Yucca is a desert plant found in abundance in the south-western United States of America as well northern parts of Mexico. It is a common garden plant, similar to the lily, and has pointed leaves.
Due to its medicinal properties, the plant is quite useful, and the fruits, flowers, and even the seeds are edible.
Apart from human consumption, yucca makes a healthy addition to the diet of livestock as well. Yucca, in animals, helps in preventing diseases as well as promotes fast growth in them.
Yucca is often confused with yuca, more popularly known as cassava. Yucca is a plant, while cassava or yuca is a root vegetable.
Is Yucca Good for Diabetics?
Yucca has many medicinal properties, and including yucca in diet can help combat various medical conditions such as arthritis and diabetes.
So yes, including yucca can be beneficial for you, if at all you have diabetes.
Apart from combating diabetes and arthritis, yucca can also help tackle problems such as high cholesterol, skin infections, high blood pressure, liver and gallbladder disorders.
Also, the glycemic index of boiled yucca is low and causes no spike in blood sugar levels when consumed.
5 Benefits of Yucca for Diabetes
Consuming yucca has many health benefits. The following are the benefits of yucca for diabetes-
- Regulate blood sugar- According to a study in 2013, diabetic rats with disturbed metabolism showed positive reactions after eating yucca. Yucca regulated the glucose level in the blood. Yucca cannot supplement insulin or other diabetes medicines.
- Reduces oxidative stress- Oxidative stress is dangerous for the human body in general, whether you have diabetes or not. Build-up of oxidative stress can lead to more serious medical conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, inflammation in the body, heart diseases, and Parkinson’s disease. The antioxidants present in yucca help to reduce the oxidative stress in the human body.
- Immunity booster- Vitamin C and certain antioxidants are present in yucca in large quantities. Both of these nutrients always play a vital role in boosting the immunity system. Vitamin C is crucial for the production and functioning of the virus and infection-fighting white blood cells. Antioxidants present in yucca protect the body from free radical damage.
- Maintains heart health- The antioxidants in yucca help maintain good heart health by reducing the oxidative stress in the body and reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases. They also protect the body from chronic inflammation caused due to free radical damage. Free radical damage in the body often caused damage to the DNA, proteins, lipids, and cell walls.
- Reduces cholesterol build-up- Steroidal saponins are plant-based chemicals present in the yucca plant. These chemicals, combined with cholesterol, prevent them from getting absorbed by the intestines. Thus, reducing the level of bad cholesterol in the body.
Some FAQs about Yucca and Diabetes
While searching the internet, you might feel like typing in the following questions. Here are they-
Is yucca better for you than potatoes?
Yucca is a medicinal plant with a lot of benefits for people with diabetes. It helps maintain blood sugar levels and reduce the impact of bad cholesterol on the body.
On the other hand, potatoes are a rich source of carbohydrates and starch, which are an absolute no-no for people with diabetes.
Between the two of them, yucca is better than potatoes as it does not spike blood sugar levels, which the potatoes possibly can.
Are root vegetables bad for diabetics?
Not all of them.
Root vegetables can assist in weight loss if eaten in proper proportions. Such vegetables are beneficial for people with diabetes who also want to lose weight without increasing their blood sugar level.
Some examples of root vegetables that are good to include in a diabetes diet are carrots, radishes, beets, potatoes, turnips, celery root, jicama, and rutabagas.
Can a diabetic patient eat cassava?
Yes, a diabetes patient can eat cassava.
Cassava is a rich source of resistant starch. Resistant starch is known so because it can bypass the process of digestion. It is known to promote overall digestive health and reduce inflammation in the gut by adding beneficial bacteria.
Resistant starch can also possibly reduce the symptoms of type 2 diabetes and assist in weight loss. Cassava, therefore, is potent in controlling the blood sugar levels and aids in combatting obesity.
Yucca is often confused with yuca. But both of them are different. While yucca is a medicinal plant, yuca or cassava is a widely popular root vegetable.
Yucca is fit for human as well as animal consumption, with side effects for a few. Also, the glycemic index of yucca is low, causing no changes to the blood sugar levels in humans.
Due to its medicinal properties, yucca can help fight and protect from a variety of ailments such as diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, gallbladder and liver disorders, and skin infections.
Yucca is available in topical forms as well as oral supplements. In topical form, yucca is available as shampoos, soaps, and lotions. And in oral supplements, that are either in powder or liquid form.
If you decide to take yucca supplements orally, you should take an opinion from your doctor or nutritionist because the safe limit for yucca supplements varies from person-to-person. Keeping the yucca supplement intake within prescribed limits is the key to maintaining a balanced diabetes diet.
Although yucca supplements are known to have nutritional value for diabetes patients, they can also affect some people with diabetes.
Some of the fewest common side effects seen in diabetes patients are nausea, vomiting, and an upset stomach.
One has to keep it in their mind to use store-purchased yucca rather than fresh yucca because, without proper knowledge of the content of polyphenols or saponins, it is quite risky to take them. Store-purchased yucca supplements come along in a measured proportion of their contents.
Although there are zero known drug reactions with yucca supplements, people with diabetes medications, pregnant and breastfeeding women, and children should take them only under medical supervision.