Is Gongura Good for Diabetics? Nutrition & 8 Health Benefits

We all know that green leafy supplements in our diet are the best thing we can add. All of us are nowadays focused on healthy eating. Our diets and food habits need to bring about positive health changes.

These changes can often be fueled by a correct diet filled with nourishing items. And what is better than green leafy veggies when it comes to health?

Today, let us know about one such leafy food item. We are talking about the Gongura. Let us find out:

  • What is Gongura?
  • Is Gongura good for diabetics?
  • What is its nutritional composition?
  • What are the benefits of eating Gongura?

And so on.

Let us begin without further ado!

What is Gongura (Sorrel Leaves)?

What is Gongura (Sorrel Leaves)

Gongura is a plant grown excessively for the dietary usages of its leaves. The leaves of Gongura are edible and are used in many Indian, especially South Indian cuisines. The name Gongura is also derived from the Telugu language and its common culinary uses in Andhra Pradesh.

It is obtained from the Roselle plant, which is a kind of hemp plant. The Gongura leaves are also commonly known as Ambada leaves in Maharashtra, Pitwaa in Hindi, or often as red sorrel leaves. They are popular for their sour taste and usage in making pickles.

These leaves are often known as the Queen of green vegetables. They are very versatile when it comes to health benefits and cooking different dishes.

Gongura leaves are found in two main types. One of them is green-stemmed, and the other is red-stemmed. The red-stemmed Gongura leaves are sourer as compared to the green-stemmed Gongura leaves.

These leaves grow in all climates throughout the year. The hotter the weather gets, the sourer the leaves taste. They help to add tanginess to the food, and thus they suit best for pickles.

They are enjoyed as pickles, in curries, as fried snacks, etc. Monsoons are the best times to want the sorrel leaves. Along with the many culinary uses, it is also very beneficial for one’s health; let us look into how it is helpful.

Is Gongura Good for Health?

Gongura is enriched with plenty of nutrients. It is a very valuable herb and leafy green. It can have magical effects on one’s overall health and immunity.

When added to your diet, this green leafy veggie can help enrich you with a lot of vitamins and minerals. They also prove to keep the body healthy from the inside. The antioxidant qualities of the Gongura leaves are very efficient in keeping away risks to health caused by free-radicals.

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Adding Gongura to any dish can make it nutritionally richer and better for health. They add iron, calcium, and many such helpful minerals to your body.

They improve bone strength, organ functions and prevent the occurrence of many joint and muscle-related aches and ailments.

They are very effective in freeing oneself from many chronic diseases and health conditions. These leaves are safe and health efficient in many ways.

One of the many conditions it is good for diabetes. Let us have some more look into it.

Is Gongura (Sorrel Leaves) Good for Diabetics?

Is-Gongura-(Sorrel-Leaves)-Good-for-Diabetics

Yes! Gongura leaves prove to be essential in controlling one’s diabetic situation. Diabetes is a chronic metabolic disorder and needs special attention and care to keep it under control.

Food habits and daily diets have to go through major changes to make it suitable for a diabetic person’s health. Among the many healthy options, the Gongura leaves are amid the top ones too!

Gongura is rich in several minerals and antioxidants that are necessary for a diabetic patient’s health maintenance. They keep the body free from other diseases and assist in reducing the symptoms of prevailing symptoms.

These leaves have been proved to be very effective in treating and controlling the effects of Type 2 diabetes.

Gongura is efficient in treating hypertension. It assists in lowering the blood pressures in the body that, in turn, help to maintain and boost one’s overall health.

Proper management of blood pressure is beneficial to keep away heart diseases and related risks. They also help in keeping the harmful symptoms of high blood sugars away.

The Gongura leaves have been tested and proven to lower blood sugar levels. Thus, they are very important in one’s diabetes maintenance. 

What is the Glycemic Index of Gongura?

Out of the many ways of measuring and keeping diabetes under control, the Glycemic index comes as the topmost. It is a way to indicate if a food is safe and healthy for diabetic consumption or not.

The Glycemic Index takes into consideration the number of carbohydrates found in a particular food item. It is then categorized after measuring on a scale from 0 to 100.

Based on the ranking, a food item has different effects on one’s blood sugar levels. Here are the categories and what they indicate:

Sl. No. Glycemic Index CategoriesGlycemic Index Range
1.Low Glycemic IndexFrom 0 to 55
2.Medium Glycemic IndexFrom 56 to 69
3.High Glycemic Index70 and above

Foods low in the Glycemic Index are safe and recommended to be added to one’s diabetic schedule. Medium Glycemic Index foods can be safe when taken in moderated and regulated amounts. But high Glycemic Index foods must be strictly avoided to keep the diabetic heath out of any risks.

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The Gongura, like many other Green leafy veggies, are also low in carbohydrates and higher in other beneficial nutrients. This makes it safe for someone with diabetes.

The Gongura leaves are low in the Glycemic Index. They rank from 0 to 55. Hence, their effects on one’s blood sugars are minimal and help keep the entire blood sugar level normal.

Not only that, adding Gongura leaves to other foods and dishes can assist in lowering the overall Glycemic Index of the meal. Hence, it makes your diabetes-specific diet even better and healthier for you.

What are the Nutritional values of Gongura?

The following table lists the nutritional components and compositions of Gongura:

Sl. No. Nutrients available in 100 grams of Gongura leavesAmount available
1.Calories25
2.Carbohydrates5.1 g
3.Proteins0.6 g
4.Fats0.2 g
5.Fiber1.3 g
6.Magnesium123 mg
7.Iron1.7 mg
8.Calcium130 mg
9.Phosphorus20 mg

The Gongura leaves also have small amounts of other vitamins and minerals found in it.

Some more of the minerals include – Manganese, Zinc, Copper, Zinc, Sodium, Potassium, etc. These are available in comparatively lesser amounts than the others mentioned.

Gongura also has the following vitamins – Vitamin A (5320 IU), Vitamin C (64 mg), Vitamin B6, Vitamin B9, Thiamine, Riboflavin, Niacin, Pantothenic acid, etc. they serve as important nutrients for the different body and health needs.

What are the health benefits of eating Gongura?

What are the health benefits of eating Gongura

We have looked at so many advantages of these green Gongura leaves. The many nutrients and minerals can be great for various bodily functions and well-being.

Let us have a look at the many health benefits of eating Gongura:

  1. Gongura, as we already saw, is great for diabetic consumption. It has many nutritional elements that can benefit the controlling of blood sugar levels. They are low in the Glycemic Index too. Moreover, it reduces and prevents blood pressures leading to lowered hypertension.
  1. The richness of fiber found in these sour green leaves makes the leaves even better for diabetics, who need to add more fiber to their food. Wool also has laxative properties that keep away constipation and indigestion-related issues.
  1. The consumption of Gongura leaves is beneficial to regulate homocysteine levels of the body. The availability of Vitamin B6 and Folate in these leaves keeps the Homocysteine levels, which are amino acids found in the blood, low. Decreased levels of it in the body keeps away the risks of heart and renal diseases.
  1. Vitamin C is another such great nutrient. Gongura is famous as an immunity booster because of vitamin C. It assists in increasing the numbers and functionality of white blood cells in the body.
  1. They also improve bone health and strength. Minerals such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, etc., are required to keep the bones healthy and free from osteoporosis conditions.
  1. These leaves are great for women. Iron, Folate, fiber, and Vitamin C make great nutritional combinations for women’s health and fitness. It also regulates breast milk supply.
  1. The many vitamins and minerals also provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Its anti-bacterial qualities help to avoid urinary tract infection.
  1. Furthermore, these are great for your eyes, hair growth, and maintaining regular sleep routines.
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Dietary tips for eating Gongura

  • Pick out fresh, bright dark-green, and unwilted leaves for the best taste and health benefits.
  • Keep under refrigeration to prevent wilting. Leaves that aren’t fresh may turn bitter.
  • You can also use the leaves, stems, and flowers of these plants for various medicinal uses.
  • Opt for tender leaves instead of mature ones. The mature leaves may be too high in Oxalic acid that may result in kidney stones.
  • Avoid consumption of Gongura if you are asthmatic or have skin conditions.
  • DO not cook these leaves in aluminum or iron utensils as the oxalic acid may react with the cookware and release toxins.
  • The leaves can also be used to make tea. Women can have regular Gongura tea to gain proper nourishment.

References

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30004125/
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27540708/
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24682189/
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30906043/
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29584924/
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30853534/
  7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30744855/
  8. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30156521/
  9. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30308985/
  10. https://wellnessmunch.com/8-surprising-health-benefits-and-uses-of-ambadi/

 

 

Dr Sharon Baisil MD

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