low, 55-69 = medium, 70 or more, high)
Low GI Food Benefits: Increase the body’s sensitivity to insulin, improve diabetes control, reduce hunger and keep you fuller for longer, minimize carb cravings, and minimize energy crashes
Vegetable: Asparagus – 15
Fruit: Grapefruit – 25
Grain (kinda); Buckwheat – 25
Asparagus – 15
Asparagus contains significant quantities of the nutrient inulin. Inulin is a kind of complex carbohydrate that is commonly known as prebiotic.
It does not get digested until it reaches the large intestine, where it is fed upon by a kind of good bacteria like Lactobacilli. This aids in the improved absorption of nutrients
Asparagus contains racemofuran, which is a phytochemical that has anti-inflammatory effect on the body
By inhibiting an enzyme called cyclooxygenase (or COX), racemofuran interferes with the chemical reactions that end up causing pain when your body’s inflammatory response is prompted. (3,4)
Grapefruit – 25
Grapefruit contains a specialized antioxidant, naringenin that has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and help maintain a healthy weight – naringenin makes the liver burn fat instead of storing it.
Grapefruit helps to lower insulin levels and it was shown in one study that grapefruit worked just as well as metformin in lowering blood sugar levels with a 13% reduced fasting blood sugar level (5)
Buckwheat – 25
While most people think of buckwheat as a whole grain, it’s actually a seed that is high in both protein and fiber.
It supports heart health and can help prevent diabetes and digestive disorders – buckwheat seeds, also called “groats,” are packed with nutrients and antioxidants
Buckwheat’s beneficial effects are due in part to its rich supply of rutin
Rutin counteracts platelet-activating factor (PAF), which causes blood clot formation and which triggers the inflammatory reactions of allergies.
Rutin can also reduce the rate at which oxidized LDL cholesterol attracts the white blood cells that transform it into the plaque that hardens arteries.
Buckwheat is also a good source of magnesium. This mineral relaxes blood vessels, improving blood flow and nutrient delivery while lowering blood pressure—the perfect combination for a healthy cardiovascular system. (7)
1) Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load | Linus Pauling Institute | Oregon State University. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/food-beverages/glycemic-index-glycemic-load
2) The glycemic index. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://easacademy.org/research-news/article/glycemic-index-in-exercise
3) 17 Impressive Benefits of Asparagus | Organic Facts. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/vegetable/health-benefits-of-asparagus.html
4) Asparagus – 13 Health Benefits of Asparagus | avivahealth.com. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.avivahealth.com/article.asp?articleid=290
5) Grapefruit juice may protect against diabetes – Health News – NHS Choices. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.nhs.uk/news/2014/10October/Pages/Grapefruit-juice-may-protect-against-diabetes.aspx
6) All You Need to Know About Oxytocin and Related Genes – Selfhacked. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://selfhacked.com/blog/the-social-chilled-out-and-empathetic-genes-oxytocin-receptor-snps/
7) Health Benefits of Rutin – Dosing, Side Effects and FAQs About Rutin. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.nutritional-supplements-health-guide.com/rutin-benefits.html