Type 2 diabetes: A grain which has ‘remarkable health benefits’ to lower blood sugar

Dr David Lloyd discusses using diabetes drug for anti-aging

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If you’ve been diagnosed with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, your doctor has likely told you to focus on healthy eating habits and exercise to help prevent the development, or progression, of the disease. What you may not be aware of is the importance of gut health which helps to stimulate the increase of good bacteria to lower blood sugar and insulin levels. One grain type has been shown to help not only control appetite but also improve gut health, lower blood sugar and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Whole grain barley is very high in dietary fibre, which allows it to be digested slowly.

Combined with a high level of magnesium, whole grain barley is considered an incredibly beneficial food for diabetics and those with a high risk for developing diabetes.

The carbohydrates in barley are absorbed and converted into glucose within the bloodstream gradually, which helps to maintain energy and cellular function without raising blood glucose levels rapidly.

Other whole grains also exhibit many of these anti-diabetic benefits, but it’s possible that whole grain barley is the best of them all.

A study from Lund University in Sweden shows that barley can rapidly improve people’s health by reducing blood sugar levels and the risk for diabetes.

Barley’s special mixture of dietary fibres has been shown to also help reduce people’s appetite and risk for cardiovascular disease.

In the study, healthy middle-aged participants were asked to eat bread largely made out of barley kernels for three days.

This included breakfast, lunch and dinner with the results being examined for risk indicators of diabetes and cardiovascular disease approximately 11 to 14 hours after their final meal of the day.

The researchers found that the participants’ metabolism improved for up to 14 hours, with additional benefits such as decreases in blood sugar and insulin levels, increases in insulin sensitivity and improved appetite control.

Researchers found the effects arise when the special mixture of dietary fibres in the barley kernel reaches the gut, stimulating the increase of good bacteria and the release of important hormones.

“It is surprising yet promising that choosing the right blend of dietary fibres can – in a short period of time – generate such remarkable health benefits”, said Anne Nilsson, Associate Professor at the Food for Health Science Centre and one of the researchers behind the study.

She added: “After eating the bread made out of barley kernel, we saw an increase in gut hormones that regulate metabolism and appetite, and an increase in a hormone that helps reduce chronic low-grade inflammation, among the participants.

“In time this could help prevent the occurrence of both cardiovascular disease and diabetes.”

Barley can be added into soups, stews, salads, served as a side dish, and now used as a way to lower appetite and improve overall health.

Another study published in the National Library of Health; researchers found when men ate cooked barley kernels they experienced healthier blood sugar control.

Other research bolstered these claims and also found that barley helps to lower blood pressure and cholesterol and help control weight.

Doctor Eugen Yen, a physician in the division of gastroenterology states that diabetics may have a different gut microbiome than others.

Diabetes and obesity are both associated with less diversity and less redundancy in the gut microbiome.

Health experts hypothesise that a disrupted gut microbiome causes diseases to develop, or that diabetes alters the microbiome.

Barley is high in fibre, which is necessary for proper digestion and can help reduce constipation, improve symptoms of certain bowel conditions and increase the number of beneficial gut bacteria.

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