Sugarcane juice is a delightful drink enjoyed extensively in regions like India, Africa, and other parts of Asia. Historically, medical practitioners have used sugarcane juice to treat health conditions related to the liver, kidneys, and other organs.
Interestingly, sufficient information suggests its potential benefits in managing diabetes, which might be an unexpected insight for many. You might wonder, is sugarcane juice good for diabetes, or is it a sweet beverage that should be avoided? Let’s get into it!
Diabetes and sugarcane: What you should know
So, is sugarcane juice good for diabetes? Sugarcane juice is derived from pressed sugar cane, which features a distinctive sweet flavor and is often combined with lime and served chilled.
In its raw form, sugarcane juice is rich in phenolic and flavonoid antioxidants, which provide several health benefits, like reducing inflammation and blood pressure levels. The drink’s electrolyte content, particularly potassium, has garnered attention for its potential hydrating properties. However, it is crucial to note that it also causes an increase in blood sugar levels during physical activity. The positive effects observed were primarily linked to its carbohydrate content, highlighting its ability to replenish energy reserves in the muscles post-exercise.
Sugar content of sugarcane
Contrary to popular belief, sugarcane juice is not just liquid sugar. Its composition includes approximately 70–75% water, 10-15% fiber, and 13–15% sucrose, which is equivalent to the sugar content in table sugar.
Is sugarcane juice good for diabetes?
Sugarcane juice has a glycemic index of 43, making it a low-glycemic food, indicating it will not suddenly create a spike in your blood sugar levels.
Low-GI foods can make you feel satiated for a longer amount of time, reducing the need for snacks and the habit of overeating. This hydrating beverage can give you immediate energy and prevent dehydration. However, it has a high glycemic load (carb content and how quickly it enters the bloodstream), which can outweigh the health benefits of sugarcane juice. Hence, consider having it in moderation, especially if you have diabetes.
Benefits and risks of sugarcane juice for diabetics
Here are some of the benefits and risks of consuming sugarcane juice for people with diabetes :
- Keeps your liver in shape: Sugarcane juice’s alkaline content perfectly balances your body’s electrolyte composition, resulting in improved liver function and protection against diseases like jaundice.
- Enhances oral health: Sugarcane juice is a powerhouse of minerals, like calcium, zinc and potassium, that can strengthen your teeth and rebuild tooth enamel, preventing bad breath.
- Removes excess toxins: It also helps treat several health conditions, including UTIs, constipation and skin allergies. Sugarcane juice acts as a diuretic, which removes excess toxins and enhances regular kidney function
It is best to avoid sugarcane juice if you have diabetes, as its high sugar content can cause your blood sugar levels to spike.
How much sugarcane juice can people with diabetes drink?
People with diabetes can have a small glass (around 100 ml) of sugarcane juice before exercising in the morning. The extra calories can help in balancing your blood sugar levels quickly.
While sugarcane juice is rich in vital contents like antioxidants, it is advisable to consume it in moderation. Kindly consult your dietician before including sugarcane juice in your diet plan