Each article on the fitterfly website is a labor of love, reviewed by a team of certified medical experts specializing in various fields like Diabetology, Nutrition, Physiotherapy, Psychology.
They carefully examine all references and facts to provide up-to-date and reliable information, aiming to break myths and empower you in your health journey.
Meet Our Reviewing Team
Is Ladyfinger a Good Food Choice for People with Diabetes?
A staple and easily available vegetable is the bhindi. Also called ‘okra’ or lady’s finger’, this vegetable is popular across parts of Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and some parts of North and South America. Lady’s finger is known for its sticky mucilage or extract that is used to thicken sauces in some cuisines.
People with diabetes are constantly looking out for foods that are safe for them and do not cause a spike in their blood sugar levels! Is the lady’s finger one of them? Let’s find out!
Nutritional value of the Lady’s Finger
Before we jump into the many health benefits of the lady’s finger and understand if it is recommended for people with diabetes, here’s what the nutritional value of 100 gm of this vegetable looks contains:
- Protein: 1.93 g
- Carbohydrates: 7.5 g
- Fibre: 3.2 g
- Sugar: 1.3 g
- Potassium: 299 mg
- Sodium: 7 mg
- Magnesium: 57 mg
- Vitamin C: 23 mg
Besides these nutrients, the lady’s finger is also rich in iron, phosphorus, folate, vitamin A and antioxidants. The pods of the lady’s finger contain phenolic compounds and flavonoid derivatives with strong antioxidant properties.
Benefits of the Lady’s Finger
Besides the versatility and flavour profile of the lady’s finger, this vegetable is eaten for its several health benefits, such as:
1. Improves heart health
The American Heart Association recommends high-fibre foods to lower cholesterol levels and improve cardiovascular health. The lady’s finger is one such high-fibre food that can improve heart health.
2. Good for bone health
Lady’s finger is rich in magnesium, phosphorous and vitamin K, all of which prevent osteoporosis and strengthen bones.
3. Boosts gastrointestinal health
The high fibre content of the lady’s finger and the mucilage prevent constipation and maintain a healthy digestive system. Some traditional medicinal practices also believe that lady’s finger extract is good for treating inflammatory conditions of the digestive system, like irritable bowel syndrome.
4. Reduces inflammation in the body
The high antioxidant content of the lady’s finger helps reduce inflammation in the body, one of the causative factors for chronic diseases like cancer.
5. Good for pregnancy and lactation
The lady’s finger is rich in folate, an essential nutrient for pregnant and lactating mothers.
Is the Lady’s Finger Good for Diabetes?
The ladies’ finger has a low glycemic index, which means it does not cause a spike in blood sugar levels when consumed. Due to its high fibre content, the lady’s finger has a low glycemic index.
Indias top Diabetes nutritionists
are here to help
Indias top Diabetes nutritionists are here to help
Few studies have shown the diabetes-lowering properties of the lady’s fingers. This vegetable improves insulin sensitivity and lipid profile and aids in weight loss- all of which help better blood sugar management.
Additionally, the high quantity of fibre in the ladies’ fingers is also believed to stabilise blood glucose levels.
Ways to Consume Lady’s Finger in Diabetes
If you have diabetes or prediabetes, how you cook your food greatly affects your blood sugar management. The lady’s finger is no different. Here are some recommended ways of consuming the ladies’ finger for people with diabetes:
- Boiling the lady’s fingers before eating has shown to maintain fibre content, which is excellent for blood sugar management. Adding bhindi to traditional recipes like dals, sambhar, kadhis, and rasse wali sabzi are some interesting ways to maintain its mucilaginous fibre.
- Stir-frying ladys’ fingers in a kadhai with some mustard seeds (like bhindi ki bhaji). Cooking the ladies’ fingers this way is tasty, and add a squeeze of lemon juice for some added flavour.
When eating the ladys’ finger in a meal, combine it with other food groups like protein to create a balanced meal.
The lady’ finger is an extremely healthy vegetable to include in your diet. The high fibre content and low glycemic index play a central role in making this vegetable safe to consume for people with diabetes.
While several traditional medicinal practices have been recommending the ladys’ finger for people with high blood sugar levels, many studies have proved so.
We understand that managing high blood sugar levels can be tedious and often frustrating. However, you don’t have to do it alone!
At Fitterfly, we offer a scientifically-curated and technologically-backed Diabetes Care Program where our nutrition coaches, physiotherapy coaches and success coaches work together to create a personalised plan for you.
At Fitterfly, all our diabetes management plans focus on four pillars, namely, diet, fitness, adequate sleep and effective stress management.
Need help managing your diabetes? Speak to our program advisor today!
India's top Diabetes nutritionists are here to help