This Surprising Superfood Fights Diabetes - Trending Vibe Trending Vibe

This Surprising Superfood Fights Diabetes

How about a slice of garlic bread sea cucumber? It not only tastes good, but it might just prevent you suffering from diabetes.

Sea cucumber? Diabetes? Yes, seriously. Look at it as medicine. (Okay, you can skip the garlic bread if you wish. You can eat these marine animals raw, pickled or fried as well as in soups, stir fries, or stews, too.)

Scientists in Australia say they have found that processed dried sea cucumber with salt extracts can stop the formation of compounds in your body—called AGEs—that are linked with an increased risk of diabetes.

But, wait, there’s more

The sea cucumber does not only inhibit diabetes, it goes further and prevents complications developing, too. The scientists explain that when high levels of those AGEs join up with sugars in your bloodstream, the result can be not only diabetes itself, but also serious diabetic complications, such as Alzheimer’s, heart disease, kidney disease, Parkinson’s, and even cancer.

Apparently, the scientists have found that the humble sea cucumber does a great job of stopping those AGEs (Advanced Glycation End-products) building up in the first place.

Indeed, understanding how the bioactive compounds in sea cucumbers can prevent the build-up of those AGEs is “crucial” in protecting you against those diseases, says Dr. Permal Deo, of the University of South Australia, who was the lead researcher in this project.

At this rate, the sea cucumber could turn out to be the world’s latest superfood.

Large worms

Sea cucumbers (holothuria scabra) are marine delicacies that grow on the floors of seas around the world. They look like caterpillars or large worms—or, of course, something like those regular cucumbers that grow in the soil and that we eat as vegetables. Some people think of them as big slugs.

They also are grown in large artificial ponds.

Other properties

Sea cucumbers are known to have other medicinal-type properties, including antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. They have been used as traditional medicine for centuries in Middle Eastern and Asian countries to treat a wide range of ailments.

Oils and creams infused with extracts from sea cucumbers are also popular in parts of the world.

Explored further

It has been believed for some time that some species of sea cucumber contain substances that have pharmacological possibilities. No evidence has been found to back up this theory, however.

Aware of these theories, the researchers at the University of Australia—working with Fiji National University and the University of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia—decided to explore the bioactive compounds in sea cucumbers to see whether they could lower the wide range of sugar-related metabolites in the body. After a series of tests, they found that they could do so.

Useable food product?

Their findings have prompted lead researcher Deo to suggest that sea cucumbers could be developed into a useable food product that will go to war against the onset of diabetes and diabetic complications.

The scientists say biologically active compounds in medicinal foods and plants are possible agents that can prevent diabetic complications. It follows, therefore, that other foods might have the same impact; we just do not know yet.

Right now no commercially available product is available to hinder the formation of the AGEs in the way that sea cucumbers have been found to do.

Other properties of sea cucumbers are that they are low in calories and fat, but high in protein. As a result of these properties, they have been touted as having weight-loss potential. They also are packed with B vitamins.

The study is published in the Institute of Food Science and Technology.

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