Diabetics Can Benefit From Gardening

The benefits of gardening are well known. The physical exercise, being out in the sun and fresh air are all tangible benefits.

Less trumpeted are the potential benefits that a diabetic can gain from gardening. As a gardener, you tend to eat what you grow, so a diabetic can increase the number of vegetables they consume.

Normally a diabetic will try to avoid starchy food such as potatoes, but there are now new varieties that have a low glycemic level, such as the Nicola variety. Another low glycemic vegetable to grow in your garden is the Jerusalem artichoke. These sunflowers have a taste similar to chestnuts, and about 80% of their carbohydrates are in the form of inulin rather than starch. The body metabolises inulin much slower than starch.

The Jerusalem is rich in iron, potassium and vitamin B, and is immune to most insects and diseases.

Harvesting Nicola potatoes and Jerusalem artichokes means that a diabetic can enjoy the fruits of the garden and stay healthy at the same time.

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