The so called functional foods such as cactus pads, chia and soybean, when included in a balanced diet, help reduce obesity and control diabetes, says Nimbe Torres y Torres, from the Institute of Biomedical Research at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).
Functional foods are those that provide other benefits to the body in addition to the original nutrient foods, such as cactus pads, chia and soy mainly, besides spinach, oatmeal, yogurt, fish rich in Omega 3 and fortified margarines.
Torres y Torres, researcher, recommends consumption of 300 grams of raw, or 250 of cooked, cactus pads because eating as garnish significantly lowers glucose peaks, allowing a good function of the pancreas.
During her participation in the first symposium: "Initiative for a correct diet: yogurt effects on health" held in Cancun, in the Caribbean coast of Mexico, she said it is important to cook food thoroughly, but not overcooking in order to retain its nutrients.
"Mexicans tend to overheat food diminishing nutrients, in the case of the cactus it should not be cooked more than 10 minutes. It is very important that the viscous part is retained because that contains the soluble fiber that works as a prebiotic ."
She mentioned that the consumption of these foods has to be constant. "People with diabetes who include cactus in their diet reduce glycated hemoglobin, triglycerides and free fatty acids."
Nimbe Torres y Torres also analyzed the effect of soy in animal models and found that it decreases the secretion of insulin, blood pressure, triglyceride and cholesterol by up to 20 percent since it contains a low glycemic index and has six grams of protein in a portion 250 milligrams.
She also stated that the use of chia seeds has health benefits because it is a source of acid Omega 3 and antioxidants, while should also be included in the diet in raw oatmeal or soy milk and green banana porridge.
Currently the UNAM specialist develops a combination of chia seed with cactus and soy protein to control diabetes and a recipe book on the combination of these foods. (Agencia ID)
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