is mulberry fruit good for diabetics

Is Mulberry Fruit Good for Diabetes

What is the mulberry fruit

Also referred to as white mulberry, common mulberry and silkworm mulberry, the mulberry fruit (Morus Alba) is predominantly found in Asia and North America. This fruit has a variety of colours including red, black and white.

It has a lot of health benefits and due to its sweet taste, it is often used to make tea, wine, juice and other processed foods. It can be eaten as a snack when dried.

Diabetic people often wonder if eating mulberries is a good idea due to the sweet nature of the fruit. So, they are mostly sceptical when it comes to eating this fruit. However, this fruit can be very beneficial to people diagnosed with diabetes.

To know whether the mulberry fruit is good for diabetes we first need to take a look at what diabetes is and also consider some factors to know if the fruit is good for diabetic people.

Diabetes, what is it?

It is a metabolic disease resulting from too much sugar (glucose) in the bloodstream. An increase in blood sugar in the body causes the pancreas to release insulin (a hormone that allows blood sugar into the body for the cells to use as energy)

Having diabetes means that your body cannot produce enough insulin and where insulin is absent, the blood sugar in your body amasses in your bloodstream. This can result in health issues such as heart disease, loss of vision and kidney disease.

Currently, there is no cure for diabetes but exercising daily, eating healthy foods can help manage this disease.

What are the types of diabetes?

Gestational diabetes

A type of diabetes that develops during pregnancy and usually disappears after giving birth. It can happen at any stage of pregnancy but is more common in the second or third trimester. Pregnant women or women with gestational diabetes face an increased risk of complications during pregnancy and at delivery. These women and their children are also at increased risk of type 2 diabetes in the future.

Type 2 diabetes

This type of diabetes results from the body’s inadequate use of insulin. Excess body weight (obesity) and physical inactivity can be caused by this type of diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes

Another type of diabetes requires a daily dose of insulin. Caused as a result of insufficient insulin production in the body. This type of diabetes can cause too much excretion of urine, thirst, constant hunger, weight loss, vision changes, and fatigue.

Factors to consider to ascertain whether mulberry is good for people with diabetes

  1. The type of sugar present in mulberry
  2. The glycemic index of mulberry
  3. Other medicinal characteristics of mulberry that may or may not be beneficial to diabetic people

The types of sugar present in mulberry fruit

Mulberry contains both simple and complex sugars. Simple sugars, which are also referred to as natural sugars do not cause a sharp increase in blood sugar levels. Simple sugars found in mulberry include fructose and glucose. The mulberry fruit also contains complex sugar (fibre).

Can the sugars in mulberry contribute to an increase in blood sugar?

The sugars found in mulberry can cause an increase in blood sugar. It should however be noted that the increase in blood sugar is just in small amounts. The sugars present in mulberries such as fibre need a long time before they can be broken down and processed by the body.

This ensures that there is a gradual release of sugar into the bloodstream. This in turn regulates the blood sugar levels in the body, keeping them under control.

The glycemic index of mulberry

It is a numerical scale of numbers between 0 and 100 which is used to describe how eating one food will raise blood sugar levels. There are 3 categories of the glycemic index namely low, medium and high.

The lower the glycemic index of a food, the lower the chances of the food affecting your blood sugar levels, the higher the glycemic index of a food, the greater the chances of the food affecting your blood sugar levels.

The low glycemic index ranges from 0 to 55

The medium glycemic index ranges from 56 to 69 

The high glycemic category ranges from 70 to 100

Mulberry has a glycemic index of 25, putting it in the low glycemic index category. This alone makes it safe to be consumed by people with diabetes.

Can mulberry increase blood sugar?

Mulberry contains the compound 1-deoxynojirimycin (DNJ), which impedes the enzymes in your gut that are responsible for breaking down carbohydrates in your body. Thus, mulberry may be beneficial against diabetes by slowing down the increase in blood sugar after meals

Also, a sudden increase in blood sugar levels is not something a diabetic person should be worried about after eating mulberry since the sugars in contain require a long time before they can be broken down and processed in the body.

Other medicinal characteristics of mulberry that may or may not be beneficial to diabetic people

The mulberry fruit has many health benefits which can promote the overall health of people diagnosed with diabetes and some of which include:

Improves digestive health

Mulberries have a good amount of fibre which is needed by the body to facilitate proper digestion. It also makes stool easier to pass out thus preventing constipation. 

Reduces cancer risk

This fruit has anthocyanins that keep cancer which is bad news for cancer cells. It also contains resveratrol, which is known to have anti-cancer properties. This is highly beneficial when it comes to fighting colon cancer, skin cancer, prostate cancer, and thyroid.

Improves blood circulation

The mulberry fruit is also rich in antioxidants which improve the funcxtioning of the blood vessels by dilating them. This leads to a free flow of blood from the heart to other parts of the body thus ensuring blood pressure control. The fruit is also rich in iron which promotes the production of red blood cells.

Good for the bones

Nutrients such as calcium and vitamin K are good for promoting strong bones. These nutrients are also present in mulberries.

Promotes liver health

Another health component of the mulberry fruit that can be of help to diabetics is that it promotes a healthy liver. 

It can strengthen the liver and it contains iron which is useful to maintain liver health. Eating this fruit nourishes and purifies the blood in the liver.

WRITTEN AND EDITED RESPECTIVELY BY:

Dr. Ehoneah Obed is a registered pharmacist and a member of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana. He has a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and has experience working in a Tertiary hospital as well as various community pharmacies. He is also a software engineer interested in healthcare technologies.

His love for helping others motivates him to create content on an array of topics mostly relating to the health of people and also software engineering content.

He is knowledgeable in digital marketing, content marketing, and a host of other skills that make him versatile enough to uplift any team he joins.

Dr. Ehoneah Obed (Pharmacist)

Dr. Ehoneah Obed is a registered pharmacist and a member of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana. He has a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and has experience working in a Tertiary hospital as well as various community pharmacies. He is also a software engineer interested in healthcare technologies. His love for helping others motivates him to create content on an array of topics mostly relating to the health of people and also software engineering content. He is knowledgeable in digital marketing, content marketing, and a host of other skills that make him versatile enough to uplift any team he joins.

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